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William Morris – Chairman

William Morris is Chairman of the Executive Council of the International Communications Forum. He also acts as Secretary General of the Next Century Foundation. Formerly a journalist and publisher, William Morris has been involved in the Middle East for more than 30 years. He was Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister of Oman from 1991 to 1996, and became Secretary General of NCF on his return to the UK.

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In October 2000 he helped set up a war avoidance team to carry messages back and forth between the then Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr Peter Hain and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz. As Chairman of the International Media Council he has led press delegations to Iraq, Palestine, Israel, Egypt and Syria and convenes the International Media Awards, held annually in London.

He has led three electoral monitoring delegations to Iraq; the NCF is the only accredited international election monitoring organisation travelling extensively in the interior of the country. In recent years he has established the Iran unit of the NCF which produces regular confidential reports on the developments in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Adel Darwish

Adel Darwish currently serves as the Political Editor of the Middle East Group, based at the Parliamentary Press Gallery in the British House of Commons. An accomplished writer, he has published on a wide range of topics, from conflicts in the Middle East such as the Lebanese Civil War, to revealing secret support being provided to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war by the US Navy and US Air force. Alongside his responsibilities with the Middle East Group, he acts as a commentator on current affairs for numerous media groups, such as the BBC in the United Kingdom, and CNN in the United States.

In addition to his political commentary, he is a published author of multiple investigative books centred on the political conflicts of the past, and the possible resource conflicts of the future.

Bernard J. Margueritte

Currently President of the International Communications Forum since 2001 having originally served for five years as Vice-President.

Margueritte has been a prominent figure in Eastern European journalism for over 40 years. In an extensive career, Margueritte has corresponded from Warsaw for Le Monde, Le Figaro, Ouest-France, La Cinq as well as radio stations Europe 1 and Radio Suisse Romande. Since 1989, he has been a regular contributor to both Polish television, radio and print media, with appearances on the popular television program “Blizej Swiata” (Closer to the World) as well as a regular column for Tygodnik Solidarność.

In addition to his journalistic activity, Margueritte has conducted research at Harvard University as well as lectured at the University of South Carolina and the Lubin Catholic University (KUL). Between 2006-2007 he was also a member of the commission of the Polish Ministry of Regional Development.

Deborah Pout

Deborah Pout is a freelance journalist, consultant and analyst, specialising in Middle Eastern and world affairs. She started her career in channel 5 on Espresso, a consumer affairs programme before going on to work for David Chater at Sky News. She later became the Jerusalem Bureau Chief for Sky News. She works a freelance Middle East reporter and producer for Sky News Australia and Channel News Asia.

In addition to her media work, she holds a Reuters fellowship at Oxford University.

Gamon Mclellen

Gamon McLellan started journalism in Ankara and joined the BBC in 1979 as Head of the Turkish Service, which provided uncensored news to Turkey following the 1980 military coup. From 1988 he was involved in broadcasting to Central Europe before becoming Head of the BBC Arabic Service in 1992. He retired from the BBC in 2004, after overseeing the Arabic Service 24-hour coverage on radio and online during the 2003 war in Iraq. He now divides his time between Istanbul and London, where he lectures on Turkish politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

HRH Princess Basmah bint Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Born in Riyadh to the Saudi Royal family, Princess Basmah is the daughter of King Saud, and the granddaughter of King Abdel Aziz, the founder of the modern state of Saudi Arabia in 1932. Having risen to prominence through her brave and often outspoken journalism in newspapers across the Middle East, such as Al-Medina Weekly, Al-Hayat, Al-Ahram and Sayidaty English language magazine, she also has a successful track record as a businesswoman.

However, her main focus now is her humanitarian work. Through her company Inseed, Princess Basmah runs her humanitarian organisation, The Lanterns. Fulfilling the need for humanitarianism to be fresh, innovative and well-researched and supported by evidence, Princess Basmah established the Lanterns Research Centre, which together with the organisation’s media arm, underpins and guides The Lanterns’ operations as it works towards the goals of peaceful and popular reform across the world, and gender equality.

June Jacobs CBE

June Jacobs CBE is a veteran of more than 30 years as a peace activist, and former President of the International Council of Jewish Women. June rose to prominence as a founder and first Chair of the National Council for Soviet Jews, regularly leading missions to visit refuseniks in the 1970s Soviet Bloc.

June has become best known since that time as a strong advocate of Jewish women’s issues. As President of the International Council of Jewish Women, June represented the organisation at the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York. She remains involved today through her membership of the European Women’s Lobby and Women’s International Commission. June is also a member of the board of directors of the New Israel Fund. She is currently also a member of the Black Jewish Asian Forum, Life President of Jewish Childs Day, a trustee of the Kessler Foundation, and Vice President of the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture.

She is Chairperson of the Nahum Goldmann Fellowship Program at the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture. as well as “Chairperson, Mishpacha” of this New York based foundation committed to the renewal and enhancement of Jewish culture worldwide. She is also Chairperson of the EJC Commission on European Institutions (Great Britain) and a senior Trustee of the Next Century Foundation.

Jacobs was appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2009 Birthday Honours.

Ambassador Mark Hambley

Ambassador Mark Hambley has served in eleven postings in nine Middle Eastern countries during a 30 year diplomatic career, including as U.S. Ambassador in Qatar and Lebanon and as Consul General in Alexandria and in Jeddah. He has also acted as Special Representative to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, U.S. Representative to the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests, and Special Negotiator on Climate Change during the Clinton and early months of the Bush administrations.

In March 2003, Ambassador Hambley was appointed director of the US Media Outreach Center in London, established by Congress to improve dialogue with the Arab media. He left full time service with the U.S. Government in 2005 but still undertakes special commissions on an ad hoc basis.

In 2005 Ambassador Hambley became a senior Trustee of the Next Century Foundation. In this capacity he has undertaken two missions to date, one to Red Zone Baghdad to facilitate negotiations with His Eminence Abdul Aziz al Hakim, and the other to Jerusalem during the 2006 Lebanon War to work on the Syrian peace track.

Michael Binyon OBE

Michael Binyon is a Leader Writer for The Times, where he previously served as Diplomatic Editor. After graduating from the University of Cambridge, he spent a year teaching in Minsk for the British Council, before joining The Times Educational Supplement in 1968. He then moved to the BBC Arabic Service before, in 1972, he joined The Times as a foreign correspondent.

He covered the Middle East War in 1973, has worked for The Times in Moscow, Bonn, Washington and Brussels, and became Diplomatic Editor in 1991. He is a frequent broadcaster on the BBC and overseas television stations and has won two British press awards. He has also published a book entitled Life inRussia(1984). Binyon was awarded the OBE in 2000.

Homepage for the annual International Media Awards Ceremony

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