Steering Committee - Tirana 2021

The new GFMD Steering Committee met on 30 September 2021 to vote for a new Chair, Deputy Chairperson and Treasurer.

The meeting occurred immediately after the meeting of the GFMD General Assembly where the new Steering Committee was announced.


Steering Committee members

Steering Committee memberAttendance

Via Zoom

Caroline Vuillemin, General Director, Fondation Hirondelle

Via Zoom

Drew Sullivan, Co-founder and Publisher, Journalism Development Network/OCCRP

Via Zoom

Jan Lublinski, Head of Department, Policy and Learning, Deutsche Welle Akademie

Present in Tirana

Lars Boering, Director, European Journalism Centre - EJC

Joined online via Zoom during the meeting but before voting began for the positions of Chair and Deputy Chair.

Marija Ristic, Regional Director, Balkan Investigative Reporting Network - BIRN

Marija was in Tirana for the General Assembly meeting but had to attend a meeting with a donor during the Steering Committee meeting.

Her colleague, Milka Domanovic, Head of Business and Partnership at BIRN attended the meeting.

Marija cast her vote for the Deputy Chair and Chair via email)

Mira Milosevic, Executive Director, GFMD

The GFMD Executive Director is a non-voting member of the Steering Committee

Prue Clarke, Co-founder, Executive Director, Editor, New Narratives

Via Zoom

Roula Mikhael, Executive Director, Maharat Foundation

Via Zoom

Ruth Kronenburg, Director of Operations, FreePress Unlimited

Present in Tirana

Sharon Moshavi, President, International Center for Journalists - ICFJ (Online)

Via Zoom

Tabani Moyo, Acting Regional Director, Media Institute of Southern Africa - MISA

Present in Tirana

Toby Mendel, Executive Director, Centre for Law and Democracy

Via Zoom before voting for the Chair began.

Vusumuzi Sifile, Executive Director, Panos Institute Southern Africa

Via Zoom

Wesley Gibbings, Executive Member, Association of Caribbean Media Workers

Via Zoom

Zoe Titus, Director, Namibia Media Trust

Via telephone. (Zoe was travelling by road between Namibia and South Africa to attend a funeral) Zoe joined the meeting via telephone after the vote for Deputy Chair had concluded.

Apologies - Steering Committee apologies

Other attendees:

  • Ricardo Corredo – outgoing Chairperson of GFMD. Ricardo chaired the meeting until the new chair was elected.

  • All GFMD members and partners who attended the General Assembly in Tirana were invited to attend the meeting as observers.

  • All members of the GFMD Secretariat attended the meeting.


All members of the new Steering Committee who were present were invited to introduce themselves.

Roles within the GFMD Executive Committee

The GMFD Executive Director explained that the GFMD Steering Committee has three subcommittees:

6.9.2 General purpose of subcommittees

Steering Committee subcommittees shall play an advisory role to help guide the Steering Committee and Secretariat about matters falling within their mandates.

Subcommittees shall not have decision-making powers but shall be able to act in a more flexible and efficient way to advise the Steering Committee, Executive Director and Secretariat staff, in accordance with this Constitution.

The GMFD Executive Director also explained the roles of GFMD Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, and Treasurer.

  • Chairperson: The Chairperson of the Executive Committee, also chairs meetings of the Steering Committee. They also act as a public figurehead for the organisation alongside the Executive Director.

  • Deputy Chairperson: In the absence of the Chairperson, the Deputy Chairperson chairs meetings of the Executive Committee and Steering Committee.

  • Treasurer: The Treasurer works with GFMD’s finance team on fundraising and business planning.

Discussion about the process

It was agreed that all candidates for all roles should come forward to allow the Steering Committee to consider the right balance of the Executive Committee.

Discussion about the roles and candidacy

The Executive Director encouraged women to run for positions on the Executive Committee, noting that:

  • The last two chairs had been men.

  • For the last 2 years, the Executive Committee had been exclusively male.

The Chair reinforced this point and added that:

  • The previous three chairpersons have come from the United States, Europe, and Latin America and so the Steering Committee might want to consider a candidate from outside of those regions.

Candidacy for Treasurer

Ruth Kronenburg -- Director of Operations, FreePress Unlimited put herself forward for the position of Treasurer. There were no other candidates.

Ruth Kronenburg was elected as treasurer.

Candidacy for Deputy Chair

Three Steering Committee members put themselves forward to the position of deputy chair.

Before voting commenced Ayman Mhanna withdrew his candidacy:

“There are amazing candidates here and I'm totally ready to support them. Our involvement in GFMD is continuing through the Lebanon coordination process and the other activities. So please, I would like to withdraw my name.”

Lars Boering joined the call at this point.

An online poll was sent to all Steering Committee members.

The result of the online poll was shown to the Chair who announced Jan Lublinski as the new Deputy Chair.

Candidacy and election of GFMD Chair

During this section of proceedings:

  • Toby Mendel joined the meeting via Zoom.

  • Zoe Titus joined the meeting via telephone.

The candidates for Chairperson were:

On invitation from the outgoing Chair, both candidates spoke about their vision for GFMD and the role of Chair for the next four years.

An online poll was sent to all Steering Committee members.

The result of the online poll was shown to the Chair who announced Zoe Titus as the new Chair of GFMD.

Working rules of the Steering Committee

It was agreed that as not all Steering Committee members were present and the new Chair was reaching the meeting via telephone, discussion of the rules of Steering Committees’ working rules with the Secretariat would be discussed at the next meeting of the Steering Committee.

It was agreed that a draft agenda and suggestions about working rules would be shared with the Steering Committee and the next meeting would take place the week beginning 18th October.


The new GFMD Chair, Zoe Titus, thanked the Steering Committee for their show of confidence.

“I appreciate it very, very dearly. And as I said earlier, I'm here to serve. [...] I look forward to receiving the minutes and updates of the proceedings over the last few days. And I look forward to working with the Secretariat of the rest of the membership. Thanks very much. And hope to speak to everyone soon.”

-- ENDS --

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