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UNU/UNESCO International Conference:
Globalization 2008

Speaker and Presenter Biographies

Herman Batibo

Professor of African Linguistics, University of Botswana

Herman Batibo

Herman M. Batibo is professor of African linguistics at the University of Botswana, South Africa. In recent years, his main interest has been the study of minority languages, with a special focus on the problems of marginalization, endangerment and shift. He has carried out extensive sociolinguistic fieldwork in eastern and southern Africa, particularly in Tanzania and Botswana. His major preoccupation has been how to empower the minority language speakers to safeguard their languages. He is involved in the documentation of critically endangered languages so as to preserve their linguistic data. His major publications include Language Decline and Death in Africa: Causes, Consequences and Challenges (2005), Botswana: The Future of Minority Languages (edited with B. Smieja, 2000), The State of Khoesan Languages in Botswana (edited with J. Tsonope, 2000), The Role of Language in the Discovery of Cultural History (1996) and Le kesukuma, langue bantu de Tanzanie: phonologie et morphologie (1985).


Janet Blake

Senior Lecturer, University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran

Janet Blake

Janet Blake is a specialist in international cultural heritage law and senior lecturer in law in the Centre and Chair for Human Rights, Peace and Democracy at the University of Shahid Beheshti (Tehran). She held a Leverhulme Research Fellowship in law at the University of Glasgow from 1996-1998, during which she worked on the links between cultural heritage protection, cultural identity and cultural rights. In 2000, she prepared a feasibility study for UNESCO on developing a standard-setting instrument for intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and acted as rapporteur for the Restricted Drafting Group for UNESCO’s 2003 convention. She has published two books on the 2003 convention and on safeguarding ICH. More recently, she has completed a study for UNESCO on the international legal framework for safeguarding indigenous and endangered languages that was presented to the executive board for consideration in April 2008. She was also the keynote speaker at the launch of the International Year of Languages (2008) held on International Mother Language Day at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.


Marcel Diki-Kidiri

Senior Researcher, National Centre for Linguistic Research

Marcel Diki-Kidiri

Marcel Diki-Kidiri is a linguist from the Central African Republic. He holds a PhD from Paris III University, an HDR at the National Institute of Oriental studies (INALCO) and is a researcher at Llacan, a French research team dedicated to African languages. He has authored several books and papers on Sango, the national and official language of the Central African Republic, dealing with its description, promotion and development. His main interest lies in the field of cultural terminology, African languages’ modernization and development, language planning and language policy in multilingual environments. He was awarded the Chevalier des Palmes Académiques distinction by the Central African Republic. He is an associated member of the Malagasy Academy of Science, Philosophy and Arts.

Diki-Kidiri is a member of the Francophone International Network for Language Planning (Réseau international francophone d’aménagement linguistique) and has organized yearly workshops on terminology and computer processing of African languages, covering about twenty French-speaking countries. He is also a founding member of Maaya, a world network for promoting language diversity. He is recognized as an independent expert by the International Criminal Court at The Hague and is often called upon as an expert by a variety of international organizations, such as UNESCO, Organisation International de la Francophonie (OIF), Union Latine and the African Academy of Languages.


Paulin Djité

Sociolinguist, University of Western Sydney

Paulin Djité

Paulin Djité is associate professor of sociolinguistics, translation and interpreting and French in the School of Humanities and Languages at the University of Western Sydney. He acts as an adviser for many international organizations on education, translation and interpreting and has published extensively in the area of sociolinguistics. His books include The Language Difference (in press), The Sociolinguistics of Development in Africa (Multilingual Matters, 2008), From Language Policy to Language Planning (NLLIA, 1994) and Voir l’Amérique et mourir (Académie Européenne du Livre, 1992). He holds a number of titles and honours, including the Médaille d’Or de la Jeunesse et des Sports (France), the Certificate of Olympic Merit (IOC) and the title of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (France). He is a member of the editorial boards of Current Issues in Language Planning, Language Problems & Language Planning, and Afrique Compétences.


