Doreen Bogdan-Martin

Doreen Bogdan-Martin

International Telecommunications Union

Bogdan-Martin was elected as the 20th Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) at the Plenipotentiary Conference in Bucharest, Romania, on September 29, 2022, beating out Russia’s Rashid Ismailov. When she officially takes office in 2023, she’ll be the first woman to hold an elected post in the ITU in its entire 157-year history. She started her career in 1989 as a telecom specialist for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. She joined the ITU in 1994 as a policy analyst. She helped create the Global Symposium for Regulators, which is still the only global gathering event for the international ICT regulator community. Once in the ITU, her star rose steadily, with Bogdan-Martin moving up to head of the Regulatory Reform Unit and the Regulatory and Market Environment Division. In 2008, she jumped up to Chief of Strategic Planning and Membership, the most senior position in the ITU’s General Secretariat, and was the first woman to break that barrier, too. As part of that role, she served as Secretary to the ITU governing body, and also the Coordinator of United Nations Affairs, a big reason why she created the New York City ITU liaison office to the UN.

Why They Made the Worthy 100: While her election is a landmark, Bogdan-Martin’s mission with the office is even more critical. Today, 2.9 billion people across the globe lack internet access, which means they don’t have access to many of the most important resources on the Web, such as telehealthcare, education, and simple communication. Connecting the unconnected will be Bogdan-Martin’s primary mission as Secretary-General of the ITU. When Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Don Graves, traveled to Bucharest to speak to the ITU’s 2022 Plenipotentiary Conference, he said of Bogden-Martin, “Doreen is the right person at the right time to lead the ITU. She will work hard to bridge the digital divide.” 

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