By Staff Reporter
The International Press Institute (IPI) has elected a new board to be led by a Swiss national, Markus Spillmann.
The just ended IPI World Congress and 67th General Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria, gathered about 330 participants from 37 countries.
“We are happy to announce that the IPI Executive Board has elected Markus Spillmann, former editor-in-chief of Switzerland’s Neue Zürcher Zeitung, as its 34th chair,” according to a statement released Friday.
“Separately, the 67th IPI General Assembly elected four new Executive Board members:
• Zaffar Abbas, Editor-in-Chief, DAWN, Pakistan
• David Jordan, Director, Editorial Policy and Standards, BBC, UK
• Tom Mshindi, Editor-in-Chief, Nation Media Group, Kenya
• Khadija Patel, Editor-in-Chief, Mail & Guardian, South Africa.”
The Executive Board also elected Patel as an IPI vice chair and joins current IPI Vice Chairs Woosuk Kenneth Choi, editor of South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo, and Dawn Thomas, CEO of Trinidad and Tobago’s One Caribbean Media Ltd.
The IPI Executive Board also appointed John Daniszewski, Associated Press vice president of standards and editor at large, as special representative for journalist safety.
The IPI General Assembly additionally re-elected as Executive Board members Kaius Niemi, editor-in-chief of Finland’s Helsingin Sanomat; Sami El Haj, head of the human rights and public liberties desk at Al Jazeera; and Marty Steffens, Professor, SABEW Chair in Business and Financial Reporting at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
The previous board headed by an American, John Yearwood, stepped down during the Congress after their term of office ended.
And IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi praised the election of Spillmann.
“We are thrilled to welcome Markus Spillmann as IPI’s new chair and Zaffar Abbas, David Jordan, Tom Mshindi and Khadija Patel as Executive Board members. The incredible wealth and diversity of experience they bring means that IPI will be able to tackle the globe’s leading press freedom challenges with strength and vision,” she said.
“We are grateful to John Yearwood for the immense dedication and energy he brought to the position of IPI Chair, and we are extremely fortunate that he will continue to serve IPI and the cause of press freedom on the Executive Board.”