PMA welcomes new Board of Trustees

1 November 2021

The Public Media Alliance warmly welcomes its new Board of Trustees.

Board of Trustees

The Public Media Alliance (PMA) secretariat and members congratulate Paul Thompson on his re-election as President, and Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling and Odette Campbell on their election as Vice Presidents of the PMA Board.

We also welcome the rest of our Board, with new addition Heaton Dyer, who takes over from CBC/Radio-Canada President and CEO, Catherine Tait. The PMA Board have played a central role in helping to steer the association through the challenges of a global pandemic and we look forward to working with them all to continue supporting and advocating for the values of public media worldwide.

On accepting his new term, Paul Thompson said: “I am delighted to be re-elected as the President of the PMA in what is a challenging and pivotal time for public media. The PMA’s role is to champion the value and importance of independent public media in keeping nations and communities connected and informed. I look forward to working with the PMA Board and staff on the challenges ahead.”

The PMA membership elects a new Board every two years. However, due to the challenges of COVID-19, the 2020 election was postponed until October 2021.

You can find out more about our Board of Trustees below.

Meet the Board

Paul Thompson, RNZ
Paul Thompson
CEO and Editor-in-Chief, Radio New Zealand

Paul Thompson was appointed Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief of New Zealand’s public service broadcaster, Radio New Zealand, in September 2013. He is an experienced journalist with an extensive background in print media and publishing. He was Editor-in-Chief of Fairfax Media (New Zealand) from 2007to 2013 with responsibility for all Fairfax journalism in New Zealand. Prior to this Paul had been Editor of The Press in Christchurch and has previously worked as a reporter, sub-editor and newsroom executive in several New Zealand and UK publications.

In September 2016 he was elected President of the international Public Media Alliance formerly known as the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association. He was re-elected to that position in 2018.

Odette Campbell
Vice President
Odette Campbell
Managing Director, Grenada Broadcasting Network

Odette Campbell is a long-term media manager and has worked closely with PMA for many years to uphold public media values worldwide.

Odette’s role as Managing Director builds on over 30 years’ experience in journalism and media production. Previous roles include News Director of GBN and Communications Specialist at Grenada’s National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA).

As a seasoned media trainer, Odette also works in an advisory capacity to conservation group Sustainable Grenadines Inc, and as an Adjunct Lecturer in Journalism and Communications Studies at Grenada’s T. A. Marryshow Community College.

Odette hosts a weekly current affairs programme, Beyond the Headlines which has featured discussions on a myriad of global issues including Gender and Politics, The Venezuelan Migrant Crisis – Caribbean Perspective, The American Elections Dilemma and Covid-19 – the Global Repercussions.

Odette has a Masters in International Journalism from Sussex University, a Diploma in Marketing from St. Georges University and  Certificates in Business Law, Labour Law and Supervisory Management from The University of the West Indies.

Frank-Dieter Freiling
Vice President
Dr Frank-Dieter Freiling
Senior Vice President International Affairs, ZDF

1989 – 1990 –  Doctorate in International Law
1993 – Second State Exam in Law
1993 – 1995 – Assistant to CEO, Gruner + Jahr AG, Hamburg
1995/96 – Deputy General Manager of GALA and Member of the Management board, Norddeutsche Verlagsgesellschaft, Hamburg 1996/97 – General Manager/Publisher, GALA, Hamburg
1997 – 2000 – Head of International Program Coordination, ZDF German Television, Mainz
Since 2000 – Director of International Affairs, ZDF German Television

Amin Alhassan
Board Member
Prof. Amin Alhassan
Director General, Ghana Broadcasting Corporation

Prof. Amin Alhassan is the Director-General of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC). He previously taught at the University for Development Studies, Tamala, Ghana, and at York University, Toronto, where he was a tenured faculty member. He has PhD in Communication from Concordia University, Montreal, and is a development communication specialist.

Gary Allen
Board Member
Gary Allen
CEO, RJRGLEANER Communications Group

Mr. Allen is the CEO of the RJRGLEANER Communications Group. He is a career journalist and Media Manager with experience in local, regional and international media. He has served RJR as a journalist and now in a management capacity for a combined 20 years. At the regional level he served the Caribbean Broadcasting Union, (CBU), the Caribbean News Agency, (CANA) and the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC). At CMC he served up to the level of Chief Operating Officer. He is a graduate of the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communications (CARIMAC), and the Mona School of Business (MSB) at the UWI. He is a past chairman of the Media Association Jamaica Limited and is also past chairman of the Jamaica Debates Commission. He is Vice President of the CBU. He serves as Chairman of Independent Radio Company and as a director on the subsidiary boards of TVJ, JNN and RETV.

Cilla Benkö
Board Member
Cilla Benkö
CEO & Director General, Swedish Radio

Cilla Benkö was named as Director General of Swedish Radio on 1 October 2012, after having been deputy Director General since 2009. She has worked for Swedish Radio for more than 25 years, and over this time she has occupied a number of managerial positions. She began her career at Swedish Radio on Radiosporten, before moving to SR’s news service, Ekot, as an economics reporter. Cilla Benkö has been manager of SR’s Ekot and SVT’s Aktuellt.

