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What is IBBY? Part II: Who’s in Charge of IBBY?

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Ahmad Redza Ahmad Khairuddin is President of the International Board on Books for Young People (I.B.B.Y.) for the term 2012–14, having been elected during the General Assembly of I.B.B.Y. held in London in August of 2012. He had previously served as president from 2010 to 2012, so this is his second term.

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He also served as a member of the I.B.B.Y. Executive Committee from 2006 to 2010, with the term 2008-10 as Vice President. Mr. Khairuddin has over fifteen years of experience in publishing, distributing, and selling books. His publishing house, Mahir Holdings Group, is one of the leading privately-owned publishing houses in Malaysia.

Khairuddin obtained three degrees from the Universiti Teknologi MARA (MARA University of Technology) in Malaysia; RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia; and Ohio University. He is currently the President of the Malaysian Board on Books for Young People (M.B.B.Y.), after serving as its Vice President since 2005.

Previously, he served in various capacities on several committees set up under the National Book Council of Malaysia for the development of the book industry of Malaysia. In 2005, he joined the Board for MARA University of Technology, Malaysia and he became its first Chairman until his term ended in May of 2010.

Hasmig Chahinian, a Lebanese-French scholar, is the 2012-2014 Vice President of I.B.B.Y. She was elected to the Executive Committee at the 33rd I.B.B.Y. General Assembly in London, and serves as Vice President. She previously served on the 2010-2012 Executive Committee.

Born in Lebanon, Professor Hasmig holds a Ph.D. in children's literature from the University Paris 13 and is currently in charge of the Arab World at the International Division of the French National Centre for Children’s Literature - La Joie par les livres, a service of the Bibliothèque nationale de France (Library National of France or French National Library). The National Centre for Children’s Literature – as it is called in (British) English – is also the French National Section of I.B.B.Y.

According to I.B.B.Y., “She collaborates with La Joie par les livres' various publications and works on promoting reading and children's literature in France and abroad. She also organizes and holds training sessions for professionals in various parts of the world. In a very different field of expertise, Hasmig is also in charge of the information system of the Centre. She is fluent in Arabic, Armenian, English and French.”

The other 2012-14 Executive Committee (E.C.) Members are Linda M. Pavonetti of Detroit; Marilar Aleixandre of Santiago de Compostela, Spain; Gülçin Alpöge of Istanbul; Nadia El Kholy of Cairo; Azucena Galindo Ortega of Mexico City; Angela Lebedeva of Moscow; Kiyoko Matsuoka of Tokyo; Akoss Ofori-Mensah of Ghana; and Timotea Vrablova of Slovakia. They were all also elected to the 2012-2014 E.C. at the 33rd I.B.B.Y. General Assembly in London.

Linda M. Pavonetti, Ed.D. previously served as a member of the 2010-2012 I.B.B.Y. E.C. as Vice President. She is Professor and Chair of the Department of Reading and Language Arts at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

Professor Pavonetti is involved with the United States Board on Books for Young People U.S.B.B.Y., the American National Section of I.B.B.Y., as well as with I.B.B.Y. She served as a board member of the U.S.B.B.Y., then as president-elect, president, and past president. During her term as U.S.B.B.Y. president, she travelled to Nami Island, Korea and Santiago, Chile to address the need for books for all children, a cause she whole-heartedly supports.

Dr. Pavonetti teaches children’s literature, young adult literature, and qualitative research methodology to undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students. Each year, she brings as many as twelve authors and illustrators to her campus for an intensive children’s literature class: The Authors and Illustrators’ Art and Craft.

Linda Pavonetti spent three months researching the artistic styles in award-winning international picture books at the International Youth Library in Munich, which was founded by Jella Lepman (1891-1973) like I.B.B.Y. Dr. Pavonetti wrote Children's Literature Remembered: Issues, Trends, and Favorite Books, which ABC-CLIO published in 2003. She has published and presented papers at conferences in the U.S., I.B.B.Y. World Congresses and other international meetings.

Marilar Aleixandre was born in Madrid, but has lived in Galicia for many years and adopted Galician as her literary language.[1] She is currently science education professor in the University of Santiago de Compostela.