Hans d’Orville

Assistant Director-General for Strategic Planning, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, (UNESCO)

Hans d'Orville

Hans d’Orville was appointed assistant director-general for strategic planning of UNESCO in October 2007. Prior to joining UNESCO in 2000 as director of its Bureau of Strategic Planning, he served as director of information technologies for the Development Programme, Bureau for Development Policy of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Since 1975, he has held a variety of posts in the United Nations Secretariat and at UNDP. From 1987 to 1995, he served as executive coordinator of the InterAction Council of Former Heads of State and Government.

He is a member of the executive committee, Africa Leadership Forum, and was advisor to the Independent Commission of Population and Quality of Life and the Independent Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development. He holds an MA and a PhD in economics from the University of Konstanz (Germany).


Anthony Jukes

Research Associate, Endangered Languages Academic Programme, School of Oriental and African Studies, United Kingdom

Anthony Jukes

Anthony Jukes is research associate of the Endangered Languages Academic Programme at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He has conducted linguistic research at the postgraduate level on Makassarese, a language with about 2 million speakers located in South Sulawesi, Indonesia. His PhD thesis (University of Melbourne, 2006) is a reference grammar of Makassarese, with special attention to the literary genre contained in manuscripts written in an obsolete local script.

Between 2005 and 2007 he was a post-doctoral research fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies, supported by the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme. His research project was to document and describe Toratán (Ratahan), an endangered language spoken by about 150 people in a handful of villages located in North Sulawesi, Indonesia. The main goal was to create a digital corpus of annotated recordings, hosted at the Endangered Languages Archive. He is currently working on a dictionary of the language.


Gregory Kamwendo

Associate Professor of Language Education and Head, Department of Languages and Social Sciences Education, University of Botswana

Gregory Kamwendo

Gregory Kamwendo is associate professor of language education and head of the Department of Languages and Social Sciences Education at the University of Botswana. Prior to joining the University of Botswana, he lectured in the Department of English at the University of Malawi, and later became senior research fellow and deputy director of the Centre for Language Studies at the same university. He holds a bachelor of education degree (University of Malawi), an MA in language studies (Lancaster University) and a PhD (Helsinki University, Finland). His research interests cover areas such as sociolinguistics, educational linguistics, language policy and language planning. He has published widely on these areas in journals such as Language Policy, International Journal of the Sociology of Language, English Today, Southern African Review of Education, and Language Matters.


Joseph Lo Bianco

Professor of Language and Literacy Education, University of Melbourne, Australia

Joseph Lo Bianco

Joseph Lo Bianco holds the Chair of Language and Literacy Education at the University of Melbourne and is also associate dean (international) of the Graduate School of Education. He is honorary professor in language education at the University of Hong Kong.

He was the author of Australia’s first National Policy on Languages in 1987 and director of the National Languages and Literacy Institute of Australia between 1989 and 2001. He has been an invited consultant advising on language and literacy planning, bilingualism, integration of indigenous and immigrant children into mainstream schools, anti-racist and multicultural education in many countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Thailand, Italy, Vietnam, several Pacific Island nations, and in several parts of the UK, especially Scotland.

His recent books include: Teaching Invisible Culture: Classroom Practice and Theory (with C. Crozet, 2003) and Language Policy in Australia, (Council of Europe, 2004), as well as a special issue of the international journal Language Policy entitled “The Emergence of Chinese“ (2007). At present, he has in preparation a book on English and identity in China, a book on intercultural perspectives in education, and a publication on the role languages play in conflict, tension, social disruption and war. He has more than 120 refereed publications.


Ana Luiza Machado

Deputy Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO

Ana Luiza Machado

Ana Luiza Machado is a Brazilian citizen. She served as director of UNESCO’s Regional Bureau of Education for Latin America and the Caribbean and concurrently as the UNESCO representative in Chile from March 1997 until December 2006, when she became the organization’s deputy assistant director-general for education programme management.

