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FACTBOX-Key ministers under Chile's President-elect Bachelet

Friday, 24 Jan 2014 | 5:02 PM ET

(Adds interior minister, details on mining minister)

SANTIAGO, Jan 24 (Reuters) - President-elect Michelle Bachelet unveiled her Cabinet on Friday, putting forth a mix of political veterans and a few fresh faces meant to help her navigate a tricky Congress and a slowing economy.

Center-left Bachelet, who governed Chile from 2006 to 2010, has promised a blitz of reforms designed to combat entrenched income inequality in the Andean country.

She will need deft political operators to steer those reforms through Congress and manage relations with social movements clamoring for change in Chile, which has steep income inequality.

Following are brief biographies of some of those who have picked up key ministerial jobs:

FINANCE MINISTER: ALBERTO ARENAS

Economist and academic Alberto Arenas will take the reins at the Finance Ministry, where he will have to balance increased social spending with a moderately easing economy.

As one of Bachelet's most trusted advisers and the public face of her economic program, the 48-year-old Socialist had been seen as the closest thing to a shoo-in.

Arenas, who was head of the budget during Bachelet's first term, helped draw up her flagship plans to hike corporate taxes and strike down some dictatorship-era laws on investment. He has said these reforms are crucial if Chile wants to make the leap from a developing country to a developed one.

One of his major challenges will be easing the impact of ebbing prices for top export copper on Chile's small, export-dependent economy.

Arenas has stressed that battling the Andean country's entrenched income inequality and fomenting economic growth are not incompatible.

He holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Pittsburgh.

ENERGY MINISTER: MAXIMO PACHECO

Economist and businessman Maximo Pacheco, who has worked for state miner Codelco and several private companies, will head the Energy Ministry.

His appointment suggests Bachelet will take a business-friendly tack in facing Chile's looming energy crisis.

Power production in Chile, which imports nearly all its fossil fuels, has failed to keep up with demand, especially from energy-hungry miners. Bachelet will likely make liquefied natural gas the backbone of her energy policy.

Pacheco will face pressure to take a firmer hand regulating the energy and mining sector, as Chileans increasingly oppose mega-projects they deem invasive or polluting.

"We need to be capable of finding solutions that give us the energy we need, at a reasonable price and in a sustainable way, but we must also defend the legitimate interests of our communities," he told journalists after he was named.

FOREIGN MINISTER: HERALDO MUNOZ

Heraldo Munoz is a high-profile politician, writer and academic who currently works for the United Nations Development Programme.

He previously served as deputy foreign minister and as Chile's ambassador to the United Nations, the Organization of American States and Brazil.

Munoz was part of the successful campaign to defeat dictator Augusto Pinochet in a 1988 plebiscite about his rule.

The post will require keen diplomacy, with Monday's decision from the Hague on a maritime border spat with neighboring Peru likely to cause controversy.

Chile also began a stint on the United Nations Security Council this month.

MINING MINISTER: AURORA WILLIAMS

A relative unknown, Aurora Williams was a surprise choice to become head of the Mining Ministry in the world's top copper producer.

She was formerly the head of the mining-intensive Antofagasta region's Public Works division.

The mining minister is traditionally a political post with very little decision-making involved.

Still, Williams will be in charge of attracting mining investment in the country as lower metal prices, dwindling ore grades and spiraling costs bite the industry.

INTERIOR MINISTER: RODRIGO PENAILILLO

Rodrigo Penailillo, a discreet but powerful member of Bachelet's campaign team, has been tapped as interior minister.

The 39-year-old was chief of staff during Bachelet's previous term. He hails from Southern Chile and has worked outside of capital Santiago, which could boost his credentials in centralized Chile's far-flung regions, where protests have flared.

That said, leading the Interior Ministry will be no easy task. Major protests seeking improved education, environmental protection and healthcare have shaken up Chile in the past few years.

Penailillo will likely try to ensure these protests are directed toward Congress and do not end up targeting Bachelet.

He has an undergraduate degree in business and a master's degree in political science, according to local media reports.

EDUCATION MINISTER: NICOLAS EYZAGUIRRE

Former Finance Minister and IMF economist Nicolas Eyzaguirre will take the helm of the high-pressure Education Ministry.

The 2011 social movements demanding education reform were a watershed moment in Chilean history, and student leaders have said they will not give the new administration a "honeymoon."

(Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer, Felipe Iturrieta and Fabian Cambero; writing by Alexandra Ulmer; editing by Matthew Lewis)