Interpol has elected a woman as president for the first time in its 89-year history.

Mireille Ballestrazzi, a former French police commissioner who spearheaded a campaign against organized crime in Bordeaux and Corsica, was named at a general assembly in Rome.

Ballestrazzi, 58, was already the vice-president for Europe on Interpol's executive committee.

Frances' Interior Minister Manuel Valls hailed Ballestrazzi was "a great police woman. She is one of the women who are the pride of the French police," according to Agence-France Presse.

Valls also said her experience in fighting mobsters in France would be useful in tackling organized crime in other parts of Europe.

Interpol – or The International Criminal Police Organization – is an intergovernmental organization that is based in Lyon, France and comprises 190 nations.