She completed post-graduate studies in business administration at the Joao Pinheiro Foundation in a joint program between Columbia University (USA) and FUMEC (Brazil). She was assistant state secretary of education (1991-1993) and state secretary of education (1993 to 1996) of the state of Minas Gerais, during which time a successful education reform was implemented. In January 1995, she was elected president of the Brazilian National Council of State Secretaries of Education (CONSED), a post she held until December 1996.

She has worked as a planning and research specialist at the João Pinheiro Foundation (Brazil) and as an organizational development consultant in both the public and private sectors. She has also written numerous articles that have been published in major newspapers, specialized journals, and books related to education.


Koïchiro Matsuura

Director-General, UNESCO

Koïchiro Matsuura

Koïchiro Matsuura began his diplomatic career with a posting to Ghana in 1961 covering ten West African countries, leading to a lifelong passion for the cultures and people of Africa. He worked in development cooperation throughout his career, and in political affairs with a focus on North America. In the 1970s he served as counsellor at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC, and later as consul general in Hong Kong. As deputy minister for foreign affairs from 1992 to 1994, he was Japan’s Sherpa for the G-7 Summit. In 1999, while serving as Japan’s ambassador to France and chairing UNESCO’s flagship World Heritage Committee, he was elected by member states to his first term as director-general of UNESCO. After a first term marked by programme and reform accomplishments, as well as the addition of new countries, including the United States, to membership in UNESCO, he was re-elected to a second term in October 2005. He has authored books in Japanese, English and French on UNESCO, international relations, the intersection between diplomacy and development cooperation, Japan-US relations, Japan-France relations, and a history of the G-7 Summit.


Stephen May

Professor and Chair of Language and Literacy Education, University of Waikato, New Zealand

Stephen May

Stephen May is foundation professor and chair of language education, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand and a senior research fellow in the Centre for the Study of Ethnicity and Citizenship, Sociology Department, University of Bristol, UK. In 2008, he was also a Fulbright senior scholar at Arizona State University, City University New York (CUNY), and Teachers College, Columbia University.

He has published extensively in the broad area of language, education and diversity, and multiculturalism, with a particular focus on language rights, language education, and critical multiculturalism. Recent key books include: Critical Multiculturalism: rethinking multicultural and antiracist education (1999; Routledge/Falmer) Ethnicity, Nationalism and Minority Rights (2004; Cambridge University Press), and Language and Minority Rights (2008; Routledge).

He is also the editor of Volume 1, Language Policy and Political Issues in Education, of the 2nd edition of the Encyclopedia of Language and Education (Springer; 2008) and the founding editor of the interdisciplinary journal, Ethnicities (Sage).


Gabriele Mazza

Director for School, Out-of-School, Higher Education and Languages, Council of Europe

Gabriele Mazza

After studying political science, sociology and social psychology in Italy and the US and working as a university teacher and consultant, Gabriele Mazza began working at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in 1973. His previous positions include secretary to the Conference of Ministers for Youth, acting director of the European Youth Centre, secretary to the Conference of Ministers of Culture, head of the Cultural Policy and Action Department and head of the Higher Education and Research Department. He currently supervises the work of the Standing Conference of European Ministers of Education.

His achievements include launching, managing or supervising pan-European programmes and targeted assistance activities on education for democratic citizenship and human rights, history teaching, life-long learning, educational technologies, cultural rights, education of Roma children, European studies and social sciences in higher education, religion in intercultural education, cultural dynamics and regional development, national cultural policies, arts in education, culture and new technologies, language policies and education, and computational linguistics.

Today he is the director of School, Out-of-School and Higher Education. He coordinates the educational mission of the Council of Europe in 47 countries. His work involves consultation, policy formation, and strengthening educational institutions. He is internationally known for his leadership in the reconstruction of the education system in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he acted as co-chair of the first Conference of Ministers of Education of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and was personally involved in brokering political agreements between Bosnian Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks in such matters as cultural rights, university reform, primary/secondary legislation and curriculum reform, teacher training, as well as democratic citizenship and human rights education.


