ARTICLE 19 is pleased to announce the following changes to its International Board of Trustees

After serving two terms of Chair of the International Board, Catherine Smadja, who is head of special projects, policy and strategy at the BBC, is stepping down as Chair. Catherine oversaw the successful delivery of ARTICLE 19’s previous strategy, as well as the organisation’s internationalisation through the establishment of regional offices worldwide. She will remain a member of the board until the end of the year.

Media and development specialist Paddy Coulter has taken over as Chair, with Russian media lawyer and director of the Mass Media Defence Centre, Galina Arapova, taking the position of Vice Chair. Frank La Rue, who was until recently the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression issues, will also be joining ARTICLE 19’s board.

ARTICLE 19’s Executive Director, Thomas Hughes, said:

“On behalf of ARTICLE 19, I would like to congratulate Paddy and Galina on their new roles on the Board, and say how pleased I am that Frank, with his knowledge and experience in the world of free expression, will be joining the ARTICLE 19 family.

“These changes come at a time when we are launching a new strategy and undergoing growth, and our board members will play a crucial role in helping to shape the future of the organisation.”

“We would also like to thank Catherine for her commitment and contribution to the ARTICLE 19 vision. Her experience, enthusiasm and drive have been invaluable for ARTICLE 19.”

Paddy Coulter said:

“Having joined the board of ARTICLE 19 last year, I am proud to be taking on the role of Chair, particularly at such an exciting time, with the roll-out of the new strategic vision in 2015.  I would like to congratulate Galina on her appointment as Vice Chair, and welcome Frank to the board. I would also like to offer my thanks to Catherine.”

Frank La Rue said:

“It’s an honour for me to join the board of ARTICLE 19, an organisation I have long admired for its work to promote freedom of expression and the right to access information for everyone.

“With the rise of warrantless global government surveillance, a shrinking space for civil society, and journalists still risking their lives to report the truth, the work of ARTICLE 19 has never been more important.  I look forward to joining the Board at the next meeting in summer of 2015.”

Galina Arapova added:

“I am extremely pleased to be appointed Vice Chair of ARTICLE 19 and look forward to working with Paddy and the other board members  to continue leading the way promoting free expression and freedom of information internationally.”