A regular contributor to literary journals and magazines, including Bookbird, Professor Aleixandre has written papers and books on argumentation and critical thinking and fiction for children and adults, as well as poetry. She has received a variety of awards, particularly for her poetry and novels for young readers.

In addition, she has translated children's literature into Galician. Her translation of Lewis Carroll was included in the I.B.B.Y. honor list in 1998.

She is active in the I.B.B.Y. Galician section, having served as vice-president for two terms. She was also part of the executive committee organizing the I.B.B.Y. 2010 conference in Santiago.

Gülçin Alpöge previously served as a member of the 2010-2012 E.C., and has been a member of I.B.B.Y. since 1990 and is currently the president of the executive committee of I.B.B.Y. Turkey.

She received her B.A. from the American College in Turkey in 1955, a certificate of Pedagogy from the University of Istanbul and her M.A. degree in Education from New York University in 1959.

Dr. Alpöge then worked with pre-school children for thirteen years in two different countries. She received her Ph.D. in Psycholinguistics from the University of Istanbul in 1983 and became Professor in 2002.

Professor Alpöge is teaching children’s literature part-time at the Boğaziçi University in the Faculty of Education. She has written many articles and academic books, as well as designed curriculum programs. Further, she re-writes folktales and fairytales for young children.

Nadia El Kholy previously served as a member of the 2010-2012 EC. She is Professor and Chair of the Department of English Language and Literature at Cairo University, as well as the Undersecretary of the Supreme Council for Culture.

Her research interests include writing and translation for children, comparative and post-colonial literature, and gender studies. She has also published a number of articles on the modern Arabic and English novel.

In 1999, Nadia El Kholy won the Suzanne Mubarak Award for Children's Literature.[2] Professor El Kholy was a member of the Hans Christian Andersen Award jury for the 2008 and 2010 awards. She has also contributed to the Oxford Encyclopaedia of Children's Literature, published in 2005.

Born in Mexico City, Azucena Galindo Ortega graduated with a degree in Business Management from the Intercontinental University. A few years later, she earned a Diploma on Reading Promotion at I.B.B.Y. Mexico.

Since 2004, she has been formally involved in reading promotion activities. In November of that year, she accepted the position of Managing Director of IBBY Mexico/A leer.

Before taking this responsibility, she had been involved in market research. Today, she combines ongoing studies of children’s literature and reading promotion with her previous professional experience in order to expand the target and widen the impact of I.B.B.Y. Mexico’s programs and projects.

The Mexican National Section of I.B.B.Y. now has more than fifty employees, approximately 6,000 volunteer readers and reaches, through its different programs, over 225,000 young readers.

She has served on juries for literary prizes and reading promotion projects and has been guest speaker at several national and international forums, including in Paris, Havana, and Rio de Janeiro. Ms. Ortega serves on the 2012-14 I.B.B.Y. E.C. as regional liaison for Latin America and is on the organizing committee for the 34th I.B.B.Y. International Congress in Mexico City in 2014.

Angela Lebedeva began her professional education in Librarian and Children’s Literature Sciences in 1985 at Moscow State University of Culture and Arts (M.S.U.C.A.) graduating as a specialist in Children’s Literature and Librarian – Bibliographer. Five years later, she completed her master's degree and the work for her PhD.

Between 1997 and 2009, she worked as Senior Lecturer at M.S.U.C.A. in the Department of Children’s Literature and Library working with children and youth and then at the Moscow State Open Pedagogical Institute Named After M. Sholohov (M.G.O.P.U.) in the Faculty of Journalism. Angela is the authoress of an original educational course under the title International Cooperation in the Field of Children’s Literature, which was added to the M.S.U.C.A. and M.G.O.P.U. curriculum.

Professor Lebedeva is a member of International Research Society on Children’s Literature (I.R.S.C.L.) and joined Russian I.B.B.Y. in 1995, where she has served as Executive Director since 2002. She served on the Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury for 2004 and 2006, is the Bookbird Correspondent for Russia. Since 1998, has participated in all I.B.B.Y. Congresses

And has co-organized the annual Days of Russian Children’s Books Abroad events, which have taken place in the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Germany and elsewhere. She has more than fifty professional publications in Russia and abroad.

