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UN elects Doreen Bogdan-Martin as first female to head up tech agency

Doreen Bogdan Martin, BDT Director at Futurecasters Young Global Visionaries Summit Jan 2020

ARTICLE SUMMARY

The UN has elected Doreen Bogdan-Martin as its first female secretary general to lead the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

In historic elections, Doreen Bogdan-Martin received the majority of Member States votes, and will be the first woman to lead the UN specialised agency in its 157-year history.

Founded in 1865, the ITU is the main technology agency within the UN. Its role is to facilitate the use of radio, satellite and the internet.

Doreen Bogdan-Martin beat her Russian competitor, Rashid Ismailov by 139 votes to 25. She will begin her term on 1 January 2023.

Bogdan-Martin has held leadership positions in international telecommunications policy for over two decades. Throughout her career, she has brokered innovative and visionary partnerships with the private sector, civil society, and other United Nations agencies to accelerate digital inclusion and connectivity.

Speaking about her appointment, Bogdan-Martin said, “Whether it’s today’s children or our children’s children, we need to provide them with a strong and stable foundation for growth.”

“The world is facing significant challenges – escalating conflicts, a climate crisis, food security, gender inequalities, and 2.7 billion people with no access to the Internet.”

“I believe we, the ITU and our members, have an opportunity to make a transformational contribution.”

“Continuous innovation can and will be the key enabler to facilitate resolution of many of these issues.”

The Secretary-General-elect has pledged “to continue driving this institution to be innovative and increasingly relevant for our Member States, better positioning all of us to embrace the digital environment and make progress on achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals and connecting the unconnected.”

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