Yoshiki Mikami

Professor of Management and Information Systems Engineering, and Coordinator of the Language Observatory Project, Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan

Yoshiki Mikami

Born in Tokyo in 1952, Yoshiki Mikami received a BEng (Mathematical Engineering) from the University of Tokyo and a PhD from the Graduate School of Media and Governance, Keio University. He joined the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI, current METI) in 1975 and has held senior positions such as director for IT standards and director for information policy. After serving the ministry for 22 year, he moved to academia and has been a professor at Nagaoka University of Technology since 1997. He teaches ICT policy, technology management, and the history of Japanese industrial development, among other subjects. His research interests include measurement and evaluation of multilingualism in cyberspace, language resource development, design of ICT policy review indicators, among others. He has initiated several publicly funded international projects, such as the Language Observatory Project, the Asian Language Resource Network Project and Country Domain Governance Project. He is a member of the executive committee of Maaya (World Network for Linguistic Diversity).


Osahito Miyaoka

Professor of Linguistics, Osaka Gakuin University

Osahito Miyaoka

Osahito Miyaoka was born in Kobe, Japan, in 1936. His work has focused on (Central) Alaskan Yupik since 1967, specifically linguistic documentation, practical orthography, native teacher training and teaching materials. This research was undertaken while he held teaching positions in the Department of Linguistics at Kyoto University, Hokkaido University, and the University of Alaska, among others. He was the project director of Endangered Languages of the Pacific Rim (1999-2004) under the Grant-in Aid for Scientific Research on Priority Areas [Tokutei-ryouiki-kenkyuu] sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.

He is currently a visiting scientist at the Max Planck Institute, Leipzig, while working to finalize a comprehensive grammar of Yupik in Alaska. He has published both in English and Japanese on various aspects of Yupik and on language endangerment. Recent publications include: Linguistic Diversity in Decline — A Functional View, in The Vanishing Languages of the Pacific Rim, Eds., Miyaoka, Sakiyama and Krauss (Oxford University Press, 2007).

We regret to announce that Professor Miyaoka cannot attend the conference. However, his presentation will still be delivered by the moderator of the session he was to attend.


Ajit Mohanty

Professor of Psychology and Chairperson, Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

Ajit Mohanty

Currently a professor in Jawaharlal Nehru University, Ajit Mohanty was a Fulbright senior scholar (University of Wisconsin, Madison), Killam scholar (University of Alberta), senior fellow (Central Institute of Indian Languages) and Fulbright visiting professor (Columbia University). He has been a professor since 1983, chairperson at the Centre of Advanced Study in Psychology, Utkal University, and president of the National Academy of Psychology, India. He has published on psycholinguistics and multilingualism focusing on education, poverty and disadvantage among linguistic minorities. His books include Bilingualism in a Multilingual Society and Psychology of Poverty and Disadvantage. He is on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Multilingualism and Language Policy. He was a keynote speaker at the International Congress of Applied Psychology, Madrid (1994), International Conference on Multilingualism, South Africa (2004) and plenary speaker at the International Conference on Third Language Acquisition and Multilingualism (2007, Stirling, Scotland), and organized the International Conference on Multilingual Education (Delhi, 2008).


Victor Montejo

Professor, Department of Native American Studies, University of California, Davis

Victor Montejo

Victor Montejo holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of Connecticut. He completed his postdoctoral studies at the University of California, Davis in 1994, prior to assuming a position as assistant professor in the Department of Sociology/Anthropology at Bucknell University. He was a Fulbright scholar at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, Central America, in 2003. Prior to his appointment as professor in the Department of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis, in 2008, he served a four-year term as congressman in the Guatemalan National Congress. Victor Montejo is fluent in English, Jakaltek and Qanjobal, and is in the process of learning Mam Maya.


