Secretary-General Appoints Internet Governance Forum Leadership Panel

The United Nations Secretary-General has appointed 10 high-level and eminent persons to serve on his inaugural Internet Governance Forum Leadership Panel.

In line with the mandate of the Internet Governance Forum and as recommended in the Secretary-General’s Road Map for Digital Cooperation, the Secretary-General has established the Panel as a strategic, empowered, and multi-stakeholder body to support and strengthen the Forum.  The Panel will thus address strategic and urgent issues and highlight Forum discussions and possible follow-up actions, in order to promote greater impact and dissemination of its discussions according to its terms of reference.

The 10 distinguished members of the Panel have been appointed by the Secretary-General following an open call for nominations, and in line with an equitably distributed, multi-stakeholder configuration of ministerial-level Government representatives, executive-level representatives of the private sector, civil society and the technical community, as well as “at-large” prominent persons in the field of digital policy.

In addition, the Panel consists of five ex-officio members:  senior representatives of the current, immediately previous, and immediately upcoming Internet Governance Forum host countries; the Chair of the Forum’s Multistakeholder Advisory Group; and the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology.

Hailing from all regions of the world and serving a two-year term during the 2022–23 Internet Governance Forum cycles, the complete, inaugural Panel is as follows:

  • Vint Cerf, United States of America;
  • Hatem Dowidar, Egypt;
  • Lise Fuhr, Denmark;
  • Maria Fernanda Garza, Mexico;
  • Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Estonia;
  • Maria Ressa, Philippines and the United States;
  • Alkesh Kumar Sharma, India;
  • Karoline Edtstadler, Austria;
  • ‘Gbenga Sesan, Nigeria; and
  • Lan Xue, China.

Ex-officio Members:

  • Huria Ali Mahdi, Internet Governance Forum 2022 Host Country (Ethiopia);
  • Yuji Sasaki, Internet Governance Forum 2023 Host Country (Japan);
  • Krzysztof Szubert, Internet Governance Forum 2021 Host Country (Poland);
  • Paul Mitchell, Chair, Internet Governance Forum Multistakeholder Advisory Group; and
  • Amandeep Singh Gill, Secretary-General’s Envoy on Technology.

The full biographies of the Leadership Panel members are available on the Internet Governance Forum website.  Further details on the functioning of the Panel can be found in its terms of reference.

The Internet Governance Forum is an outcome of the Tunis phase of the World Summit on the Information Society that took place in 2005.  In the Tunis Agenda, Governments asked the Secretary-General to convene a “new forum for policy dialogue” to discuss issues related to key elements of Internet governance.  The mandate of the Forum was extended for another 10 years in December 2015, during the high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the overall review of the implementation of the World Summit on the Information Society outcomes.  The seventeenth edition of the Forum will take place from 28 November to 2 December 2022, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

For more information, please visit, or contact the Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum at tel.:  +41 0 22 9173 678, or e-mail:

For information media. Not an official record.