The list of candidates for the 6 Board seats in our Associate membership category is now available. Please find them below, in A-Z order, with a short bio and motivation for each candidate.
Brigitte Vézina is the Director of Policy and Open Culture at Creative Commons (CC) where she leads CC’s policy efforts and runs the Open Culture Program, a multi-million dollar program for policy reform and capacity building to disrupt the system in which information, knowledge, and culture are accessed, shared, and recreated digitally across the open web. In both roles Brigitte drives CC’s mission for copyright policy change in the face of technological, social, and economic disruptions in order to promote better sharing of knowledge and culture in the public interest. She engages in CC’s policy efforts to shape generative artificial intelligence (AI), particularly in the EU AI Act. With over 20 years of experience in international copyright law and policy, Brigitte previously worked for a decade as a legal officer at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), facilitating international treaty negotiations. She also ran her own consultancy, CultureBridge, advising the non-profit sector on copyright. Brigitte is a fellow at the Canadian think tank Centre for International Governance Innovation. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in law from the Université de Montréal and a Master’s in law from Georgetown University. She has been a member of the Bar of Québec since 2003.
As CC enters our third year of EIF membership, as a global non-profit we have brought a unique perspective as one of the few members representing non-commercial interests. Championing this perspective on the Board would bring additional diversity, ensuring a broader balance of views in EIF leadership. CC has demonstrated our commitment to EIF, having contributed actively to EIF work over the past year, including attending events (virtual and in-person) and acting as coordinator and panelist for a high-profile session on AI and copyright: Generative AI, Art & copyright: from creative machines to human-powered tools. We remain committed to supporting EU policy development in keeping with our global mandate in the fields of copyright, data, access to knowledge, and in conjunction with our network of CC chapters across Europe. EIF has a particularly important role to play in 2024 given the EU’s institutional changes. CC would harness our extensive relationships to help diverse stakeholders enter into constructive dialogue via the EIF and with policymakers to drive positive policy change. We look forward to advising the EIF community on how the bloc can respond to and anticipate global challenges to the sharing of information, technological innovation, and new forms of creativity.
Christopher Mondini serves as VP and Managing Director in Europe for ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ICANN coordinates the Domain Name System and related protocols that keep the Internet globally interoperable and expanding. He also leads ICANN’s outreach efforts to the business sector worldwide.
From the halls of Washington and Brussels, to tech giant headquarters of Silicon Valley, he has dedicated his career to bridging communications gaps that occur among diverse sectors -- public, private and nonprofit – and across international borders.
Chris began his career as a U.S.diplomat and later became a corporate investigator in the tech sector with Deloitte. He has investigated the world’s largest corporate corruption cases, while working with NGOs on ways to mitigate corruption risks. He also led grant-making teams for the Full Circle Fund, an engaged philanthropy organization addressing economic development challenges.
Chris speaks French and Spanish, with working knowledge of Italian and German. He holds degrees from Georgetown University and The Johns Hopkins University. His work with ICANN is focused on broadening participation among a variety of Internet stakeholders, improving the quality of their experience, and strengthening partnerships that underpin the operations and technical work supporting Internet infrastructure.
EIF influences Internet stakeholders in Brussels – and therefore everywhere – setting the agenda for policies that shape our digital future. My first term as a member of the Board has been a busy one! I have been pleased to serve as a bridge between stakeholders from all sectors – business, technical, and civil society – and the organizing committees, Board discussions and public events in which I have participated.
The coming months will see consolidation in the enforcement of the wave of digital files passed during the current mandate, consideration of proposals that can affect the technical systems underpinning of the global Internet, and a new set of elected and appointed officials who will benefit from EIF programs. At the same time, the future of Internet Governance and how EU stakeholders participate will be a recurring topic.
My work at ICANN supports the growth and resilience of the global Internet, the platform enabling the technologies that Europeans rely upon. I hope to continue to be re-elected to the EIF Board to assure the technical viability of the Internet itself continues, and to assure that EIF continues to be a trusted and prominent source of valuable knowledge for policy makers.
Grégoire Polad, a French national living in Belgium for more than 25 years, is the head of the Association of Commercial Television and Video on Demand Services in Europe (ACT) since November 2015. Greg has been attending EIF meetings since 2003 and currently sits on the Board as an Associate member. Prior to working for ACT, he was Managing Partner of True Political Communications where he coordinated the Wider Spectrum Group, a group bringing together eleven pan-European associations including trade unions, employers and viewer organisations. Greg has also worked for numerous tech companies, representing numerous tech companies as head of the TMT Practice at FTI Consulting. He is a former Associate of McKinsey & Co and holds an MBA from NYU Stern School of Business as well as an MSc and BSc from the London School of Economics. Greg speaks French, English and Spanish fluently. He is married and has two children.
I believe my experience with the EIF and my involvement in tech policy discussions in the last two decades from a variety of sector standpoints continues to be beneficial to the Board. The EIF is and will continue to be a key discussion forum, particularly as the Parliament continues to forge its position on critical digital legislation that will impact a range of sectors. As Board member, I would endeavour to ensure that we are able to have constructive and balanced discussions around the issues raised. I trust that I can count on your vote on this occasion.
