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Ben Steward

Ben Steward became the IPA's Director of Communications and Freedom to Publish in February 2016.


After leaving the UK, where he had been a newspaper journalist, Ben joined the Geneva-based European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the world’s biggest alliance of public service broadcasters, where he worked for eight years as a news editor then communications officer in the Public Affairs Department. From 2014 to 2016 he served as the speechwriter and communications aide to the leadership of MSC Cruises, the world's fourth biggest cruise company. 

Catherine Blache

Catherine Blache joined the French Publishers Association (Syndicat national de l'Edition) as Senior Counsellor, International Policy, in 2003. She is in charge of European and International Affairs on behalf of French book publishers.

Earlier in her career, she worked in the EU Office of Bertelsmann in Brussels (1998-1999) and then in the Public Policy and Government Relations Department of Vivendi in Paris (1999-2003), as the main liaison for a leading industry lobby on e-commerce issues. Ms. Blache has a Master of European Studies in Politics and Administration of the College of Europe (Bruges, Belgium).

Dougal Thomson

Dougal Thomson is a journalist based in Geneva, where he works as Director of Communications for the International Publishers Association.
He reports on media and the creative industries, and on how the digital economy is disrupting business models and society.
From 2007 to 2013 he worked at The Economist, covering a range of range of sectors including trade, technology, energy, financial services and the environment.

Tatiana Synodinou

Tatiana Synodinou is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Cyprus, specializing in copyright, online, media and intellectual property law. She has been a teacher and researcher at universities in Cyprus, Greece and France, is a research associate with the Kluwer Law International publishing house, in its ‘Kluwer EU IP Cases’ database, and a reporter for the Kluwer Copyright Blog.

Trasvin Jittidecharak

Trasvin Jittidecharak founded Silkworm Books in 1991 as an independent publisher of English-language books on Thailand and Southeast Asia. In 2005, Trasvin founded Mekong Press, later Mekong Press Foundation (2008), with financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation, to strengthen publishing in the Greater Mekong Subregion and establish a regional network of publishers. She successfully campaigned for Bangkok’s designation as UNESCO World Book Capital 2013, and was appointed to serve on the Bangkok World Book Capital steering committee as the international focal person for the Bangkok World Book Capital 2013. Trasvin became a member of the IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee in 2008, and joined the IPA Executive Committee in 2012.

Richard Charkin

Richard Charkin is President of the IPA and Executive Director of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. As well as being responsible for Bloomsbury's worldwide publishing activities, he represents the IPA at the highest level. He has held manifold senior posts at major publishing houses, including Macmillan, Oxford University Press and Reed Elsevier, and has led many other organizations, such as the UK Publishers Association and the Society of Bookmen. Richard has an MA in Natural Sciences from Trinity College, Cambridge; was a Supernumerary Fellow of Green College, Oxford; and attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School; and he is a Visiting Professor at the University of the Arts London.

Matt Goolding

Matt Goolding is Head of Digital Marketing at Ribbonfish, a London-based company that creates cloud enterprise apps for major publishers in the UK and the US. Ribbonfish develops tools to help publishers adopt an agile approach, improve processes, and build a closer bond with their customers.