Bachelet then led U.N. Women, a body for gender equality and the empowerment of women, between 2010 and 2013, before returning to Chile where she again served as president from 2014 to 2018, pushing for a more radical tax-and-spend agenda, as well as broader abortion rights and gay marriage.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has chosen former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to be the world body's new human rights chief, five diplomats told Reuters news agency.
"I would say that the entire community of states perhaps elected her for a reason noting that no less than the United States has opted to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Commission soI think the election of this new High Commissioner for UN Human Rights must be a result of compromise", he said.
The daughter of an air force general, she was a medical student when Marxist President Salvador Allende was overthrown in a coup in September 1973.
Before Guterres' announcement, Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said: "If selected, Bachelet will be taking on one of the world's most hard jobs at a moment when human rights are under widespread attack".
"As a victim herself, she brings a unique perspective to the role on the importance of a vigorous defence of human rights", Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement.
If confirmed as human rights chief, which is virtually certain, Bachelet would replace Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, a Jordanian diplomat and member of his country's royal family whose term ends on August 31.
Zeid, who was educated in the United States and Britain, chose not to seek a second term.
"We are optimistic that we will have better relations with the new high commissioner for human rights", Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing.
And he said he will give his successor the same advice his predecessor, Navi Pillay, gave him: "Be fair and don't discriminate against any country" and "just come out swinging".
Israel's United Nations ambassador, Danny Danon, welcomed Zeid's impending departure, saying in a statement Wednesday that Zeid "never missed a chance to invent falsehoods and lies when it comes to Israel".
During Zeid's four-year tenure, Danon said, the 47-nation Human Rights Council "became a theater of the absurd, with hypocrisy and double standards rampant among its proceedings and reports".
"The UN has failed to adequately address major human rights crises in Iran, North Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and elsewhere, or stop its chronic, disproportionate obsession with Israel", Haley said. "It is incumbent on the Secretary-General's choice, Ms Bachelet, to avoid the failures of the past". "We hope that she does".