Konrad Osterwalder

Rector, United Nations University; Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

Konrad Osterwalder

Appointed as the fifth rector on 1 September 2007. Holds a PhD in theoretical physics from ETH Zurich in 1970, where he was rector from 1995 to 2007 and professor in mathematical physics from 1977 to 2007. Before that he was for 7 years on the faculty of Harvard University. He is a member of the Swiss Academy of Technical Sciences and he holds an honorary degree from the Technical University in Helsinki.

He served as vice-president of the Conference of Rectors of Swiss Universities, as chair of the University Council of Darmstadt University and as president of the Conference of European Schools of Advanced Engineering Education and Research.


Nicholas Ostler

Chairman, Foundation for Endangered Languages, United Kingdom

Nicholas Ostler

Nicholas Ostler is the chairman of the Foundation for Endangered Languages (www.ogmios.org), an independent charitable membership organization, with a regular newsletter, Ogmios. He and the foundation are based in Bath, England. Since its inception in 1996, the foundation has organized 11 conferences (10 with published proceedings) and has awarded 61 grants for work with endangered languages totalling $52,500. He is the author of Empires of the Word, a language history of the world (2005), and Ad Infinitum, a biography of Latin (2007). He has worked for 26 years as a consultant to government and industry in language technology, as a researcher on the Chibchan languages of South America, and as a lecturer on linguistics and language history. He holds a linguistics PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1979) and a BA in Classics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Oxford (1975).


Govindan Parayil

Vice-Rector, United Nations University

Govindan Parayil

Professor Govindan Parayil joined the United Nations University as vice-rector on 29 July 2008. Prior to joining the UNU, he was professor of science, technology and innovation at the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture at the University of Oslo, Norway (2004-2008), where he also served concurrently (2005-2007) as research director and leader of the Innovation Group. Before that he was on the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore, as a faculty member and head of the Information and Communications Management Programme (2001-04). He also served on the faculty of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (1994-2001). His previous academic affiliations include Cornell University, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University. He holds a PhD in science and technology studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, an MS in science, technology and values from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an MA in development economics from the American University, and a BSc in electrical engineering from the University of Calicut, India.


Sonia Parayre

Co-Secretary of the Committee of Experts to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, Council of Europe

Sonia Parayre

Sonia Parayre, a French lawyer, has been a Council of Europe staff member since 2000 and is presently working as the co-secretary of the Committee of Experts to the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. She has previously worked in the Directorate General of Legal Affairs, the Directorate General of Human Rights, the Committee of Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly and was deputy head of the Secretariat Office in Kosovo. Before joining the Council of Europe, she worked as a lecturer in public law in law faculties in Paris, notably the Sorbonne, and was a research assistant in international law at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales of Paris. She has lectured in several universities in Europe and has published regularly in international law and human rights law.


Adama Samassékou

Executive Secretary ad int. of the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN), and President of Maaya Network

Adama Samassékou

Adama Samassékou is currently the executive secretary ad int. of the African Academy of Languages. Between July 2002 and December 2003, he served as the president of the PrepCom of the Geneva phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Previously, he was Malian minister of education (1993-2000) and spokesperson for the Government of Mali (1997-2000). A member of the Haut Conseil de la Francophonie from 2003 to 2006, he is today a member of the Bureau of the International Union of Academies (IUA) and vice-president of the International Council for Philosophy and Humanistic Studies.

He is the founding chairman of ADEMA-France and the founding chairman of the Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights Education, in association with PDHRE. Since October 2005, he has been president of the Federation of ICVolunteers. Since February 2006 he has served as president of Maaya (World Network for Linguistic Diversity).

He holds an MA in philology and linguistics from Lomonossov State University in Moscow, a DEA postgraduate diploma in African linguistics from the Sorbonne and a DESS specialist postgraduate diploma in organizational science from the Université de Paris-IX (Dauphine). He was head of the Linguistic Department of the Institut des Sciences Humaines of Mali, then director of the National Library of Mali and adviser to the minister in charge of culture.

He speaks fluently Bamanankan (Bambara), Songay (Songhay), Fulfulde (Peul), French, Russian and English.