Born in Tokyo, Kiyoko Matsuoka previously served as a member of the 2010-2012 E.C. She graduated from the Joshibi University of Art and Design, majoring in Art History and Iconology of Christian Art and later with a Master’s Degree from Chiba University on the History of Art Education in Japan.

Since 1986, she has been a curator at the Itabashi Art Museum. In 1989, she became responsible for the Bologna Illustrators Exhibition in Japan and since then she has collaborated with the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in organizing the world tour of the exhibition.

Ms. Matsuoka has organized several series of exhibitions of picture book artists, such as Leo Lionni, Yasuo Segawa, Tomi Ungerer, Dick Bruna, Bruno Munari and Dusan Kállay. She has also organized workshops on the creation of books for children for young artists, as well as various events and courses for adults and school children interested in picture books.

She is also a university lecturer on art production. From 2002 to 2006, she was a board member of J.B.B.Y., the Japanese National Section of I.B.B.Y., and she rejoined the board in 2009.

Akoss Ofori-Mensah received her B.A. Honours Degree in English from the University of Ghana. She taught English at Aburi Girls Secondary School for two years and then went to Nottingham University in the U.K. for a Post Graduate Diploma in English, before returning to Aburi to teach.

In 1974, she received an internship at the United Nations Fund For Population Activities in New York for six months and went on to study for a Master’s Degree in Population Education at The University of Chicago. She returned to Ghana in 1976 and worked with Afram Publications as Managing Editor.

In 1978, she left Afram and joined the Halko Group of Companies, where she rose to become the Managing Director of the Group. In 1993, Ms. Ofori-Mensah started her own publishing house – Sub-Saharan Publishers for children’s books.

Ms. Ofori-Mensah has served on the Ghana Book Publishers Association as Honorary Secretary and Vice President. She was elected President of the Ghana Book Publishers Association for 2003-2005.

Since 1991, Timotea Vrablova has been a research worker at the Institute of Slovak Literature of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, working on the literary culture of the 17th and 18th Centuries and children’s literature. She gives lectures and seminars on children’s literature, psychology of children's observation, and creative writing.

Between 1992 and 1998, she co-created a project to establish a bilingual primary school (Slovak/English) in the Slovakian capital city of Bratislava, and created the curriculum as well as the teaching-resource materials. In 1999, she created the project The Path to a Book, which was launched in children’s clubs that had been introduced all over Slovakia.

Since 2007, she has been working for the Book Revue magazine and BIBIANA, the professional journal of arts for children and young adults of the Slovak National Section of I.B.B.Y. She has been working for Slovak Radio since 2008, and currently has a program aimed at creative reading for children called Little School Year. Since May of 2010, she has been the President of the Slovak National Section of I.B.B.Y.

In 2014, María Jesús Gil of Spain was elected President of the Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury. She previously served as Hans Christian Andersen Jury President 2012.

After she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Arts in the University of Valladolid in 1981, she travelled to the United Kingdom to study language and literature in the Universities of Exeter, Manchester, and Dundee. She worked at Ediciones S.M. 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.

María Jesús Gil also was Editorial Manager of Alfaguara Infantil y Juvenil and Altea (Santillana). After a time as a professional consultant for publishing firms, today she is the Coordinator of Reading Programmes for Spain and Latinamerica in the Foundation SM.

She was an elected member of the IBBY E.C. from 1996 to 2000. In 2009, she was elected President of the Spanish National Section of I.B.B.Y.

Ms. Gil was a member of the Jury for the Hans Christian Andersen Award for 2008 and 2010. She was the Chair of the 32nd I.B.B.Y. Congress in Santiago de Compostela in 2010.

Ellis Vance of Fresno, California is Treasurer of I.B.B.Y. He has served as I.B.B.Y. Treasurer since 2008, having been re-confirmed in office at the 33rd I.B.B.Y. General Assembly in London.

After receiving a Master's Degree in Education, Vance worked as a teacher and school administrator for forty years in the Fresno area in California. He supervised library services to children in thirty-eight school districts for a number of years before retiring.

He has also taught reading methods, library services, and children's literature courses at three universities in the Fresno area. From 2004 to 2007, he was Project Director for the California Learning Resource Network (C.L.R.N.) reviewing resources for educators to use with children. C.L.R.N.'s Web site is used throughout the U.S. and in eighty countries.

