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South Africa's Lisa MacLeod elected as first female vice president of Wan-Ifra

Lisa MacLeod, head of digital at Tiso Blackstar Group, South Africa has been elected vice president of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers during the 70th Wan-Ifra's annual congress in Estoril, Portugal on Thursday, 7 June. Seven executives from leading news media companies were also elected to new terms on the board of Wan-Ifra.
Lisa MacLeod, vice-president of Wan-Ifra © Wan-Ifra.
More than 800 publishers, editors, journalists, and other senior news executives from around the world attended the events. The conferences can be followed on the Congress blog and on Twitter, #WNC18.

Digital transformation and the decline of print

MacLeod, together with Michael Golden (president), Paul Verwilt (Mediahuis, Belgium), David Callaway (The Street, USA), make up the new presidency of Wan-Ifra.
“I am very honoured to be appointed to the board of Wan-Ifra, and grateful for the opportunity to serve this respected organisation at this time. The media industry is undergoing enormous change, primarily through digital transformation and the decline of print, and I hope to bring some of my experience in this area to Wan-Ifra, as an industry body that is trusted and relied on worldwide to lead and educate through such challenge.”
Said MacLeod, who is the head of digital at Tiso Blackstar, Africa’s largest English-language publisher, and owner of 8 newspapers, 15 websites, music, film and radio businesses. She is also the former general manager of digital for Media24’s 24.com; and a former head of operations for FT.com, and FT managing editor.

First female vice-president ever

The election of MacLeod comes at a time when Wan-Ifra is implementing its new Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusion, a plan designed to set goals to achieve gender balance in its operations and governance bodies by 2020.

“I am particularly pleased with the increased diversity we bring into the board with the election of Lisa MacLeod, the first female vice president ever in our organisation,” said Vincent Peyrègne, CEO of Wan-Ifra.

“It was time for us to act” he added.
“Lisa MacLeod’s election is the first significant outcome of our Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusion passed by our board of directors during a previous meeting on December 2017. The election also takes place at a special time, as we celebrated the 70th anniversary of our association and presented in Estoril the most gender-balanced congress in the history of the organisation. Our action plan goes deep into the organisation and the governance of Wan-Ifra. We have a lot more to achieve in the coming months.”
At the same meeting, seven other executives from leading news media companies were elected to new terms on the board of Wan-Ifra.

The new board members of Wan-Ifra are:
  • Alexander Mitteräcker, publisher of Der Standard (Austria)
  • Stoyana Georgieva, founder and editor in chief of the online news site mediapool.bg (Bulgaria)
  • Juan Guillermo Amaya Salcedo, CEO, El Tiempo (Colombia)
  • Fatemah Farag, CEO, Welad Elbalad Media (Egypt)
  • Shailesh Gupta, CEO, Jagran Prakashan (India)
  • Karin Pettersson, director, Public Policy, Schibsted (Sweden)
  • Yildirim Demiroren, CEO, Demiroren Holding (Turkey)
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