Howard French, President
Associate Professor, Columbia Journalism School
Mr. French is an award-winning former New York Times international correspondent and author of several books on Africa and Asia. His career in journalism began as a freelance reporter for The Washington Post and many other publications in West Africa. From 1990 to 2008, he reported for The New York Times as bureau chief for Central America and the Caribbean, West Africa, Japan and the Koreas, and China in Shanghai. His work was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize; he was twice the recipient of an Overseas Press Club Award, and he has also won the Grantham Environmental Award, among other awards. Mr. French is the author of "A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa" (2004), which was named non-fiction book of the year by several newspapers, and won the 2005 American Library Association Black Caucus Award for Non-Fiction, and was runner up for the Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage and for the Hurston Wright Foundation's non-fiction prize. He is also the author of “China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa, which will be published by Alfred A. Knopf in May 2014. His work has been published in The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, Rolling Stone, Transition, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Crisis, and Travel and Leisure. Mr. French was a 2011 fellow of the Open Society Foundations and is presently researching a book about the geopolitics of East Asia.
Andy Martin, Vice-President and Treasurer
Founder and Director, Firetail
Mr. Martin is the founder and Director of the civil society strategy consulting firm Firetail. He has over 15 years of experience as a strategy consultant and is an advisor to senior leaders in charities, NGOs, foundations and social enterprises. He has led strategy and evaluation engagements for clients including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations, the Queen’s Trust, the Royal Society of Chemistry, Oxfam International, Save the Children UK, Malaria No More UK, Comic Relief and Anthony Nolan. He also works as an advisor to a number of start-ups and social ventures. Prior to founding Firetail, Mr. Martin was Head of Strategy for Cancer Research UK, where he ran the Strategy Unit and Consumer Insight teams, covering fundraising, marketing and public engagement for the UKʼs largest charity. He was a founder member of the commercial strategy consulting firm Credo, and a founding Governor of the public participation organisation, The Democratic Society. Mr. Martin holds a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford. He was the lead author of a 2014 report, commissioned by the UN, to determine whether IRIN’s spin-off was feasible.
Martin Aked, Member
Chartered Accountant, CPA charterholder, business consultant
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) audit partner (British/French/Swiss citizen, based in Féchy, Switzerland). After retiring from a long career at PwC, Mr. Aked served as Treasurer of the board of MSF International and currently sits on the boards of the global peacebuilding organisation Interpeace and the audit committee of WorldWildlife Fund International, all three non-profits based in or near Geneva. He is well-versed in strategic governance and finance issues, in which he also continues to provide services on a commercial basis.
Peter Bouckaert, Member
Consultant, Youth Empowerment Centers and SPICES Project, Catholic Relief Services Madagascar
Mr. Bouckaert is an expert in humanitarian crises. Formerly Emergencies Director at Human Rights Watch, he was responsible for coordinating the organization's response to major wars and other human rights crises. A Belgian-born Stanford Law School graduate, specializing in the laws of war, Mr. Bouckaert is a veteran of fact-finding missions to Lebanon, Kosovo, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Macedonia, Indonesia, Uganda, and Sierra Leone, among others. Mr. Bouckaert was recently in the Central African Republic, where he has conducted investigations into ethnic cleansing and war crimes committed during the current civil war. Mr. Bouckaert is featured in the 2014 documentary film "E-Team," which was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2011, he investigated the use of landmines, the execution of prisoners and arbitrary arrests of African migrant workers in Libya. He has testified about war crimes before the United States Senate, the Council of Europe, and at the Yugoslav Tribunal (ICTY) in the Hague, and has written opinion pieces for papers around the world. His work has been profiled in Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, The Stanford Lawyer, and The Santa Barbara Independent Newspaper.
Paula Fray, Member
Founder and Managing Director, frayintermedia
Ms. Fray has worked in media for more than three decades as a journalist, editor, trainer and media manager. An award-winning journalist, Ms. Fray was the first female editor of the Saturday Star newspaper. In 2005, she started Paula Fray and Associates (now frayintermedia) before joining Inter Press Service (IPS) as Africa regional director in 2008. As regional head, she oversaw the operations of the international development news agency. She was a trustee of Brand SA until March 2016 and is a trustee of Media Monitoring Africa. She has wide-ranging consultancy and project management experience and has served as a mentor for organizations such as Health-e and the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA). Ms. Fray graduated with a BJourn degree from Rhodes University and has a Women and Law Certificate from UNISA. A recipient of the prestigious Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, she is a former member of the Nieman Foundation Advisory Board at Harvard.
Sacha Meuter, Member
Head of Policy and Research, Legal Advisor, Fondation Hirondelle
Sacha Meuter is Legal Advisor and Head of Policy and Research at Fondation Hirondelle. He is also the Secretary of TRIAL International and a fellow at the Center for the Freedom of the Media (CFOM), University of Sheffield. He notably initiated and coordinates a process of gathering lessons learned and best practices on the media of the United Nations Peace Operations, in partnership with the Geneva Center for Security Policies (GCSP) and in close consultation with the UN Department for Peace Operations and the Department for Public Information. Sacha Meuter provides legal and policy advices to Fondation Hirondelle and its partners, such as the Swiss Development and Cooperation (SDC) thematic unit on Democratisation, Decentralisation and Local Governance (DDLG). Sacha also works on the design and implementation of media impact assessment studies with regular field missions, including in DRC, Mali and Niger. Previously, he notably participated to the Swiss delegation to the Human Rights Council and worked for the Chair of Constitutional Law at the University of Fribourg. He then conducted research in international law and sociology of law at the universities of Glasgow and Oxford. Sacha obtained a master’s degree in law from the University of Fribourg.
Turi Munthe, Member
Venture Partner, North Base Media
Mr. Munthe is a journalist turned media entrepreneur and investor. He is currently a venture partner at North Base Media, where he invests in media and media technologies. He has founded several media companies including Demotix, which became the largest network of photojournalists and sold to Corbis Corporation. He sits on the board of Index on Censorship, OpenDemocracy and The Signals Network. Turi lives in London.
Dr. Sara Pantuliano, Member
Acting Executive Director, Overseas Development Institute
Dr. Sara Pantuliano is Acting Executive Director at the Overseas Development Institute, one of the world’s leading think tanks on aid and development, where she led the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) for six years. She is a political scientist with extensive experience in conflict and post-conflict settings. Prior to joining ODI, she led the UN Development Programme’s peacebuilding unit in Sudan, managed post-conflict response in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains, was an observer at the IGAD Sudan peace process, and lectured at the University of Dar es Salaam. She holds a PhD in politics, has written widely on Sudan, South Sudan, the Middle East and humanitarian affairs, and is a recognised public speaker on these issues. She is the Managing Editor of Disasters journal and the vice-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Risk and Resilience. She is a Trustee of SOS Sahel and serves on the advisory boards of Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Centre and the UN Association of the UK, amongst others. Dr. Pantuliano oversaw the temporary hosting of IRIN at ODI during IRIN’s spin-off from the UN.
Nanjira Sambuli, Member
Digital Equality Advocacy Manager, World Wide Web Foundation
Ms. Sambuli works at the intersection of governance, media, technology and society. She previously worked at the iHub in Nairobi, where she provided strategic guidance for the growth of technology research in East Africa. She is also a columnist for the DailyNation newspaper in Kenya, a member of DFID’s Digital Advisory Panel and served as a deputy on the United Nations High Level Panel for Women’s Economic Empowerment (2016-17).