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Advisory panel

The OII is supported in the management of the Civil Society Practitioners Programme by a distinguished international Advisory Panel. Members of the Panel have been asked to draw on their significant experience to put together a shortlist of candidates from the applications received, before the OII makes the final decision in awarding funds. The Panel will also advise the OII on strategies for future development of the Programme. We are very grateful for their support.

Sunil Abraham

Sunil Abraham founded MAHITI in 1998. MAHITI aims to reduce the cost and complexity of Information and Communication Technology for the Voluntary Sector by using Free Software. Sunil was elected an Ashoka.org fellow in 1999 and a Sarai.net fellow in 2003. Sunil is also a sub-board member of Open Society Institute's Information Programme and the HIV Human Development Resource Network. Between June 2004 and June 2007, Sunil also managed the International Open Source Network serving 42 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. IOSN is a Centre of Excellence for Free / Open Source Software promoted by United Nations Development Programme's Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme.

Peter Armstrong

Peter Armstrong

A senior figure in British broadcasting and global new media, Peter Armstrong worked at the BBC for 20 years. As a producer and Head of Department he founded several path-breaking series in the area of development and human values, including Everyman and Global Report, which won the United Nations Association Peace Prize. In 1983 he started and produced The Domesday Project, the first multimedia initiative of the BBC, involving a million citizens in creating an interactive record of Great Britain. Later he become director of Network Television for the BBC South East Region and in 1986 founded BBC Interactive.

He left the BBC to become a founding Director of Word Pictures, an independent media and television production company, and Chairman of The MultiMedia Corporation, which he floated as a public company.

In 1995, with Anuradha Vittachi, he launched OneWorld, which has grown into a portal, www.oneworld.net, bringing together over 3,400 partner NGO websites worldwide. It focuses on global issues and social justice and is produced by centres in thirteen countries. Within OneWorld he has pioneered a number of cutting edge developments in ICT4D including: OneWorld Radio, OneWorld TV, the Open Knowledge Network, and mobile phone based services for the poorest communities in Africa and India. The latest work focuses on social networking and Second Life initiatives on climate change with www.oneclimate.net.

In 2004 the British Academy for Film and Television Arts awarded him the BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award for his work in interactive multimedia.

Karen Banks

Karen Banks

For nearly 15 years Karen Banks and the APC Women's Networking Support Programme has worked successfully around the globe to bring the use of Information Communication Technologies to underserved women and communities as a tool for women's empowerment, gender equality, social action and positive social change. As the Global Coordinator for APC Women's Networking Support Program, Karen has pioneered the use of ICTs for the empowerment of women around the world. Together they have been at the forefront of the movement to ensure the great potential of ICTs for reducing poverty, overcoming women's isolation, giving women a voice, improving governance and advancing gender equity. Karen and her Network have worked with NGOs, activists, and local ISPs to understand the needs of a particular region's national IT policies and barriers to promoting universal access. In the Philippines, they have worked on intellectual property regimes, media control, and the struggle of communities to access frequency allocations for radios and audiovisual work. In Central and Eastern Europe, Network members have been assessing the media and ICT needs of women in a region often overlooked when it comes to public interest and donor funding. In Latin America the Network is engaged in work with local telecenters and public access centers to ensure that women and men benefit equally in access to and use of public resources.

Susana Finquelievich

Susana Finquelievich

Susana Finquelievich is an Architect, with a Masters in Urban Planning from the Universite Paris VIII, and a Doctorate in Social Sciences from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris. She is a Senior Researcher of CONICET (National Council for Scientific and Technical Research - Argentina) on the social impact of the information revolution and in the Information Society. She is also Director of the Research programme on the Information Society, INFOPOLIS, in the Instituto de Investigaciones Gino Germani, Social Sciences Faculty, at the University of Buenos Aires. Dr Finquelievich was President of the Global Community Networks Partnership (Asociacion Global de Redes Ciudadanas) in 2001-2002, and is Honorary Professor at the Central Queensland University, Australia. She is founding member and President of LINKS (Civil Association for the Development of Information Society) in Argentina. Furthermore, Dr Finquelievich lectures at the University of Buenos Aires, at the Technological Institute of Buenos Aires (ITBA) and at the Walter Benjamin Foundation, amongst others. She is author and co-author of nine books on the information society.

