October 22, 2014

Al-Tikriti Chairs Social Media Panel, Re-Elected to MSF USA Board

Nabil Al-Tikriti at MSF USA General Assembly in NYC

Nabil Al-Tikriti at MSF USA General Assembly in NYC

During the May 30-31, 2014 MSF/Doctors Without Borders USA annual General Assembly, Associate Professor of History and American Studies Nabil Al-Tikriti successfully ran for re-election to the MSF USA board of directors. Each term runs for three years, and is completely voluntary. First elected in 2011, with his re-election Al-Tikriti hopes to continue serving on the MSF USA board through 2014. Elected board members traditionally spring from returned field volunteers, a qualification which Al-Tikriti gained in Somalia (1993), Iran (1996), Albania (1999), Turkey (1999), Jordan/Iraq (2002-2003), and Turkey/Syria (2013).

In his capacity as a board member, on May 30 Al-Tikriti co-organized (with Jason Cone, MSF USA Director of Communications), moderated, and led discussion for a plenary session entitled “Use of Social Media in Crisis Situations” during the 2014 MSF USA General Assembly in Brooklyn. During this session, participants set out to describe various experiences in the field regarding the use of social media.

Session panelists included: Wendy Harman (Director of Information Management and Situational Awareness, American Red Cross), Patrick Meier (Director of Social Innovation at QCRI), Chris Houston (Member, MSF Canada Board of Directors), and Jason Cone (Director of Communications, MSF USA).

The session description was as follows: “MSF’s relationship with social media is no longer a matter of choice, if indeed it ever was. Social media is the communications reality in which MSF must learn to operate. What new challenges does this pose, and what are the opportunities to be found therein? What have been our experiences with social media in recent years, and what lessons might we learn from them? What are we doing in order both to leverage social media in furtherance of our own ends, and to prepare ourselves for instances when pressure is exerted on MSF via social media?”

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