The U.S. delegation at the International Telecommunications Union conference in Dubai was celebrating Thursday (Nov. 1) as Doreen Bogdan-Martin was elected director of the ITU's Telecommunications Development Bureau.
She has been chief of the ITU's Strategic Planning and Membership Department.
There were two reasons to celebrate. Bogdan-Marin is the first woman to hold one of the five ITU directorates and is a former official with the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, the chief telecom policy adviser to the White House and the agency overseeing government spectrum use.
ITU is an international body that harmonizes global spectrum use and satellite orbits, as well as technical standards, and encourages access to technology.
"I am pleased that Doreen Bogdan-Martin, an NTIA alum, has been elected as the Director of the ITU Development Sector," said NTIA administrator David Redl. "Doreen is immensely qualified and the United States looks forward to working with her and continuing in our role on the ITU Council to support the global expansion of communications technologies. Significantly, she is the first woman to hold one of the ITU’s five elected positions, and her leadership will give the United States a voice in ITU leadership for the first time in three decades."
Redl had been pushing for her candidacy, saying back in March that there had been no women in leadership rules in the 153-year history of ITU, signaling it was one of the institutions that had not kept pace.
"Bogdan-Martin has shown a unique ability to lead transformative programs, attract private investment, and bring together the right people and organizations to address the digital divide," said. She will now get the chance to do that from a position of major leadership on the international stage.