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Press Release Fun: IBBY Announces New Officers

My goal in life is to get us all actively interested in the workings of international children’s literature participants.  With that in mind, I was intrigued by this recent press release coming via IBBY (The International Board on Books for Young People).

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The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) Announces New Officers for Term 2010-2012

The following Executive Committee was elected at the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) General Assembly held in September at the Palacio de Congresos e Exposicións de Galicia, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, to ensure that IBBY’s work worldwide is carried forward.

Ahmad Redza Ahmad Khairuddin from Malaysia was elected to serve as IBBY President. He served as a member of the IBBY EC from 2006-2010 and as Vice President 2008-2010. Ahmad Redza Ahmad Khairuddin is a businessman by profession and currently holds various positions in private companies. He obtained his MBA from Ohio University, USA in 1996 and a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from RMIT University, Australia in 1993. He has been actively involved in publishing for more than 13 years, most notably in the national publication of educational and children’s books. He is passionate about the education of children, especially in the areas of children’s books and other media. In 2005 he was appointed as Vice President of the Majlis Buku Kanak-Kanak & Remaja Malaysia – the Malaysian Section of IBBY (MBBY). He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Universiti Teknologi Mara from 2005 to April 2010, and continues to be an advisor for the Students in Free Enterprise Team (SIFE) at local universities and panel judge for SIFE competitions at National level and for the World Cup final competitions. He is currently Chairman of the SIFE Malaysia Business Advisory Board.

María Jesús Gil (Spain) was elected to be the Hans Christian Andersen Jury President 2012. After her Bachelor’s Degree in Arts in the University of Valladolid (1976-1981), she travelled to the United Kingdom to study Language and Literature in the Universities of Exeter, Manchester and Dundee. She worked at Ediciones SM for twenty years, starting as Foreign Rights Manager, and then as the Editorial Manager of the Department of Children and Young Adults for fifteen years. She also was Editorial Manager of Alfaguara Infantil y Juvenil and Altea (Santillana). After a time as a professional consultant for publishing firms, today María Jesús is the coordinator of Reading Programmes for Spain and Latinamerica in the Foundation SM. She was an elected member of the IBBY Executive Committee (1996-2000); served as President of the Spanish Section of IBBY (2009- ); and as Member of the Jury for the Hans Christian Andersen Award for the 2008 and 2010 awards. María Jesús Gil was the Chair of the 32nd IBBY Congress in Santiago de Compostela in 2010.

Linda Pavonetti (USA) and Wally de Docker (Belgium) were elected as Vice Presidents by the Executive Committee. Linda is a past president of USBBY and a career educator. She currently teaches children’s and young adult literature to undergraduate, masters and doctoral students at Oakland University in Michigan, USA. Wally began his career as a teacher in 1979. He is the founder of a pre-reading and initial reading method (Leesdraak / Reading dragon), which is now used in over 200 schools. Wally made his début as a children’s book writer in 1989, and since 2001 has been writing fulltime. Wally has been a member of the IBBY EC from 2008.

Other members elected for a two-year term on IBBY’s Executive Committee, serving until the 2012 Congress in London, UK, are: Marilar Aleixandre (Spain), well-known author for children and young people and university professor teaching science education at the University of Santiago de Compostela; Gülçin Alpöge (Turkey), professor of children’s literature at Bogaziçi University in Istanbul and writes for pre-school children, as well as for academics; Hasmig Chahinian (France) is currently in charge of the children’s literature of the Arab World at the International Division of the French National Centre for Children’s literature – La Joie par les livres, affiliated to the French national library; Nadia El Kholy (Egypt) is Professor of English at the Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts, Cairo University, and Director of the Cultural & Translation Unit at the Supreme Council of Culture, Cairo; Jehan Helou (Palestine) is former Director of the Tamer Institute for Community Education and has been the President of the Palestinian Section of IBBY since 2002 and member of the IBBY EC since 2008; Kiyoko Matsuoka (Japan) works at the Itabashi Art Museum where she organizes exhibitions and workshops for young artists. Since 1989 Kiyoko has been responsible for the Bologna Illustrators Exhibition in Japan; James Tumusiime (Uganda) is Chairman and Managing Director of Fountain Publishers Ltd, and has served as the first African president of the Afro-Asian Book Council. James was a member of the 2008-10 IBBY EC; Mingzhou Zhang (China) is currently Vice President of CBBY (Chinese Board on Books for Young People) and President and General Manager of Bridging Consulting Co., (Beijing) Ltd., he has also served on the IBBY EC from 2008-10.

Ellis Vance (USA) was confirmed as Treasurer. Ellis, a former education consultant California has been treasurer for USBBY since 2000 and for IBBY since 2008. He was IBBY Vice President from 2006-08. Peter Gyr (Switzerland) Director of the Library, Media and School Theatre Information Centre in Lucerne, and Fritz Rothacher (Switzerland) former Chief Executive Officer of the Franz Carl Weber toy company, were re-elected as auditors.

Liz Page (Switzerland) was confirmed as the IBBY Executive Director at the IBBY Secretariat in Basel, Switzerland.

Sylvia Vardell (TX, USA) and Catherine Kurkjian (CT, USA) were confirmed in their role as the co-editors of IBBY’s journal Bookbird.

For more information about IBBY’s programme and current projects please contact the IBBY Secretariat or visit the IBBY website at:

Thanks to Susan Raab for the info.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.