Ecuador's incoming president picks new finance chief

Ecuador President-elect Noboa meets with current Ecuadorian President Lasso, in Quito

GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador (Reuters) - Ecuadorean President-elect Daniel Noboa selected Sariha Moya to be his new economy and finance minister on Monday, as the new government prepares to take office next month after the center-right leader won a close election victory in October.

Noboa, 35, has pledged to rebuild the South American country's ailing economy, create jobs and work to quell rising crime and violence largely blamed on organized crime.

Since 2017, Moya, one of six ministers announced to date, has been a senior official with the interior ministry, most recently as the coordinator for planning and strategic management, with a focus on investment projects.

Her announcement came as Noboa, the heir to a family banana business and a former one-term congressman, is visiting the United States, meeting with officials, business leaders and investors, according to a statement from his press office.

Moya will serve in a cabinet that the incoming president has pledged will feature an equal number of women and men.

Noboa faces the challenge of a local economy that has struggled since the coronavirus pandemic, pushing thousands of Ecuadoreans to migrate.

Since he was elected in a special election after former President Guillermo Lasso dissolved Congress in order to avoid a vote to remove him from office, Noboa will have just 17 months to govern, serving a shortened term that will run through May 2025.

In October's run-off election, Noboa won about 52% of the vote, besting leftist adversary Luisa Gonzalez's 48% support.

(Reporting by Yury Garcia in Guayaquil; Editing by Sandra Maler)