IABC Names Nigerian, Ikiebe In First Global Communication Certification Council

By Uche Peter
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Lagos, Nigeria; March 6, 2014: The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) has appointed Nigerian communication and media scholar, Richard Ikiebe, into a 10-person inaugural Global Communication Certification Council to develop and manage an international certification programme for business communication with ISO endorsement.

IABC President and International Executive Board chair, Robin McCasland announced the composition of the Communication Certification Council Tuesday, March 4 stating that it 'launches with a strong slate of officers representing the communication industry worldwide'.

Dr. Janet McCormick, associate professor at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) USA, will chair the council.

Vice-chair is Dr. Rajeev Kumar, of the Tata Group corporate communication in Mumbai, India.

Ikiebe has a renewable three-year term on the Council. Others to serve with him are Ana Maria Ramirez-Gomez, Zurich, Switzerland; Lynda G. Phelan, Alberta, Canada; Liam FitzPatrick, London, United Kingdom; Jacky Hood, Palo Alto, California USA; Neil Griffiths, London, United Kingdom; Two ex-officio members of the Council are Russell Grossman, IABC vice chair, and Ann Lazarus, IABC interim executive director.

The council will hold its inaugural meeting in April and focus on governance processes, background briefings and the first level of certification.

It would serve as the governing board for the new IABC certification programme. The Certification programme would be open to all communication professionals, non-IABC members inclusive, and provide a common and consistent platform for assessment.

IABC expects that the Global Certification programme would commence in 2015 and offer certification at two levels aligned with the generalist/specialist and the strategic advisor level.

Richard Ikiebe, nominated by the IABC Nigerian chapter, has over 35 years experience in media and communication in the public and private sectors. He is a Senior Fellow and pioneer Director of the Center for Leadership in Journalism at the School of Media Communication (SMC), Pan Atlantic University in Lagos, Nigeria.

Ikiebe teaches graduate and executive courses in Journalism, Journalism History and Media Leadership in a school founded to professionalize journalism skills for working journalists in Nigeria. He also leads a media study tour for Nigerian media executives and CEOs to leading media institutions abroad.

Ikiebe wrote for leading Nigerian publications Daily Times and Newswatch, and hosted programmes on Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN). He served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture (1986-1990). He was also a Special Adviser on Public Communication (1998-1999).

Ikiebe, who currently serves as vice-Chairman of Cornerstone Insurance Plc, also served on the board of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, (NIPC) in 1999 where he was the Chairman of the Commission's Sub-committee responsible for international investment promotion.

The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a professional network of about 14000 business communication professionals in over 80 countries. Founded in 1970, IABC is devoted to professionalism in business communication and helps members 'identify, share and apply the world's most effective communication practices' through thought leadership, publications, networking, conferences and cutting-edge research. Members hold positions in corporate communications; public and media relations; public affairs; investor relations; advertising; community relations; editing; photography and video production; graphic design; marketing communications; human resource management; training; writing; and teaching, among others.

Nigerian chapter President, Chido Nwakanma, congratulated Mr. Ikiebe, noting that his appointment would further the recognition and growth of business communication in Africa as well as stimulate adoption of best practice paradigms by communication professionals in the private and public sectors. He called on Nigerian firms to display their talent by entering for the globally acclaimed Gold Quill Award scheme of IABC. Nigerian LNG Limited won the Africa category of the award in 2012.

Inaugurated in 1999, IABC Nigerian chapter is currently witnessing explosive growth in membership and programmes following a focused drive by current chapter leadership.