Breann Yoshiko Swann

Licensed Attorney and Practitioner of Indian Law and Labor and Employment Law; Tribal Policy, Law & Government LL.M. Program, Arizona State University

Breann Yoshiko Swann

Breann Yoshiko Swann is a licensed attorney practicing in the areas of federal Indian law and labor and employment law. She currently works for the Office of the General Counsel of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, where she provides strategic advice and counsel regarding various aspects of tribal governance. Her work with the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community focuses primarily on tribal labor and employment matters and the development of tribal ordinances and policies. Building upon her practical legal experience, she has concentrated her recent scholarship on the social and political ramifications of language policies and practices in the workplace. She received her JD from the University of Southern California and her BA from Yale University. She will receive her LLM in tribal policy, law and government from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in May 2009. Prior to entering the field of Indian law, she was a practitioner of labor and employment law in the Los Angeles office of Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP.


Wanna Tienmee

Director, Foundation for Applied Linguistics in Thailand

Wannna Tienmee

Wanna Tienmee is the president of the Foundation for Applied Linguistics, a local non-profitable non-governmental organization in Thailand. Since 2006, she has taken an active role in supporting mother tongue-based multilingual education (MLE) in Thailand. She is currently leading a project called “Supporting MLE in Ethnic Minority Communities in Thailand,” supported by the Pestalozzi Children Foundation of Switzerland with a focus on the Pwo Karen and Mon language communities. She also works as an MLE consultant with the Thai Ministry of Education and with SIL International in supporting MLE in both the formal and non-formal education systems and with Mahidol University on a mother tongue–based MLE project in the southern provinces.

In addition to her work in MLE, she is an academic member of the Thai Royal Institute. She retains her academic title from her prior position with the Institute of Language and Culture for Rural Development, Mahidol University and with the Linguistics Department, Kasetsart University. She also has seven years experience in administration, academia and teaching in Thai and international schools.

She received her MPhil in linguistics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in England in 1979, and was a PhD candidate in linguistics at the University College (UCL), University of London.


Barbara Trudell

Africa Area Academic Director, SIL International, Kenya

Barbara Trudell

Barbara Trudell has been involved with local language development, literacy and advocacy since 1982, in both South America and sub-Saharan Africa. She holds a PhD in international education from the University of Edinburgh, and has taught at graduate and undergraduate levels in both the United States and Great Britain. She is currently SIL International’s director of academic affairs for Africa region. Her recent research and publications have focused on language policy and implementation, local-language use and sustainable development, the use of African languages in formal and non-formal learning contexts, and community-level processes of language development.


Hannah Vari-Bogiri

Lecturer, School of Languages and Media, University of the South Pacific

Hannah Vari-Bogiri

Hannah Vari-Bogiri, a Ni-Vanuatu, is a lecturer in the Pacific Languages Unit of the University of the South Pacific. She was a secondary school teacher of English as a second language (ESL) and French as a foreign language (FFL) before joining the university. She holds a BA in languages, a PDip in linguistics and MEd (Hons) in education and is currently doing a PhD in linguistics. She is a member of the National Language Council of Vanuatu and the national coordinator for the UNESCO project on the Documentation, Preservation, Promotion and Revitalization of Endangered Languages in Vanuatu.


Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

Former President, Republic of Iceland; UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Languages

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was born in Reykjavík, Iceland and educated in France, Denmark and Iceland. She is known for her teaching and cultural leadership and directed the City Theatre of Reykjavík until she was elected president of the Republic of Iceland. She was the first woman in the world to be elected head of state by universal suffrage. She is a dedicated spokesperson for the fight against desertification and for reforestation, for which she received the CERES Medal from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) in 1997. She is a strong advocate for every field of cultural endeavour and was the first chair of COMEST, UNESCO’s Commission for Ethics in Science and Technology, from 1998 to 2002. Since 1997 she has been a UNESCO goodwill ambassador for languages.