Cilla Benkö is one of 11 members of the EBU’s Executive Board and a member of the EBU’s Personnel Committee. She is the chair of the Prix Europa and chair of the jury of the UNESCO / Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize.

In 2015, Cilla Benkö was appointed as a member of the Advisory Board for the Media and Communications Department at the London School of Economics (LSE); she is also a member of the board of INSI (the International News Safety Institute).

In 2016 she was awarded the Pontus Schultz prize for her leadership.

In 2017 she was awarded the prestigious prize Leader of the Year 2017, at the Leader Gala in Stockholm, where Sweden’s best leaders at all levels and from all industries were named.

1986 she graduated in Journalism and Media at Stockholm University.

Heaton Dyer
Board Member
Heaton Dyer
Executive Director, Strategy and International Relations, CBC/Radio-Canada

Heaton Dyer is Executive Director of Strategy and International Relations for CBC/Radio-Canada. As such he is responsible for providing strategic thinking and strategic planning as well as leading efforts to build international alliances and partnerships.

In his position, Dyer also works closely with content and business heads to identify, and realize, corporate development opportunities, growth opportunities, and strategic partnerships and alliances.

Prior to taking up this position, he was Executive Director of programming at CBC News, overseeing News programming, nationally and locally, on all broadcast, digital and mobile platforms. Dyer has served in a number of different roles at CBC/Radio-Canada including being Head of Current Affairs and Head of the CBC’s All-News channel.

Dyer has worked for four public and four private media companies on three continents and has more than 30 years experience in media. He has served as Head of News and Current Affairs at TVNZ, New Zealand, and launched TVNZ’s version of 60 Minutes (as Executive Producer) in the early 1990s. Dyer is originally from Australia and has worked as a reporter and producer for several Australian networks including ABC, SBS, Nine Network Australia and the Seven Network. He has also worked extensively in Britain, for a number of different broadcasters and media organizations, including Sky and Dow Jones.

David Sutton
Board Member
Dr David Sutton
Senior Strategist, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

David Sutton is a Senior Strategist in the Corporate Strategy team at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He has worked for the ABC since 2002 in a range of corporate policy and strategy roles. Prior to his current role, he was the Corporation’s Head of R+D. David has a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Sydney. Before joining the ABC, he worked in communications and media departments at several universities around Sydney and as the broadcasting adviser for the Australian Democrats.

Gerard Teuma
Board Member
Gerard Teuma
CEO, Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation

Gerard Teuma was appointed Chief Executive in 2012 after seven years as Head of Radio Gibraltar. He started his career with GBC in 1984 as a Radio/TV Presenter and later as a Senior Broadcast Journalist and political interviewer. During his long career with the Corporation, Gerard became a household name in Gibraltar presenting various shows on Radio Gibraltar and anchoring GBC TV’s nightly news bulletin and current affairs programmes, as well as numerous major broadcasts, such as General and European Elections.

As CEO, Gerard conducted a major review of GBC’s services, and having negotiated improved Government funding for the Corporation, spearheaded and personally oversaw, the relaunch of GBC TV for it to now provide a wide-ranging selection of locally-produced and imported programmes. The review also included further improvements on radio and the introduction of new online and on demand services.

Over the past four years, Gerard has led the team tasked with relocating GBC to new premises, with the project having concluded in 2021 when the Corporation moved into a state-of-the-art media centre incorporating a variety of television and radio studios and associated facilities.

He also revived the charity telethon, GBC Open Day, in the late 80s, for it to become the Rock’s foremost community fund-raising event, having raised to date more than £3,000,000 for local deserving causes.

Fran Unsworth
Board Member
Fran Unsworth
Director of News & Current Affairs, BBC

Francesca Unsworth became Director, News and Current Affairs in January 2018.

She was previously Director, BBC World Service Group, a post to which she was appointed in December 2014.

In this role she led the BBC’s global news services – BBC World Service, BBC World News and – as well as BBC Monitoring, and she chaired the BBC’s international development charity, BBC Media Action. The BBC’s global news services have a weekly audience of 346m. In this role, Fran was also deputy to the Director of News and Current Affairs.

Fran began her journalistic career in 1980 in BBC Local Radio, joining Radio 1’s Newsbeat. She spent some time as a network radio producer in Washington DC, and later joined Radio 4’s The World At One and PM.

Fran was appointed the BBC’s Home News Editor and then, in 2001, Head of Political Programmes. In 2005 she became Head of Newsgathering, running one of the world’s largest newsgathering operations with bureaux across the world.

Between November 2012 and August 2013 Fran was the BBC’s Acting Director of News and Current Affairs. Prior to her appointment to the World Service Group, she was Deputy Director of BBC News and Current Affairs.