First Woman Selected to Lead UN’s Telecom Agency

September 29, 2022 by Madeline Hughes
First Woman Selected to Lead UN’s Telecom Agency
Doreen Bogdan-Martin of the United States, candidate for secretary general, smiles during the opening session of The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies, in Bucharest, Romania, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. The ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2022 will run in the Romanian capital until Oct. 14 and will elect a new secretary general. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

BUCHAREST, Romania — An American was chosen to be the first woman to lead the United Nations’ telecommunications agency, the International Telecommunication Union, in its 157-year history after an overwhelming vote Thursday in Romania.

Doreen Bogdan-Martin, the new secretary general of the agency, received 139 votes out of 172 votes cast. She’s the first American to serve in that position for over 50 years.

While the union was created in 1865, it became a United Nations specialized agency in 1947. The international telecom agency oversees the coordination of radio spectrum and satellite orbits. The agency is also tasked with improving communications infrastructure globally and is currently working to expand broadband access in developing countries.

Bogdan-Martin is currently serving as the director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, where she’s been the chief architect of the agency’s global development work, emphasizing the need for a digital transformation that will usher in economic prosperity and social justice reforms like gender equality.


“Whether it’s today’s children or our children’s children, we need to provide them with a strong and stable foundation for growth,” Bogdan-Martin said in a statement

“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 received overwhelming support from her home country with President Joe Biden issuing a supportive statement urging fellow U.N. members to vote for her.

“Bogdan-Martin possesses the integrity, experience, and vision necessary to transform the digital landscape,” Biden said.

“She understands the importance of connecting every school to the internet and making sure every student can access virtual learning, providing women and girls the digital tools they need to succeed, and extending the benefits of online health and educational resources.


“It is hard to believe that in today’s digital world, 2.9 billion people globally have no access to the internet and its many benefits. That’s a challenge that holds all of us back.”

Federal Communication Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel applauded the U.N. members’ decision to elect Bogdan-Martin on the first round of voting.

“I commend the ITU membership on electing Doreen to be secretary general, a proven leader who is dedicated to achieving universal connectivity for all people,” Rosenworcel said in a statement

“At a time when almost one-third of the world lacks broadband access, she has the experience, skills, and dedication to help the ITU drive greater broadband access in all countries.

“And four years ago, she became the first woman elected to a leadership position in the 157-year history of the ITU, a role I’m familiar with as the first permanent chairwoman of the FCC. 

“I look forward to working with Doreen so we can connect 100% of us to today’s modern communications technologies.” 

Fellow commissioner Geoffrey Starks is currently in Romania as part of the United States delegation for the election where he stumped for Bogdan-Martin.

“I applaud the ITU for electing Doreen Bogdan-Martin as the next secretary general. Her election, confirmed with the overwhelming support of the international community, shows her vision for our collective digital future is the right one,” Starks said in a statement.

“Additionally, I want to celebrate the fact that Doreen is the first woman elected to lead the ITU since its establishment in 1865. She made history today.”


Bogdan-Martin will continue serving as the director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau through the end of the year before stepping into her four-year position as secretary general in January of 2023.

Madeline can be reached at [email protected] and @ByMaddieHughes

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Telecom

Poor, Less White Areas Get Worst Internet Deals

A couple of years into the pandemic, Shirley Neville had finally had enough of her shoddy internet service. “It was... Read More

A couple of years into the pandemic, Shirley Neville had finally had enough of her shoddy internet service. “It was just a headache,” said Neville, who lives in a middle-class neighborhood in New Orleans whose residents are almost all Black or Latino. “When I was getting... Read More

October 5, 2022
by Dan McCue
Companies Face Removal From Key Database for Skirting Anti-Robocall Rules

WASHINGTON — Seven voice service providers face removal from a key database managed by the Federal Trade Commission if they... Read More

WASHINGTON — Seven voice service providers face removal from a key database managed by the Federal Trade Commission if they fail to demonstrate they’re taking concrete steps to comply with the agency’s anti-robocall rules. The first-of-their-kind FCC Enforcement Bureau orders give the companies until Oct. 18... Read More

September 29, 2022
by Madeline Hughes
First Woman Selected to Lead UN’s Telecom Agency

BUCHAREST, Romania — An American was chosen to be the first woman to lead the United Nations’ telecommunications agency, the... Read More

BUCHAREST, Romania — An American was chosen to be the first woman to lead the United Nations’ telecommunications agency, the International Telecommunication Union, in its 157-year history after an overwhelming vote Thursday in Romania. Doreen Bogdan-Martin, the new secretary general of the agency, received 139 votes... Read More

September 28, 2022
by Madeline Hughes
FCC Rule Change Poised to Help Deaf Inmates

WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission is looking at ways to help deaf incarcerated people connect better with their families... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission is looking at ways to help deaf incarcerated people connect better with their families through improved telecommunications services, including video chatting, in prisons and jails throughout the country. “Incarcerated people face considerable barriers to stay in touch with their loved... Read More

September 21, 2022
by Madeline Hughes
FCC Cracks Down on Chinese Companies Posing National Security Threat

WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission formally added Pacific Networks Corp. and its wholly owned subsidiary ComNet and China Unicom... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission formally added Pacific Networks Corp. and its wholly owned subsidiary ComNet and China Unicom (Americas) Operations Limited to its list of companies whose telecom equipment and service pose a national security threat. The commission along with national security agencies created... Read More

September 20, 2022
by Madeline Hughes
Agencies Gather to Talk National Spectrum Policy

WASHINGTON — Spectrum was the talk of the town as dozens of officials from regulatory agencies and companies came together... Read More

WASHINGTON — Spectrum was the talk of the town as dozens of officials from regulatory agencies and companies came together for the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Spectrum Policy Symposium Monday. Its fifth summit held this year comes days before the Federal Communication... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top