Javiera Caballero will fill the vacant at-large Durham City Council seat, the council decided at a work session Tuesday evening.

A program coordinator at Alma Advisory Group and PTA president at Club Blvd. Elementary School, Caballero moved to the city in 2010. She currently serves on the Durham Open Space and Trails Commission, and stressed the importance of having “culturally sensitive, bilingual leaders” in her application for the position.

Caballero will replace Steve Schewel, who left the council when he was sworn in in December as the city’s first new mayor in sixteen years.

"We had great candidates. We had a very difficult time as a council deciding upon a smaller list of candidates,” he said.

Caballero was chosen from among seven finalists, in a pool that was narrowed to five after Carl Rist and Shelia Ann Huggins dropped out Wednesday night. In the first round of voting, there was a tie with Caballero and Pilar Rocha-Goldberg each receiving three votes. Since candidates need a majority support among the five other city council members and the mayor, the council conducted a second vote, with Caballero winning the second round 5-1.