Robert Latham, an experienced media and intellectual property lawyer, has been appointed as the new Chair of the Board of ARTICLE 19.
Bob has had a distinguished career spanning nearly four decades as a trial lawyer, with recognised expertise in media law and intellectual property litigation. A graduate of Stanford University and the University of Virginia Law School, he is a Partner and Chair of Jackson Walker L.L.P’s media law practice.
Bob is also a published author, columnist, adjunct professor of media law, and public speaker, and frequently speaks on matters relating to free speech, technology and privacy. As a passionate advocate for freedom of expression, Bob has been serving on the Board of ARTICLE 19 since 2018.
Commenting on his appointment, Bob Latham said:
‘My years of representing national and local media clients have taught me that freedom of expression is not something that we should ever take for granted.
‘For over 30 years, ARTICLE 19 has stood in defence of this right for everyone – from journalists and human rights defenders to ordinary people taking to the streets – to have their voices heard. This is why I am honoured to be taking the position of Chair of the Board, and I look forward to working with my fellow Board members and ARTICLE 19 colleagues in the international and regional offices to strengthen and protect expression around the world.’
Bob’s appointment comes at an important moment for ARTICLE 19. In 2022, the organisation launched its new four-year strategy, The Power of Our Voices, which defines the path to defend and create spaces for each and every voice to be heard online and offline. Bob’s expertise will also be crucial as ARTICLE 19 plans the opening of its new regional office in the United States.
In the role as Chair of the Board, Bob replaces Paddy Coulter, Director of Oxford Global Media and former Director of Studies at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford, who is stepping down after 9 years in the post. Paddy has officially handed over his duties to Bob during the International Board meeting hosted by ARTICLE 19 Mexico and Central America – a location selected specifically to show international solidarity with colleagues in Mexico in the face of ongoing attacks on them, including those by the Mexican government itself.
Quinn McKew, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19, said:
‘We’re living in a difficult time for freedom of expression: from the rise of authoritarianism, driven by attacks on expression, to growing impunity for rights violations and increasingly contested space for free expression online. It has never been more important to stand up for expression.
‘This is why we’re delighted to have Bob as our new Chair of the Board. His vast experience and strong convictions are invaluable in helping us realise our new strategy and propel the growing movement for free expression, driving change locally and globally so people everywhere may realise the power of their voices.’
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Previous Chairs of ARTICLE 19 International Board:
William Shawcross, United Kingdom, 1987 – 1998
Zeinab Badawi, Sudan / United Kingdom, 1998 – 2002
Peter Phillips, United Kingdom, 2002 – 2004
Heather Rogers, United Kingdom, 2004 – 2008
Catherine Smadja, France, 2008 – 2013
Paddy Coulter, Ireland / United Kingdom, 2013 – 2022