The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dele Olojede, a Pulitzer Prize winner and former foreign editor of New York Newsday, as the inaugural chairman of its newly established international Advisory Council. The Council will help extend the reach of GNI and deepen our collective understanding of the challenges around protecting and advancing freedom of expression and privacy online around the world.

We are very fortunate to have Dele in this role. He brings a wealth of experience with three decades as a correspondent on three continents, as a frequent speaker on good governance and the open society and as a fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Dele is currently the publisher and CEO of NEXT, which deploys old and new media to provide news and informed opinion to Nigeria and the African world.

“I am honored and excited by this opportunity to help forge a global partnership among various stakeholders to protect and promote freedom of expression and online privacy,” said Olojede. “GNI’s Advisory Council presents a significant platform to help promote these values, even as governments around the world struggle with finding an appropriate balance between online privacy and legitimate security concerns.”

Jermyn Brooks, GNI’s recently appointed independent Board chair said “events this year have shown the relevance of GNI’s work to so many parts of the world. Dele will bring invaluable expertise and reach especially in developing markets around the world – in Asia and Africa in particular – where massive increases in mobile access and online connectivity are creating huge opportunities – along with daunting new challenges. We greatly look forward to working with him and building the Advisory Council”.

Colin Maclay, a member of GNI’s Board and Managing Director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard said “I can think of no better person to lead us on this front. Dele has demonstrated understanding of and commitment to free expression and privacy as tools for social change and has a deep personal appreciate of the diverse perspectives of GNI’s membership and stakeholders”.

Announcements of additional Advisory Council members will be made in the coming months.