A Trusted, Connected Digital Future

Doreen Bogdan-Martin

Secretary-General-elect, International Telecommunication Union

Statement of Doreen Bogdan-Martin Upon Election to ITU Secretary-General

Bucharest, Romania, 29 September 2022

I fully believe in the power and potential of connectivity to drive economic growth and transform healthcare, education, employment, gender equality and youth empowerment. We are riding a powerful wave of innovation, and we need to seize this opportunity to improve peoples’ lives – especially those who are excluded. What we do now will affect generations to come.

Digital technologies will be crucial to efforts to meet the 17 SDGs and build a strong and stable foundation for global development. Today’s world is facing significant challenges – escalating conflicts, a climate crisis, food security, gender inequality, and 2.7 billion people who have still never connected to the internet. I believe ITU and its members can make a transformational contribution to forging a better world. Our sector is one of continuous innovation, and it can, and will, be a key enabler in helping mankind address many of these critical issues.
As Secretary General, I will continue to push this institution to be even more agile, innovative and relevant, to help everyone, everywhere, embrace tomorrow’s digital environment and the huge opportunities it brings.

Doreen’s biography is available in the following languages:

Doreen Bogdan-Martin is a forward-looking, inclusive, and globally recognized leader with 30 years’ experience in the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector and government relations, and multilateral organizations, including nearly 28 years with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

She uniquely combines deep knowledge of the ITU, a member-driven focus, strong leadership, uncompromising integrity, and a collaborative style. With her technical expertise and deep experience, she brings honesty, openness and a willingness to listen. She knows how to build on the ITU’s strengths and where to reform its weaknesses in pursuit of universal, safe, inclusive, and affordable access to ICTs.

​At the helm as Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) since January 2019, Ms. Bogdan-Martin has executed extensive reforms as promised in her election campaign, building a refocused, impact-driven Bureau. This includes upskilling BDT’s staff and adapting BDT’s technical assistance, tools, and expertise for the challenges of bridging the digital divide. She has put in place a Results-Based Management (RBM) system, improved internal accountability, and initiated a comprehensive review of reporting across BDT’s global network of offices. She is reforming BDT into a dynamic, responsive, and fit-for-purpose organization. Also as promised, Ms. Bogdan-Martin has delivered new partnerships, brokering over 50 agreements since she took office, and launched global initiatives on school connectivity, innovation, digital transformation, and youth engagement, as well as an ITU-wide Youth Strategy and a Generation Connect Board to bring the voices of youth to the table.

Doreen smiles as she gazes into the distance while sitting among a crowd of people.

Ms. Bogdan-Martin has demonstrated leadership during a time of crisis. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she established a Global Network Resiliency Platform (REG4COVID) to support stakeholders in maintaining and extending connectivity. She and her team produced guidelines and tools for the public on digital skills and cyber safety. Ms. Bogdan-Martin implemented measures early to ensure staff wellbeing (virtual coffee chats, townhalls and other engagements) and keep them fully engaged in the BDT’s mission.

Leading ITU’s Strategic Planning & Membership Department from 2008-2018, Ms. Bogdan-Martin directed global conferences, led member relations and communications, and oversaw the ITU’s relations with the UN. She was instrumental in creating the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, which she continues to manage as its Executive Director. She pioneered and oversees ITU’s ongoing contribution to the EQUALS Global Partnership for Gender Equality in the Digital Age, created the #BYND Youth Summit, and is leading ITU’s collaboration with UNICEF on the Giga project to connect all the world’s schools.

Ms. Bogdan-Martin holds a Master’s degree in International Communications Policy from American University in Washington, DC, post-graduate certification in Strategies for Leadership from the Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, and is certified in Accountability and Ethics by the United Nations Leaders Programme. She is an affiliate of the Harvard University Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society, is a Generation Unlimited Champion, a Champion of the EDISON Alliance, as well as a Member of the Global Future Council on Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality led by the World Economic Forum. Ms. Bogdan-Martin serves on a number of advisory bodies, including the Geneva-Tsinghua Initiative, the SDG Lab Advisory Board, the UN Technology Innovation Labs, and the Alumni Expert Council of the Internet Governance Lab of the American University in Washington DC. She is also a qualified amateur radio operator and a member of the IEEE.

U.S. Support for Doreen Bogdan-Martin

President Biden and Doreen pose for a picture in front of the United States and presidential flags.
President Joe Biden and U.S. Candidate for Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union Doreen Bogdan-Martin, June 15, 2021. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

The United States strongly supports Doreen Bogdan-Martin in her campaign to become the next Secretary General of the ITU and her vision for universal connectivity to ensure that everyone in the world is digitally empowered. With origins dating to the telegraph era, the ITU exists to foster the connectivity and interoperability of the world’s telecommunications networks. It does important work in support of radio spectrum management, telecommunications standards, and critical development initiatives to close the digital divide.  Responsible, forward-looking, inclusive, and transparent leadership of the ITU is vital to the U.S. telecommunications interests, as well as U.S. defense, intelligence, economic, development, and aeronautics priorities.

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Doreen Bogdan-Martin

U.S. Department of State

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