Becky Lentz

Becky Lentz is an Assistant Professor of Media and Public Policy in the Department of Art History & Communications Studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.  She is also affiliated with Media@McGill, the university’s new hub for research, scholarship and public outreach on issues in media, technology and culture. Becky was most recently The Ford Foundation's first program officer for electronic media policy between 2001 to 2007. She joined the Foundation with combined experience in the corporate and non-profit sectors, state and city government where she developed and marketed software, designed and implemented multilingual public information campaigns and directed strategic planning, evaluation, and policy analysis projects related to information technology. During her tenure at Ford, Becky's portfolio contributed more than $20 million to the emerging field of media reform and justice in the U.S. She also funded research examining the role of communications and media studies scholarship in public policy formation, among numerous other topics. Additional grants supported issue advocacy on media diversity and representation, corporate influence on federal regulation, media consolidation, electronic privacy, community radio, and Internet governance. Becky was also instrumental in the evolution of Ford's new international directions on issues of intellectual property and freedom of expression. Her research interests include critical perspectives on the culture of communications regulation; technology and society; the role of philanthropy in the field of information, communication, and technology (ICT) policy; theory-building that advances a human rights framework for media regulation; and civil society engagement in global governance of ICT policies. She has published in such journals as The Information Society, Telecommunications Policy, and Info on a range of topics that include rural telecommunications and economic development, scholarship in the information policy field, and critique of digital divide policy discourse.

Mark Randazzo

Mark Randazzo has worked to promote economic development and social justice for over two decades, focusing on strengthening citizens' movements, civil society organizations and international NGO networks. Mark obtained a Master's degree from the School of Development Studies at the University of East Anglia in England in 1986. Positions held by Mark include Executive Director, JustAct: Youth Action for Global Justice (1997-2001), West Africa Regional Director, Oxfam America (1991-1997), Grants Manager, United Support of Artists for Africa (1987-1990), Canvas Team Leader, Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (1987), Asia/Pacific Assistant Director and Africa Program Advisor for Save the Children (1981-1985) and Teacher/Community Development Worker in the Central African Republic (1977-1980). Mark took over responsibilities as coordinator for the Funders Network on Trade and Globalization (FNTG) in February 2001.

Jackie Smith

Jackie Smith

Jackie Smith teaches sociology and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame's Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. She is known for her research on the transnational dimensions of social movements, exploring the effects of global economic and political integration on the ways people engage in politics. Her most recent books on transnational activism include Social Movements for Global Democracy (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), and a collaborative book, Global Democracy and the World Social Forums (Paradigm Publishers, 2008). She is also author of numerous articles and co-editor of three books on this topic: Coalitions Across Borders: Transnational Protest in a Neoliberal Era (with Joe Bandy); Globalization and Resistance: Transnational Dimensions of Social Movements (with Hank Johnston); and Transnational Social Movements and Global Politics: Solidarity Beyond the State (with Charles Chatfield and Ron Pagnucco).

Ethan Zuckerman

Ethan Zuckerman

Ethan Zuckerman became a fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society (Harvard) in January, 2003. His work at Berkman focuses on the impact of technology on the developing world. His current projects include a study of global media attention, research on the use of weblogs and other social software in the developing world, and work on a clearinghouse for software for international development. In 2000, Ethan founded Geekcorps, a non-profit technology volunteer corps. Geekcorps pairs skilled volunteers from US and European high tech companies with businesses in emerging nations for one to four month volunteer tours. Volunteers have served in 14 nations, completing over a hundred projects, and will serve in Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Vietnam and Morocco in 2004. Geekcorps became a division of the International Executive Service Corps in 2001, where Ethan served as a vice president from 2001-4. Prior to founding Geekcorps, Ethan helped found Tripod, an early pioneer in the web community space. Ethan served as Tripod's first graphic designer and technologist, and later as VP of Business Development and VP of Research and Development. After Tripod's acquisition by Lycos in 1998, Ethan served as General Manager of the Angelfire.com division and as a member of the Lycos mergers and acquisitions team. In 1993, Ethan graduated from Williams College with a BA in Philosophy. In 1993-4, he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Legon, Ghana and the National Theatre of Ghana, studying ethnomusicology and percussion. Ethan was given the 2002 Technology in Service of Humanity Award by MIT's Technology Review Magazine and named to the TR100, TR's list of innovators under the age of 35. Recently, Ethan was named a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum. He lives in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts with his wife Rachel. He serves on the boards of regional and international organizations that focus on technology and education, including on the sub-board of the Open Society Institute's Information Program.