David Kaye Joins Global Network Initiative as Independent Board Chair

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Mr. David Kaye,Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression
Mr. David Kaye,Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression

International human rights expert and United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, will this Fall join the Global Network Initiative (GNI) as the new independent chair of its Board of Directors.

Mr. Kaye will assume his position after completing his term as UN Special Rapporteur. He will succeed Mark Stephens, CBE, an internationally recognized and respected human rights and free expression lawyer and advocate and a London-based partner at the law firm Howard Kennedy.

Welcoming Mr. Kaye as the independent chair, GNI’s Executive Director Judith Lichtenberg noted that, “David is one of the world’s leading intellectual and moral voices on human rights and technology policy. We could not think of a better person to lead GNI into our second decade of work at the intersection of these key issues.”

Mr. Kaye will serve until 2023, leading the next term of GNI’s Board of Directors, which was elected in April. GNI’s constituencies, including ICT companies, civil society organizations, academics and academic institutions, and investors, nominate and select their own representatives on the board to preserve a diversity of experience, insights, and perspectives in the pursuit of freedom of expression and privacy rights.

GNI expressed its immensely grateful to Mr. Stephens for his many contributions over the years, including leading the expansion of GNI’s Board through the addition of telecommunications and equipment manufacturing companies to its membership and the organization’s work to promote freedom of expression and privacy when countering extremism online.

Expressing confidence in Kaye’s capability to lead the GNI, Mr. Stephens said: “David’s outstanding record speaking on behalf of human rights is unquestionable, as is his long-standing dedication to constructive engagement with different stakeholders from governments and international organizations, to civil society and academic institutions, to companies around the world.” Stevens added, “His experience and leadership will help strengthen GNI’s commitment to diversity and inclusion at a time when GNI is extending its reach to underrepresented regions and communities and becoming an increasingly global multistakeholder initiative.”

Speaking on the new role he is going to assume, David Kaye said: “Over the years, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with many GNI members and referred to the GNI Principles as a leading standard for free expression and privacy. I look forward to working with GNI members to promote the application of international human rights law in the technology sector.”

In addition to being the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression since August 2014, David Kaye is also a clinical professor of law at the University of California Irvine School of Law where he directs the International Justice Clinic.