Member states of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have elected Doreen Bogdan-Martin of the US as the organisation’s next secretary-general.
Bogdan-Martin will be the first woman to lead ITU, which was established in 1865 and became a United Nations specialised agency in 1947.
The election took place during ITU’s Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-22) in Bucharest, Romania, with representatives of member states voting during the meeting’s morning session. Bogdan-Martin won the position with 139 votes, out of 172 votes cast.
Bogdan-Martin said: “whether it’s today’s children or our children’s children, we need to provide them with a strong and stable foundation for growth.
“The world is facing significant challenges – escalating conflicts, a climate crisis, food security, gender inequalities, and 2.7 billion people with no access to the internet. I believe we, the ITU and our members, have an opportunity to make a transformational contribution. Continuous innovation can and will be a key enabler to facilitate resolution of many of these issues”.
Bogdan-Martin has held leadership positions in international telecommunications policy for over two decades. Throughout her career, she has brokered innovative and visionary partnerships with the private sector, civil society, and other United Nations agencies to accelerate digital inclusion and connectivity.
She will begin her four-year term as ITU secretary-general on January 1, 2023 and has pledged “to continue driving this institution to be innovative and increasingly relevant for our member states, better positioning all of us to embrace the digital environment and make progress on achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals and connecting the unconnected”.