The members of the International Fund’s inaugural Board-elect are listed below. Their broad range of expertise and deep experience in the media and international development sectors will help to shape IFPIM’s strategic priorities and direction through its first fully operational phase.
Maria Ressa is the co-founder, CEO and President of Rappler, the digital news site in the Philippines known for its hard-hitting investigative journalism.
A journalist in Asia for more than 35 years, she has endured political harassment and arrests, and been forced to post bail ten times to continue her work. Awarding her the Unesco/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize in April 2021, the jury said: “Maria Ressa’s unerring fight for freedom of expression is an example for many journalists around the world. Her case is emblematic of global trends that represent a real threat to press freedom, and therefore to democracy.”
For her work on disinformation and fake news, Ms. Ressa was named Time magazine’s 2018 Person of the Year and has received many other international awards. Before founding Rappler, Ms. Ressa focused on investigating terrorism in Southeast Asia, running CNN’s Manila bureau for nearly a decade, followed by the Jakarta bureau from 1995 to 2005. She wrote “Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of Al Qaeda’s Newest Center of Operations in Southeast Asia,” published in 2003; and “From Bin Laden to Facebook: 10 Days of Abduction, 10 Years of Terrorism,” published in 2013.
Mark Thompson is Chairman of Ancestry.com, an advisor to the Supervisory Board of Axel Springer SE and a Trustee of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
He stepped down as President & CEO at The New York Times Company in the summer of 2020 after an eight-year tenure in which the 170-year-old news brand was transformed into a digital powerhouse. Digital subscribers jumped to nearly six million, up from half a million when he joined, while digital revenues topped $450 million at the end of 2019.
Mr. Thompson’s appointment at The New York Times Company followed an eight-year term as Director General of the BBC. He is widely credited with expanding the BBC’s digital reach and overseeing development of the BBC iPlayer.
He joined the BBC from Channel 4 where he was Chief Executive from 2002 to 2004. Before Channel 4 he held a series of senior posts at the BBC including Director of Television. His BBC career began as production trainee. He went on to edit several news programmes including The Nine O’clock News and Panorama before becoming Controller of BBC Two.
His book, “Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics?” was published in the UK and US in September 2016.
Gina Chua is executive editor of the digital media start-up Semafor. Chua has extensive experience leading newsrooms, having recently served as the executive editor of Reuters and previously as editor-in-chief of the South China Morning Post and The Asian Wall Street Journal.
Pascal Lamy is president of the Paris Peace Forum, former European commissioner for trade, director general of the World Trade Organization, and president of the Jacques Delors Institute.
Nanjala Nyabola is the founder of the Kiswahili Digital Rights Project, member of the United Nations secretary general’s High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism, and founding member of the Africa Digital Rights Network.
Julie Posetti is a multi-award-winning Australian journalist and deputy vice president and global director of research at the International Center for Journalists, where she leads a team producing critical research on the contemporary crises and opportunities within the field of journalism.