Re: Fwd: [WSIS CS-Plenary] Miriam Nisbet next Director of the Information Society Division at UNESCO

From: Peter Suber <peters_at_EARLHAM.EDU>
Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 12:59:28 -0400

Miriam Nisbet has been a stalwart of the US Open
Access Working Group. This is very good news for UNESCO and OA.

      Peter Suber

At 11:36 AM 5/30/2007, you wrote:
>Hi everyone,
>This information has appeared on another list. Though it is not
>directly related to open access, I think that political changes in
>structures that may have influence on world policies regarding culture
>and access to knowledge could be of interest to members of this list.
>I hope you agree.
>----- Forwarded message from "Dr. Francis MUGUET" <> -----
>Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 00:52:27 +0200
>From: "Dr. Francis MUGUET" <>
>Subject: [WSIS CS-Plenary] Miriam Nisbet next
>Director of the Information Society Division at UNESCO
>To: WSIS Plenary <>
>Dear friends*
>The suspense is out concerning the new
>*Director of the * * Information Society Division *at UNESCO is over.
>The UNESCO director has made his choice since May 11
>but the name was not known...
>It is now almost official, the next director will be ....*
>*Miriam Nisbet*
>/Legistlative Counsel/, Office of Government Relations, American Library
>Miriam Nisbet joined the American Library Association's Washington
>Office as Legislative Counsel in August 1999. She works primarily on
>copyright and other intellectual property issues raised by the digital
>information environment. She also provides advice on law and policy
>concerning access to government information and privacy. In addition,
>Nisbet works closely with ALA's Office for Information Technology Policy
>on issues and projects concerning electronic access to information. She
>speaks frequently on copyright issues and information and access law to
>educational, scholarly, trade and industry, and government groups. Since
>2003, she has represented the library community as a member of the U.S.
>delegation to The Hague Convention on Jurisdiction and Enforcement of
>Judgments. From 1994 to 1999, Nisbet was Special Counsel for Information
>Policy, National Archives and Records Administration. Prior to joining
>the National Archives in 1994, Nisbet had served since 1982 as the
>Deputy Director of the Office of Information and Privacy, U.S.
>Department of Justice. An active member of the American Society of
>Access Professionals (ASAP), Nisbet served as 1995 President of ASAP and
>as a member of its Board of Directors from 1993-96 and from 2000-02. She
>also serves on the Board of Directors of AFFECT, Americans For Fair
>Electronic Commerce Transactions, a broad-based national coalition of
>industry leaders, libraries and consumer organizations dedicated to
>educating the public and policy makers about UCITA, the Uniform Computer
>Information Transactions Act. Nisbet received a BA degree from the
>University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a JD degree from the
>University's School of Law. She is a member of the Bars of the District
>of Columbia and North Carolina. [More...
>for the record, please read the recruitement call below, the requested
>qualification and experience for the position did not seem to correspond
>to a lawyer's profile...
>Main responsibilities *
>Under the authority of the Assistant Director-General for Communication
>and Information, the incumbent of the post will be responsible for the
>planning, implementation and evaluation of the strategy, regular
>programme activities and extrabudgetary projects of the Information
>Society Division in its pursuit to foster the development of policies,
>capacities and tools for universal access to information and knowledge
>for development taking into account /inter alia/ the decision of the
>World Summit on the Information Society.
>This will include providing intellectual, strategic and operational
>leadership of the Information Society Division; serving as the Secretary
>of the Intergovernmental Council for the Information for All Programme,
>ensuring the management of the staff of the Information Society Division
>and establishing appropriate communication procedures, and information
>and knowledge management structures of the Information Society Division,
>including providing intellectual and strategic leadership for the
>development of the web services of the Communication and Information
>The incumbent will work closely with Member States, United Nations
>agencies, regional and international intergovernmental and
>non-governmental organizations, universities, research centres, the
>private sector and other relevant institutions. He/she will also
>collaborate closely with UNESCO's Advisers for Communication and
>Information in its various Field Offices and with the Organization's
>other programme sectors to ensure consistent strategy and action
>regarding information and knowledge for development.
>*Qualifications and experience *
> * Advanced university degree (preferably doctorate) in information
