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2011 Board Election

Candidate: Yrjö Länsipuro

Yrjö Länsipuro is an independent writer, lecturer and consultant on Information Society and Internet matters and Vice President of the ISOC Filand . He has had a long career in television journalism, international broadcasting cooperation, public diplomacy and internet governance.

Länsipuro graduated from the University of Tampere, Finland, majoring in political science. In the 1960's he worked in Aamulehti, a large regional newspaper, as reporter and foreign editor. He was employed in 1967 by the national public broadcaster, Finnish Broadcasting Co. (YLE) where he worked as Foreign Editor, Managing Editor for TV News, and Bureau Chief in Moscow and in Hong Kong. In 1978-1980, he was seconded to the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and worked as its Bureau Chief in New York.

Länsipuro was engaged early on in international cooperation among broadcasters as their regional unions were developing exchanges of television news by electronic means. He participated in feasibility study missions in the Arab countries and the Asia-Pacific region that eventually led to the establishment of regional news exchanges by the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) and Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) in the 1980's. He was also involved the implementation phase, working periodically for the ABU in Kuala Lumpur, during leaves of absence from YLE, as news exchange consultant to get Asiavision off the ground.

Recruited 1992 by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs he served as the Press Counselor in Washington, D.C., where the Finnish Embassy at that time established its presence in the Internet as one of the very first foreign missions and gained a reputation for various innovative uses of ICT for public diplomacy.

In 1997, Länsipuro joined the regular staff of the Ministry as Ambassador and was appointed Director General of the Department of Press and Cultural Affairs. His main priority was to bring the public diplomacy of the Ministry up to speed in the Internet age.

In 2005, Ambassador Länsipuro was given charge of the preparations of and participation in the second phase of the WSIS, and after the Summit, of the national coordination of its implementation and follow up activities at various fora, including ITU and the ECOSOC Commisson on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), as well as the Internet Government Forum, of which Finland became a key supporter. He represented the Finnish government on the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of ICANN and also served on the ICANN President's Strategy Committee.

After leaving the government service in 2009, Länsipuro continues his Internet Governance work as an independent writer, consultant, lecturer and moderator of Internet-related events . He serves on the boards of ISOC Finland and the European Regional At-large Organization (RALO) of ICANN, as well as on ICANN's 2011 Nominating Committee. He participates actively in the organizing groups for EuroDIG and the Finnish Internet Forum, as well as in the Finnish multistakeholder preparations for the IGF. Both in and out of government, Länsipuro has become known as an ardent supporter of Internet freedom and the multistakeholder approach to its governance.