The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Susan Morgan as its first Executive Director.

As Executive Director, Ms. Morgan will be responsible for continuing to make GNI a leading voice in defending and promoting freedom of expression and privacy in the information and communications technology industry worldwide. Ms. Morgan comes to GNI at a pivotal time and will be focused on advancing GNI’s goals, including increasing membership, encouraging collective action, overseeing the learning and accountability framework, and acting as a public advocate and spokesperson for GNI.

“Technology has the potential to dramatically increase access to information and protect personal privacy. However, increasing demands from governments to limit content, restrict freedom of expression and monitor users represent a worrying threat to human rights,” said Ms. Morgan.

“GNI can lead the way in helping companies make thoughtful and responsible decisions that protect the freedom of expression and privacy rights of hundreds of millions of Internet and communications technology users around the world,” Ms. Morgan said. “I am delighted to join GNI and look forward to building its global leadership role as we encourage more companies and their stakeholders to join us in this multi-stakeholder effort to protect freedom of expression and privacy worldwide.”

Ms. Morgan expects to begin her role at GNI in May of this year, joining from British Telecommunications (BT), where she was head of corporate responsibility (CR) strategy, policy and business planning.  She played a key role in BT’s approach to external reporting and corporate accountability.  She also led work on assessing corporate responsibility risk and opportunity.  Ms. Morgan has more than fifteen years of experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors.

Today, GNI also announces the formation of its Board of Directors. The GNI Board of Directors consists of eight representatives from companies, four from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), two from the academic community, two from investment firms, and an independent Chair.  All the NGO, academic and investor seats on the Board are filled, and five company seats remain open for companies that join GNI. To see a list of GNI Board Members click here.

Finally, GNI has published on its website a Governance Charter that establishes a formal decision-making and accountability structure for GNI.  The Charter describes how GNI will be governed in order to ensure integrity, accountability and effectiveness.

The Global Network Initiative is a multi-stakeholder group of companies, civil society organizations (including human rights and press freedom groups), investors and academics dedicated to protecting and advancing freedom of expression and privacy in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.

[Note] This release was not accepted for distribution in the People’s Republic of China. The GNI was asked to delete specific content in the announcement, which the GNI chose to leave intact. The Chinese translation of the release is available here – 全球网络倡议宣布任命新执行董事 (Global Network Initiative Announces New Executive Director) [PDF].