After forty-two years in education, he is currently an education consultant and devotes most of his time to U.S.B.B.Y. and I.B.B.Y. Vance has received numerous awards in the fields of education and reading and been an active member of U.S.B.B.Y. for many years. He is the current Bookbird, Inc. Treasurer, and also served as the U.S.B.B.Y. Treasurer until 2008.

He is currently the Executive Secretary of U.S.B.B.Y. and organizer of the 9th I.B.BY. Regional Conference in Fresno in October of 2011. Vance served as Vice President of I.B.B.Y. for 2006-2008 having been elected at the 30th I.B.B.Y. General Assembly in Macau, China.

Liz Page is the Executive Director of I.B.B.Y. Ms. Page grew up and lived in England until 1985, when she and her family moved to Basel. She soon became involved with JuKiBu, the Intercultural Children’s Library in Basel, of which she was a founding member.

Later she was elected President of the Intercultural Children’s Libraries Association of Switzerland. She joined I.B.B.Y. as Executive Assistant in 1997, worked as Administrative Director from 2003 to 2006, and Director of Member Services, Communications and New Projects until March of 2009, when she was appointed Executive Director.

The Board of Bookbird, Inc. announced the appointment of Dr. Björn Sundmark as incoming editor of Bookbird with effect from 2015 until 2018 inclusive. Dr. Sundmark is Associate Professor of English at the Faculty of Education, Malmö University in Sweden. Dr. Sundmark will succeed Dr. Roxanne Harde, Associate Professor of English, Associate Dean, Research and McCalla University Professor at the University of Alberta in Canada, whose term of office as editor of Bookbird concludes in 2014.

Professor Sundmark is currently research editor of Barnboken, an online children’s literature journal published by the Swedish Institute of Children’s Books and is a former editor of Educare, an educational research journal published by Malmö University. He is on the board of the Swedish National Cultural Council, he is a member of the Swedish National Section of I.B.B.Y., and is a member of the advisory editorial board of Bookbird.

Commenting on his appointment, Dr. Sundmark stated his commitment to maintaining the high publication standards of Bookbird, remarking that “my vision for Bookbird begins with what it is: a rare bird combining the academic with the journalistic, a creature both international and regional, a publication for the expert as well as for the interested layperson. Most publications in the field are either oriented towards academia, publishing professionals or book lovers, but Bookbird caters successfully for members of the children’s literature community, whatever their perspectives, throughout the world. I would like to keep it that way.”

[1] Galician is a Romance language like Castilian Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, Provençal, French, Italian, and Romanian. Today an autonomous community with a devolved government called the Xunta de Galicia. In early modern times, the old Kingdom of Galicia became one of the constituent kingdoms that formed the Kingdom of Spain as part of the Crown of Castile & León. Galicia is directly north or Portugal. A different German tribe than the Visigoths, the Suebi, conquered Galicia and established a kingdom in 411 A.D. The Visigoth King Liuvigild conquered this kingdom and annexed in the 580s. Many Spaniards are part Celtic through descent from the Celtiberians (who were conquered in part by the Carthaginians and in whole successively by the Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, and Moors), but the Galcians are more cognizant of being Celtic than other Spaniards because they received an infusion of Celtic blood by a colony of Britons in northern Galicia during the Suebian period. When Arabs from the Umayyad Caliphate based in Damascus conquered most of Spain in the 700s, they never reached Galicia in large numbers. It became part of the Kingdom of Asturias after the Visigothic aristocrat Pelagius of Asturias led an uprising and defeated an Arab punitive force in the Battle of Covadonga in 722 A.D. In the 9th Century, the cult of St. James the Greater became increasingly popular and a city sprang up around his tomb, Santiago de Compostela, which became the Galician capital. The Way of St. James became a major pilgrimage route. Although the Kingdom of Galicia briefly gained independence from the Kingdom of Castile in the 10th Century and again briefly in the 11th Century, both times it was forced to re-merged with the Kingdom of León or the Kingdoms of Castile & León.

[2] This prize was named for the Egyptian-Welsh sociologist Suzanne Mubarak, wife of former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak

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