Previously head of strategy, government and communications for Europe, Asia and Africa at ASX-listed Orica, the world's biggest manufacturer and supplier of mine explosives, Manook has more than 25 years' experience managing corporate affairs, investor relations and business strategy in the oil and gas, mining and infrastructure industries.
"While Michelle is new to the coal industry, she has extensive experience across the energy and mining sectors, and her fresh insights will be essential in guiding WCA and its members to meet both the challenges and opportunities we face," association chairman and Peabody Resources CEO Glenn Kellow said.
"I'm confident that Michelle will foster international collaboration and be a fantastic advocate for the world's largest energy source for electricity and a key ingredient for steelmaking, while promoting technologies that drive for continuous improvement in global emissions."
Manook said in Beijing the Sanhe power plant was a "great example of the opportunities that low emission coal technologies can provide".
"As the most widely available fossil fuel resource, coal is the backbone of world's electricity supply and plays a significant role in sustainable development through its use in industrial processes, such as steel and cement production, creating vital materials that support growth," she said.
"With sufficient investment, coal has a crucial role in the world's transition to cleaner energy.
"We have to work together to move coal consumption towards low emission technologies, to power prosperity and drive value generation for those that need it most. Meeting the Paris climate targets will take cooperation and collaboration. I'm looking forward to heading up an organisation that is committed to playing a constructive and progressive role in meeting the world's challenges, now and into the future."