Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Communications and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Bob Latta (R-OH), and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) wrote to President Biden today in support of Doreen Bogdan-Martin’s nomination to be Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) of the United Nations (UN).
The ITU is the UN agency that specializes in spectrum management, telecommunications technical standards, and improving broadband access in communities across the globe. If confirmed, Bogdan-Martin would be the first woman to lead the agency. Her election will occur at the ITU’s upcoming Plenipotentiary Conference in September.
“Throughout her career, Ms. Bogdan-Martin has demonstrated her experience and leadership in global telecommunications policy,” Rodgers, Pallone, Latta, and Doyle wrote to President Biden. “In her current role as Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, she has focused on closing the digital divide, school connectivity, and developing digital skills and cyber safety. Further, Ms. Bogdan-Martin has excelled in forming new partnerships between the ITU and the private sector, thereby bringing more resources to the ITU’s important development efforts. Her expertise and demonstrated skills make her an ideal candidate to lead the ITU as Secretary-General.”
The four Committee leaders also noted concern with the other Secretary-General nominee – Rashid Ismailov – who has been nominated and supported by the Russian government. The Committee leaders wrote that while Russian citizenship in and of itself is not of concern, former participation in the Putin regime is alarming given Russia’s blatant disregard for international law and is inconsistent with a position demanding international cooperation and consensus building. Likewise, his experience as a Huawei executive – a company determined by the U.S. government to be a vector of espionage and network disruption – is also deeply troubling.
“For all these reasons, and with Ms. Bogdan-Martin’s fast-approaching election, we want to join you in support of her candidacy and urge your Administration to use every possible opportunity to discuss the importance of having Ms. Bogdan-Martin become the next Secretary-General of the ITU,” they concluded.
Full text of the letter is available HERE.