The GIFCT’s newly formed Independent Advisory Committee (IAC) has elected Mr. Bjørn Ihler of Norway as its inaugural Chair. Mr. Ihler’s two-year term will begin on July 20, 2020.
A survivor of the 2011 terrorist attack in Utøya, Norway, Mr. Ihler is an internationally renowned expert in countering and preventing radicalization to violent extremism through the design of healthier communities both on and offline. In 2016, Mr. Ihler co-founded the Khalifa-Ihler Institute, which works to promote peace, human rights, and thriving communities. He is also a member of the group Extremely Together, an initiative of the Kofi Annan Foundation that seeks to empower youth internationally to challenge violent extremism in their local communities and work against radicalization across the globe.
The IAC includes 21 representatives from civil society, government, and international organizations. As set forth in the IAC Terms of Reference, the IAC Chair will always be selected from among the Committee’s civil society representatives. Responsibilities of the Chair include the following:
- Providing leadership for the IAC and representing the IAC as a non-voting member of GIFCT’s Operating Board;
- Setting the agenda for IAC meetings; facilitating decision-making where required; and liaising directly with the Executive Director, on behalf of the IAC, and with GIFCT member companies;
- Ensuring that appropriate resources are available for any potential work streams or issues that the IAC identifies.
Decisions by the IAC will be made by consensus. In exceptional cases when consensus is not possible, the Chair may move for a vote of the full Committee membership. In the case of a tie, the Chair will cast the deciding vote.
We congratulate Mr. Ihler on his appointment and look forward to working closely with him and the entire IAC going forward.