Paolo Grassia is the Director of Public Policy at ETNO, representing Europe’s telecommunication network operators. In this role, he oversees the association’s efforts and institutional engagement on a spectrum of regulatory and policy matters, including cybersecurity, privacy, and data protection. Paolo is also a current member of the Board and Steering Committee of the European Internet Forum.
Before joining ETNO in 2017, Paolo served in the economic section of the United States Mission to the EU, functioning as a policy advisor with a focus on technology, telecommunications, and data privacy. Prior to that, Paolo worked as a consultant, providing advice to global companies across various sectors, with a particular emphasis on technology and telecommunications.
Paolo holds a Master’s degree from Bocconi University in Milan and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional and Manager accredited by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).
I am writing to express my candidacy for a second term on the Board of the European Internet Forum, representing ETNO, a longstanding Associate member of the EIF.
Throughout the current Board mandate, initiated in 2021, the EIF navigated the challenges posed by the pandemic, adapting to the post-COVID ‘new normal’, while the European Parliament grappled with an unprecedented wave of regulation poised to redefine digital policy. Serving as a Board member, this proved to be a demanding yet fulfilling responsibility.
Looking ahead, the new Board will face the task of guiding the EIF through the EU political transition and reestablishing its role with the upcoming European Parliament. I am fully committed to leveraging the knowledge and experience gained during the current term to contribute to the EIF’s strategic approach in the new EU political cycle over the next three years.
Given that connectivity is expected to be at the forefront of the next EU policy agenda, I, as a representative of ETNO, am deeply committed to advancing the goals of promoting the investments necessary for achieving the next generation of connectivity. It would be my honor and privilege to continue dedicating myself to these objectives in service to the Board of the EIF.
Sebastiano Toffaletti is the founder and Secretary General of the European DIGITAL SME Alliance, the largest trade association in Europe for the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector. The Alliance is an association that represents the interests of over 45,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Europe. The association covers EU initiatives, legislation and policies related to digital topics such as cybersecurity, data economy, IoT, privacy, Artificial Intelligence and standardisation.
Sebastiano holds a master’s degree in in Industrial Engineering and Management from the University of Bologna. He authored several articles and position papers on topics such as Intellectual Property Rights, Standards, e-Skills, Net Neutrality and Cloud Computing.
It is with great pleasure that I apply for a second mandate as Member of the Board of the European Internet Forum. With this candidature, I state my commitment to keep supporting and facilitating the crucial debate on digital matters that the European Internet Forum is enabling. As founder and Secretary-General of European DIGITAL SME Alliance, the largest network of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the digital sector, I represent an important stakeholder in the digital policy debate. Our network represents 45,000 SMEs, which provide digital and emerging technologies to our society. In order to lead to the best possible results for our European societies, debates about digital need to involve all interested stakeholders, public and private. In particular, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and other societal groups risk to be under-represented in European policy decision and debates. However, small digital companies can offer robust and important insights from their daily business activities. They are the first to suffer from unfair or limited competition or from a heavy legislative burden. Should I be elected as a Board member, I will contribute to the development of effective public debates to shape Europe’s digital transformation in an inclusive and collective manner.
Vivien is currently working as Adviser for International Stakeholder Management and Strategic Partnerships at eco – Association of the Internet Industry. eco is a longstanding associate member at EIF and our ambition for 2024 and beyond is to involve ourselves even more and contribute to EIF’s mission of supporting Europe’s digital transformation.
Since its foundation in 1995, eco has been shaping Internet-related policies in Europe for nearly three decades. With over 1,000 member companies, ranging from small and medium-sized companies to large multinationals, we represent the entire spectrum of the technology value chain, ranging from Internet infrastructure to data centres, cloud computing, e-commerce, artificial intelligence, digital business models and sustainability
Vivien hold a Bachelor of Arts in Political and Administrative Sciences from the University of Konstanz (Germany), studied abroad in California (USA) and graduated with a Master’s degree in European Public Affairs from Maastricht University. Please feel free to consult her LinkedIn profile for a full overview of her academic and professional background.
In my current role, I contribute to the expansion of eco’s network in Brussels. Having worked in the tech policy sector as a consultant at Grayling Public Affairs and as a senior manager at Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) in the past, I have gathered significant expertise and experience in working on EU policy issues. I have also been heavily involved with Gaia-X, a major initiative at European and German level to elevate the European data economy by working closely with industry and policymakers to enable more data-based value creation in the EU. I further coordinate eco’s portfolio of strategic partnerships which includes collaborations with other associations, institutes and think tanks. I am certain that this experience can further contribute to a successful collaboration with EIF.
I would be delighted to be considered as a Board Member for the next EIF Board election cycle commencing in March 2024. In this role, I would dedicate my time and resources to contribute to EIF’s mission of supporting digital transformation in an evolving political, economic and social landscape.