IPS – Inter Press Service News Agency
Board of Directors

The IPS Board of Directors is comprised of distinguished journalists, academics, communications experts and specialists in international cooperation – chosen by the IPS International Association’s members.


Walther Lichem, Chair (November 2014 – )

Walther Lichem, retired Austrian Ambassador with studies in law and oriental archaeology (Univ. of Graz, Austria) and political science (Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna) started his professional career in 1966 at the United Nations Secretariat in New York in the field of international water resources with development cooperation missions to Ethiopia (1971), Argentina (1971-74) and to the Senegal River Development Organisation (1980). He was also Rapporteur on international river basins at the International Conference on Water Law (Caracas, 1976) and at the IVth World Water Conference (Buenos Aires, 1982).


Fifi Benaboud, Vice-Chair

Fifi Benaboud – Algerian. Divorced, 3 children. PhD in Political Science. Coordinator of Transmediterranean Program (“Transmed”), North-South Centre of the Council of Europe. Senior Advisor of Scientific Boards for several global organisations. Committed in International Cooperation for 30 years. In charge of cooperation and partnership between the Council of Europe and the Mediterranean region; based on political dialogue, intercultural dialogue, human rights promotion, education and communication, mainly with Maghreb and Mashrek countries.


Joaquín Costanzo

Joaquín Costanzo was born in Uruguay, is married and has three children. In 1980 he began working as a journalist for different newspapers, radios, and TV stations in his country. He was Chief of Political and Society Information of La República and La Hora newspapers; Director of the Information Department of Radio Nacional; Director of News Programs of the TV station TevéCiudad; and Editor-in-Chief of the Uruguayan news agency Pressur.


Thalif Deen

Thalif Deen, U.N. Bureau Chief and Regional Director, Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency, has been covering the United Nations since the late 1970s. A former deputy news editor of the Sri Lanka Daily News, he was also a senior editorial writer on the Hong Kong Standard.


Paula Fray

Paula Fray has worked in media for over 22 years ­ the last four in the field of media training and development. She is currently the Regional Director for IPS Africa, with management responsibilities for the news service and related media and communication projects in Africa.


Halle Jorn Hanssen

Halle Jorn Hanssen, 66, Norwegian. History, Sociology and Political Science make up his educational background. He is a member of the IPS International Board of Directors and the chairman of the Executive Committee. He has a long-standing relationship with IPS, dating back to 1983 when he was part of the launch of IPS in Norway. He has been a member of the Core Group representing Norway from 1984 to 1992 and also a member of other governing bodies within the IPS organisational structure.


ramesh_n_jaura Ramesh Jaura

Ramesh Jaura is a professional journalist and an experienced moderator and facilitator specialising in inter-cultural communication, globalization, international development cooperation, nuclear disarmament, culture of peace, and civil society.Jaura is executive president of Global Cooperation Council what was until beginning of 1997 called the North-South Forum, which he co-founded in 1983. The Federal President of Germany awarded Jaura in June 1996 the Federal Cross on Ribbon for promoting international understanding.


Kerry Kennedy

Kerry Kennedy is the mother of three daughters, Cara, Mariah, and Michaela. After graduating from Brown University and Boston College Law School, Ms. Kennedy established the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights to ensure the protection of rights codified under the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The Center provides an on going base of support to leading human rights defenders around the world.


Govin Reddy

Govin Reddy is a media consultant and Professor Extraordinaire in the Department of Journalism, Stellenbosch University. Prof. Reddy has held a number of senior management and executive positions in media organizations. These include Head of the English Service of IPS, Editor of Africa South magazine, Chief Executive of SABC Radio, Chief Executive of the Mail & Guardian newspaper and Director of the Media Leadership Institute at Rhodes University. He is a past President of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and serves on the Boards of a number of media organizations in South Africa.

Johanna Son

A Philippine national, Johanna graduated with a journalism degree from the University of the Philippines, magna cum laude, and has covered the diplomatic and political beats in her country. She joined IPS as regional correspondent for the Asia-Pacific and became regional editor in 1997. She was appointed concurrent regional director in 1998, and oversaw the transfer of the regional headquarters from Manila to Bangkok in late 1999.


Giovanni Spinelli

Giovanni Spinelli, born in 1942, is an Italian journalist. In the 1960s he was the national representative of Italian NGOs and worked as a political reporter. From 1979 to 1985 he served as Mayor of the Municipality of Historic Central Rome, and in 1980, UNFPA commissioned him to organise the First World Conference of Mayors in Rome. He also worked as a consultant for UNESCO on the creation of a Francophone African news agency.


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