In recent months, censorship and privacy issues have been making headlines around the globe.  With censorship issues in China, the use social media during the protests in Iran, and hearings on the issues of privacy and freedom of expression in the U.S. Congress, censorship and privacy have become hot button issues in today’s increasingly connected world. The Global Network Initiative (GNI), a diverse coalition of technology companies, human rights groups, academics and investors, works to protect core values of privacy and freedom of expression in the face of increasing restrictions imposed on the information and communications technology (ICT) industry.

As the GNI continues to develop and grow, it is seeking an Independent Chair of the Board of Directors.  The Independent Chair will serve as the public voice of the Global Network Initiative, working with the Board and Executive Director to help shape strategy, build consensus among founding members, attract new members and new funding sources, and work to establish the Global Network Initiative as the global standard by which respect for the human rights of free expression and privacy in the ICT industry can be measured. The right candidate will have vision and integrity; expertise in corporate accountability, advocacy and human rights; a willingness to challenge the status quo; and a passion to promote transparency and accountability in the ICT industry.

Interested candidates should contact the GNI at [email protected] (Subject line: Independent Chair).

Independent Chair of the Board of Directors

Global Network Initiative
Protecting and Advancing Freedom of Expression and Privacy in Information and Communications Technologies

The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is seeking an Independent Chair of the Board of Directors to work with the GNI Board and the GNI Executive Director and serve as one of the leaders, ambassadors, advocates and communicators for a new multi-stakeholder organization dedicated to protecting and advancing the human rights of freedom of expression and privacy in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector.

About the Global Network Initiative: The GNI was launched on October 29, 2008 when a diverse coalition of companies, human rights organizations, academics, investors and technology leaders published new Principles on Freedom of Expression and Privacy, accompanied by Implementation Guidelines and a Governance, Accountability and Learning Framework. More information about the Initiative can be found at

Independent Chair Position: The Independent Chair will serve the GNI’s Board of Directors, work closely with the Executive Director, and will be responsible for forging consensus on a strategic vision for the expansion and development of the organization and communicating its vision externally.

Responsibilities: Primary responsibilities of the Independent Chair will be:

  • Articulating a vision for the organization that synthesizes diverse perspectives of Board members;
  • Interaction with key external organizations and assisting the Executive Director with outreach, membership and fundraising;
  • Representing the GNI Board of Directors in public, for example, in statements in the GNI Annual Report or at public GNI meetings, media appearances, liaising with key stakeholders, and meeting with senior government officials;
  • Ensuring that the GNI’s governance processes are adhered to;
  • Chairing meetings of the Board of Directors and building consensus among Board members;
  • Providing direction and strategic support to the Executive Director

Qualifications: The Independent Chair position is designed for candidates with significant relevant experience. An ideal candidate would have:

  • A demonstrated commitment to the goals of the GNI;
  • Experience leading or working with multi-stakeholder initiatives or projects;
  • Knowledge of the ICT industry;
  • International prominence related to business, corporate responsibility and human rights;
  • A strong reputation as trustworthy, fair and able to balance the interests of different constituents;
  • Demonstrated leadership, management and organizational skills;
  • A collaborative and consensus building working style;
  • Superior verbal and writing skills;
  • Fluency in English and, ideally, at least one other language.
  • Capacity to demonstrate independence necessary to lead a multi-stakeholder initiative

Time Commitment: The time commitment expected from the Independent Chair will be approximately 4-5 days per month. The Independent Chair will serve for a three-year term, renewable once (maximum of six years).

This position represents a significant opportunity for the right individual to work with global leaders to shape the approach that ICT companies and their stakeholders will take to issues of freedom of expression and privacy in years to come.

Interested candidates should contact the GNI at [email protected] (Subject line: Independent Chair).