Four new members join IRIN's board

IRIN strengthens its board of directors through the appointment of four new members.

Martin Aked, Turi Munthe, Nanjira Sambuli and Sacha Meuter add to our organisational credibility and governance through their expertise in the fields of finance, media investment, technology and law.

Mr. Aked is a chartered accountant who became treasurer of the board of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) International after a career at PricewaterhouseCoopers spanning several decades. He is a member of the boards of several other Geneva-based nonprofits, including the global peacebuilding organisation Interpeace and is on the audit committee of World Wildlife Fund International. He brings a wealth of expertise in strategic governance and finance to IRIN’s board.

“What motivated me to join IRIN was my revulsion in the face of fake news and attacks on honest journalists,” Mr. Aked said. “I had become used to hearing fake news from totalitarian states and seeing them ruthlessly persecute journalists, but we are now seeing the utterly shameless promotion of fake news in longstanding western democracies that one had expected would set an example."

Mr. Munthe is a former journalist and now partner at North Base Media, a venture capital firm focusing on media, content and information technologies. Mr. Munthe was a founder of Demotix, the largest network of photojournalists which was subsequently acquired by Corbis Images. He is also on the boards of Index on Censorship, Open Democracy and The Signals Network.

“I joined the board of IRIN because the organisation, led by an extraordinary team, is at a key moment of transformation with immense opportunities for reframing the conversation around humanitarianism,” Mr. Munthe said. “It’s an opportunity to turn a distinguished institution into a cutting-edge 21st century media organisation.”

Ms. Sambuli is a senior policy manager at the Worldwide Web Foundation, where she leads the Web Foundation’s work to promote digital access and equality. She previously worked at the iHub in Nairobi, where she provided strategic guidance for the growth of technology research in East Africa. She is a columnist for the DailyNation newspaper in Kenya, a member of the UK Department of International Development’s Digital Advisory Panel and served as a deputy on the United Nations High Level Panel for Women’s Economic Empowerment (2016-17).

“I was drawn to IRIN’s mission of telling stories from the frontlines of humanitarian crises, and in particular, in reminding us all that there indeed are real people involved; people whose hopes, fears and frustrations are not that different from our own,” Ms. Sambuli said.  “IRIN’s coverage has challenged me personally, to go beyond alarming news headlines, and to really appreciate the complexities and nuances therein. I look forward to working with IRIN to maximise the potential of digital platforms to draw more interest and change the narrative framing on the coverage of humanitarian crises."

Mr. Meuter is head of policy and research at Fondation Hirondelle, an organisation that works at the intersection of media development and peacebuilding in emerging economies. He is also the Secretary of TRIAL International, which advocates for human rights through international law, and a fellow at the Center for the Freedom of the Media (CFOM), at the University of Sheffield. Notably, he works on a policy-making process of the United Nations Peace Operations for the media. Previously, he was a member of the Swiss delegation to the Human Rights Council and worked for the Chair of Constitutional Law at the University of Fribourg.

“IRIN is unique in its capacity to tell the stories of the some of the most vulnerable people on earth to key decision makers in the humanitarian field and beyond,” Mr. Meuter said.

"This expansion of our Board of Directors is an important and exciting step as we continue growing the organisation and positioning IRIN for the future," said IRIN Director Heba Aly. "Their expertise and motivation will help us achieve our mission at a critical time for IRIN, for journalism, and for the world."

Read more about IRIN’s board of directors.

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