WASHINGTON, DC – The Global Network Initiative (GNI) is pleased to announce an exciting transition in organizational leadership. Judith Lichtenberg, who has served admirably as Executive Director since 2015, will move on from her role as of the end of June. The Board unanimously appointed Jason Pielemeier, who previously served as GNI’s Deputy Director and Policy Director, as its new Executive Director

“Judith has led the Global Network Initiative through a period of tremendous and dynamic growth. Her commitment to expanding GNI’s membership and impact will leave an enduring legacy. We are immensely grateful for her leadership over the last seven years,” said GNI Board Chair David Kaye. 

Under Ms. Licthenberg’s leadership, GNI’s size and influence grew significantly. Since she assumed her position, GNI has added over fifty new members, including a significant expansion across the ICT sector with fourteen new companies and significant growth in non-company membership beyond the U.S. and Europe. Most recently MTN, Africa’s largest mobile network operator, and Frontiir, a key Internet operator in Myanmar, have joined for full membership. Under her leadership, GNI developed a detailed toolkit to streamline its assessment process and successfully completed its second and third assessment cycles, putting the GNI Principles into practice to ensure companies are working to protect and advance key digital rights. 

Mr. Pielemeier joins GNI as Executive Director at an exciting moment for the organization and will work to further strengthen GNI and increase its impact. This year, GNI will conduct its fourth and largest assessment cycle, consisting of 11 companies, and continue to welcome new members across all of its constituencies. GNI is also expanding its external impact through participation in various multilateral and multistakeholder processes, and by leading two recently-established Action Coalitions, on Meaningful Transparency (ACT) and Responsible Technology (ART). 

“Jason is a globally recognized expert on the issues at the core of GNI’s mission, including freedom of expression, privacy rights, and the business and human rights landscape,” said Agustina Del Campo, GNI Board Vice Chair. “He has demonstrated tremendous leadership during his five years with GNI. His familiarity with the organization and with the challenges facing members will enable him to help GNI reach new heights. We look forward to seeing where Jason can take the organization.”

“Recent events, ranging from a coup in Myanmar to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have threatened freedom of expression and human rights online and thrown into sharp relief the importance of GNI’s work. At this challenging and critical moment for the ICT sector, I am honored to be taking on the role of Executive Director with GNI. During my time with GNI I’ve witnessed first-hand the importance of GNI’s unique multistakeholder platform and I look forward to working with our members to expand our impact,” stated Mr. Pielemeier.