Olabiyi Babalola Joseph Yaï

Chairman, Executive Board, UNESCO; Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Benin to UNESCO

Olabiyi Babalola Joseph Yaï

Olabiyi Babalola Joseph Yaï was elected on Monday, 5 November 2007, as chairman of UNESCO’s executive board.

At the time of his election he was ambassador and permanent delegate of Benin to UNESCO, a member of the Executive Board of UNESCO and former chair of the Finance and Administrative Commission of the executive board.

During his mandate as ambassador, he was a member of the World Heritage Committee, the Committee of the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture (IFPC), the International Scientific Committee of the Slave Route Project, the Board of Trustees of the Africa World Heritage Fund (AWHFD), president of the Culture Commission of UNESCO G77 (Commission IV, Culture, of the 32nd Session of the General Conference, 2003), vice-chair of UNESCO’s executive board (2001-2003) and a juror for the designation of Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage as well as for the Melina Mercouri and Simón Bolívar Prizes.

Before his appointment as ambassador, he was a consultant for culture and language policy in Benin, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Togo and Mozambique in the 1970s and 1980s. He taught as professor at the Universities of Benin, Ibadan and Ife (Nigeria) and Florida (USA).

He holds a BA from the University of the Sorbonne (France) and a post-graduate diploma in linguistics from the University of Ibadan (Nigeria).


Rapporteurs

Mauro Rosi

Programme Specialist, Creative Industries for Development Section, UNESCO

MAURO ROSI

Mauro Rosi joined UNESCO in 1990. He is currently in charge of several projects that focus on book development, training on book publishing, book donation, and multilingualism. He also manages the Index Translationum, the world’s bibliography of translations, and is the manager of the Intersectoral Platform for Languages and Multilingualism within UNESCO’s Secretariat. He has worked on several international editorial projects for UNESCO, including the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works, which aims at identifying, translating and publishing the great literary masterpieces of humanity.

Before joining UNESCO, he worked as a journalist for several independent newspapers and as a communication officer in the private sector, namely in the field of aerospace and telecommunications. He has an MA in theoretical philosophy.


Russ Russell-Rivoallan

Programme Specialist, Office of the Assistant Director-General for Strategic Planning, UNESCO

Russ Russell-Rivoallan

Russ Russell-Rivoallan began working at UNESCO 12 years ago in the Culture of Peace Co-ordination Unit. Since then, he has acted as deputy secretary of the Programme and External Relations Commission of the General Conference, secretary of the Special Committee of the Executive Board, personal assistant to the president of the General Conference (32nd Session) and personal assistant to the chairman of the executive board (2006-2007). He is currently the focal point for the Social and Human Sciences Sector within the Office of the Assistant Director-General for Strategic Planning. He holds an MA in international public policy from the University of Southampton and is an ancien auditeur of France’s Institut des Hautes Études de la Défense Nationale.


Clare Stark

Assistant Programme Specialist, Office of the Assistant Director-General for Strategic Planning, UNESCO

Clare Stark

Clare Stark joined UNESCO in 2005. She is responsible for coordinating and implementing activities both within UNESCO and with UN system partners and civil society organizations (pertaining to the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World, 2001-2010, for which UNESCO is the lead agency), monitoring and reporting on UNESCO’s activities to implement the Brussels Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries, contributing to the preparation of UNESCO’s medium-term strategy and the biennial programme and budget, monitoring the implementation of the approved programme, and assisting the assistant director-general of BSP with the development of various strategy documents.

Before jointing UNESCO, she worked with nongovernmental organizations on issues related to environmental conservation and human rights. She holds an MA in international environmental policy from the Monterey Institute of International Relations (Monterey, California).


Nicholas Turner

Research Assistant, Peace and Governance Programme, United Nations University

Nicholas Turner

Nicholas Turner completed his MA in international relations at the University of Kent in the UK. He has worked for local government and charities in the UK, and also at the NES Study Abroad Centre in Tokyo as chief of European affairs. His specific research interests lie in human rights and ethics, focusing in particular on just war theory, the universalism/cultural relativism debate, and the responsibility to protect.


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Page last modified 2011.06.07.




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