Opening Session

12 November 2007 - A Main Session on Other in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Lynn St. Amour 

Lynn St. Amour is President and CEO of the Internet Society (ISOC). She joined ISOC in 1998 as Executive Director of its Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) division, and has been responsible for ISOC's international expansion. She became ISOC's global Executive Director and COO in 1999 and held that position until her appointment as President and CEO in March of 2001. She divides her time between ISOC's offices in Reston, Virginia, and Geneva, Switzerland.

St. Amour has extensive experience in global IT and international business, including positions in international sales and marketing, strategic planning, partner management and manufacturing. She also has considerable experience in corporate restructuring and start-up management. St.Amour has spent most of her career working in the United Kingdom, France and Switzerland, with significant long-term assignments in other European countries. 

Prior to joining ISOC, she was director of Business Development and Joint Venture Operations for AT&T's Europe, Middle East and Africa division. Before joining AT&T, she held a number of management positions for Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC).

A graduate of the University of Vermont, St. Amour began her career in information technology with the General Electric Corporation


Maud de Boer-Bucquicchio

She joined the Council of Europe in 1969 and began her career at the European Commission of Human Rights. Between 1972 and 1977 she was an adviser in the Private Office of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, with responsibilities for human rights, legal affairs, social cohesion and the environment. After this highly valuable experience of working in a central and strategic entity of the Council of Europe, she took up higher responsibilities in the European Commission and European Court of Human rights, to which she was appointed Deputy Registrar in 1998. In this position she assumed both legal and managerial responsibilities. 

In June 2002, Maud de Boer-Buquicchio was the first woman to be elected Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe by the Organisation’s Parliamentary Assembly. Throughout her mandate she has been focusing her attention on the cause of vulnerable groups in society, such as children, Roma, migrants and victims of trafficking in human beings. She initiated a three-year programme of action on children and violence, supported the creation of the new Roma and Travellers Forum and has been actively involved, from the outset, in promoting the Council of Europe Convention on action against trafficking in human beings and the Council of Europe campaign to combat violence against women, including domestic violence. She also actively contributes to developing co-operation and coordination between the Council of Europe and other international institutions. 


H.E. Mr. Adama Samassékou
President of WSIS Preparatory Committee for Geneva Phase
President of the African Academy of Languages,
Former Minister of Education of Mali (1993-2000)

Mr. Adama Samassékou, aged 56, married with three children, completed his primary and secondary education in Mali.

After obtaining a Master of Arts in philology and linguistics from Lomonossov State University in Moscow, Mr. Samassekou continued his studies in Paris. After obtaining a DEA postgraduate diploma in African linguistics from the Sorbonne and a DESS specialist postgraduate diploma in organizational science from the Université de Paris-IX (Dauphine), he was subsequently head of the Linguistic Department of the Institute of Social Sciences of Mali, then director of the National Library of Mali and adviser to the Minister of Culture.

Playing an active role in community life, Mr. Samassékou was the founding president, for Mali and Africa as a whole, of the Peoples' Movement for Human Rights Education. In the political sphere, he was the founding chairman of ADEMA-France.

Having been Malian Minister of Education for seven years (1993-2000) and former spokesperson for the Government of Mali (1997-2000), Mr. Samassékou is currently president, with ministerial rank, of the African Academy of Languages.


Guy Sebban

Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce

As chief executive of the world business organization, he oversees an array of activities designed to help companies deal with the challenges of globalization and to represent the interests of world business to governments and intergovernmental organizations. 

In 2006, Mr Sebban was appointed by the United Nations Secretary General to the board of the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest voluntary corporate citizenship initiative. Mr Sebban is also on the steering committee for the UN Global Alliance on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Development. 

Mr Sebban has held a variety of leadership positions within international corporations, most recently at Vivendi Universal (2003-2005) as Senior Advisor to then CEO Jean-René Fourtou, advising him on external relations and his work as ICC Chairman. 

Prior to joining Vivendi, Mr Sebban was the Permanent Representative of Rhône-Poulenc (later Aventis) in Brussels, in charge of relations with EU institutions and trade associations. He was instrumental in building industry coalitions to influence EU decision makers on legislative matters concerning the chemicals industry. 

A chemical engineer by training, Mr Sebban began his career as a chemistry professor in 1968, before joining the research and development team of the French chemical company Péchiney Saint Gobain. In 1980 he was transferred to the headquarters of the company, later renamed Rhône-Poulenc, and from there worked his way through the ranks to become Deputy Director General of the Speciality Chemicals Division, then Head of Rhône-Poulenc Italia and finally the company’s Permanent Representative in Brussels. 

Mr Sebban, a French national, holds a degree from l'Ecole de Physique et Chimie de Paris; a postgraduate diploma in macromolecular chemistry from La Sorbonne and a degree in Business Administration from l'Université de Paris Dauphine.


Dr Hamadoun Touré

was elected Secretary-General at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, in November 2006 and took office on 1 January 2007. He served as Director BDT from 1998 until 2006.

Born on 3 September 1953, Hamadoun Touré holds a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technical Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications of Leningrad (LEIS, USSR) and Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD) from the University of Electronics, Telecommunications and Informatics of Moscow (MTUCI, Russia).

Dr Touré is committed to make ITU an innovative, forward looking organization adapted to meeting the challenges created by the new ICT environment and to spearhead the Union towards implementing the resolutions of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As Director BDT from 1999 until 2006, he played a significant role in the WSIS process by launching numerous projects based on partnership building with International Organizations, Governments, Civil Society and the Private Sector.


Dr. Paul Twomey

Paul Twomey became President and CEO of ICANN in March 2003. His background includes numerous leadership positions in commercial enterprises and government. He was the first chair of ICANN's Government Advisory Committee. Before joining ICANN, he was the founder of Argo P@cific, an international advisory and investment firm that assists both Fortune 500 companies and start-up companies to build global Internet and technology businesses and strategic alliances.

Prior to that, Dr. Twomey was founding Chief Executive Officer of the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE), and the Australian federal government's Special Adviser for the Information Economy and Technology. Established in 1997, NOIE is Australia's lead Commonwealth agency for information economy issues. In his position as Special Adviser, Dr. Twomey was charged with providing strategic advice to the government on developing its information economy and technology priorities and strategies, including a National Strategy for the Information Economy. He was also Australia's representative at international fora, such as the World Trade Organisation, the OECD and APEC, to ensure that Australia's interests were promoted during the current formation of the rules and regulations of the international information economy


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