UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has named India’s Electronics and Information Technology Secretary, Alkesh Kumar Sharma to a panel of eminent experts on internet governance. Internet pioneer Vint Cerf and Nobel Prize-winning journalist Maria Reesa were also appointed to the 10-member Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Leadership Panel. In addition, Guterres’ envoy on technology, Amandeep Singh Gill, will also be on the panel. They will serve for a two-year term during the 2022–23 IGF cycles.
Who is Alkesh Kumar Sharma?
Alkesh Kumar Sharma is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer from the Kerala cadre. A former secretary in the Cabinet secretariat, he has also worked with the UN Development Programme as the national project director for Urban Development and Poverty Alleviation.
List of 10 members in the panel:
- Vint Cerf from the United States,
- Hatem Dowidar from Egypt,
- Lise Fuhr from Denmark,
- Maria Fernanda Garza from Mexico,
- Toomas Hendrik Ilves from Estonia,
- Maria Ressa from the Philippines and the USA,
- Alkesh Kumar Sharma from India,
- Karoline Edtstadler from Austria,
- Gbenga Sesan from Nigeria, and
- Lan Xue from China.
What is the role of the panel?
The panel was set up under the mandate of the IGF and the recommendations in Guterres’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation. The panel’s role is to deal with “strategic and urgent issues” of the Internet and provide strategic advice to the IGF.