> science, communication or social science;
> * Postgraduate training in information and knowledge management;
> * Excellent command of written and spoken English or French the
> two working languages of UNESCO's Secretariat with excellent
> drafting ability in one of them, and a good command of the other
> language; knowledge of planning and managing international
> programmes in the fields covered by the Information Society
> Division (at least five years);
> * Recognized experience to manage, lead and motivate a large and
> diversified body of staff in a multicultural environment (at least
> five years);
> * Extensive professional experience (at least 15 years) in the
> fields covered by the Information Society Division at the
> international level;
> * Recognized experience in leadership and proven ability in another
> official language (Arabic, Chinese, Russian or Spanish) would be
> an asset.
>* Competencies *
>The successful candidate should have proven competency to:
> * Lead and motivate teams in a multicultural environment;
> * Communicate effectively and persuasively, orally and in writing;
> * Participate effectively in high-level negotiations with internal
> and external partners;
> * Establish plans and priorities and implement them effectively;
> * Demonstrate a high degree of information literacy.
>*Terms and conditions *
>The post is at grade D-1 common to the United Nations system, with a
>salary composed of base salary and post adjustment, which, at the
>present dollar exchange rate, totals approximately US $143,300 (with
>dependants) or US $132,480 (without dependants) per annum, exempt from
>taxation. In addition, UNESCO offers an attractive benefits package,
>including 30 days annual vacation, home travel, education grant for
>dependent children, pension plan and medical insurance. Please note that
>UNESCO is a non-smoking Organization.
>*How to apply:
>Candidates wishing to apply for this post should do so through the
>following website: * Candidates without
>easy access to the Internet may, exceptionally, apply by mail, by
>sending a full curriculum vitae in English or French, preferably on the
>official UNESCO curriculum vitae form, showing their nationality, date
>of birth and gender, to: Chief, Recruitment and Staffing Section, Bureau
>of Human Resources Management, UNESCO, 7 Place de Fontenoy 75352 Paris
>07-SP, France. *Applications should reach UNESCO before 31 October 2006.
>Please quote post number "CI-335"* *THERE IS NO APPLICATION, PROCESSING
>qualified women candidates are encouraged, as are applications from
>under- or non-represented Member States *
>More comments :
>The encouragement for application from under or non-represented Member
>states is rather ironic in the present context. This specific
>recruitment took an incredibly long time. ( applications closed on 31
>October 2006 ) Only the UNESCO director general is elected, and then
>he choose, who is going to be recruited, with the assistance of a
>panel of his choosing. ( The process is different from the one at
>ITU, where the heads of sector are elected ). It appears that UNESCO
>recruitment procedures are not transparent. I was told that UNESCO
>received more than 150 applications. After examination of the written
>applications, a short list was made consisting of about 10-20 persons
>that are interviewed in Paris. The short list composition is secret.
>The recruitment panel process and hearings are all secret. Frankly I
>am aware of 2 or 3 persons that complied with all the criteria of the
>recruitment call and that were not selected to be on the short list.
>It is shocking. Something went definitively wrong. The process was not
>In reality, the reason why the process is not fair in terms of
>persons, ( according to people that know well the DG ), is that the DG
>wants to ensure a right balance in terms of geopolitical
>representation. Peter Smith, the head of the Education Sector has
>been ignominiously dismissed. The USA, that is under-represented, had
>lost any high position. The lower position of a head of division is a
>compensation for the loss of the higher position of a head of sector.
>Now, Miriam Nsbet does not appear to be a creature of the Bush
>administration, she has taken positions ( for the sake of her former
>employer ) in favor of fair use, and she might well prove to be an
>excellent head of division. Her lawyer and librarian culture might
>even be an asset if she try to implement in good faith the WSIS
>recommendations. So wait and see. May be from this secret process
>could come out a good person, but she shall have to prove her case.
>Francis F. MUGUET Ph.D
>MDPI Foundation Open Access Journals
>Associate Publisher
>ENSTA Paris, France
>KNIS lab. Director
>"Knowledge Networks & Information Society" (KNIS)
>World Summit On the Information Society (WSIS)
>Civil Society Working Groups
>Scientific Information : chair
>Patents & Copyrights : co-chair
>Financing Mechanismns : web
>UNMSP project :
>WTIS initiative:
Received on Wed May 30 2007 - 20:13:37 BST

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