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Linda Bond

Canadian-born Commissioner Linda Bond will be The Salvation Army's 19th General and next world leader.

She becomes the third woman and the fourth Canadian to hold the post of General of The Salvation Army since the international church and charity organisation was founded 146 years ago.

Commissioner Bond (64), who has served as leader of the Australian Eastern Territory (ACT, NSW and Qld) since 2008, was elected by the High Council (made up of senior Salvation Army leaders from around the world) on 31 January in Sunbury-on-Thames near London.

As General, she will become the head of more than one million Salvationists around the world. The Salvation Army also has more than 100,000 employees who communicate in 175 different languages.

The General directs the operations of one of the world's largest social welfare providers, coordinating Salvation Army programs including accommodation for homeless men, women, children and families; drug rehabilitation centres; schools; hospitals and clinics; HIV/Aids projects, micro-credit schemes, training centres and day-care facilities. Support is also offered through nearly 15,000 local church and community centres.

Next General: André Cox