Publication Date: May 4, 2001
NEW YORK, NY—Zoë Baird, President of the Markle Foundation, announced today that Stefaan Verhulst will lead Markle’s newly expanded Internet Governance Project. Verhulst, who will join Markle on June 1st, moves from Oxford University in the United Kingdom, where he is presently Director of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy. He comes to Markle with a strong background in comparative communications policy and law, governance, and strategic management, as well as a global perspective on Internet policy development.
“I am delighted that Stefaan will be joining the Markle Foundation,” said Baird. “He has made substantial contributions to the development of communications and Internet policy in Europe and elsewhere, and to the development of self-regulatory and standards-setting bodies for the Internet. At Markle, Stefaan will help advise on and develop the new institutions that are arising in this global information age.”
“The Markle Foundation has been a driving force in working to ensure that the public interest is represented in new policy-making bodies,” said Verhulst. “I am delighted to be a part of Markle’s Internet governance team, and to help develop the foundation’s work as the next generation of communications policies evolves.”
Stefaan Verhulst has been Director of the Progamme in Comparative Media Law and Policy (PCMLP) at Oxford University, since its inception in 1996 and was a scholar in residence at the Markle Foundation in Fall 2000. During Verhulst’s four-year joint directorship with Professor Monroe Price, the Programme contributed to communications legislation and policy reform debates worldwide, created a global network of experts, developed a wide range of research projects and publications, and pioneered in many areas of comparative media law and policy. Prior to directing the Oxford Programme, Verhulst held similar positions in Belgium, and at the School of Law at University of Glasgow in Scotland.
Having served as consultant and researcher for numerous organizations including the Council of Europe, European Commission, Digital Video Broadcasting, Broadcasting Standards Commission, Bertelsmann Foundation, and UNESCO, Verhulst is an experienced liaison with policy makers, industry executives, non-governmental organizations, foundations, and the media. Verhulst is also the editor of the International Journal of Communications Law and Policy and of the Communications Law in Transition Newsletter, and has published internationally on communications law and policy issues.
Background on Markle’s Internet Governance Project (IGP)
The Internet Governance Project (IGP) has been a primary component of Markle’s Policy for a Networked Society Program since the program’s inception in November 1999. As nation-states increasingly defer to non-traditional, international policy-making organizations, either for guidance in harmonizing national law making with regard to the Internet or for the creation of binding policy, new mechanisms have to be created for protecting the public interest. The IGP addresses the increased need for inclusion of the public voice in Internet governance-making processes.
The Internet Governance Project has furthered the goals of accountability, transparency, participation, and representation of the public interest in the newly emerging, nontraditional venues where Internet policy is created, such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Group of Eight’s (G-8) Digital Opportunity Task Force (DOT Force). The IGP will continue to identify, enable, and enhance sophisticated advocacy and policy analysis, as well as encourage the development of institutional structures and processes necessary for the legitimacy of these nascent global venues.