OGP Picks Joe Foti as IRM Program Manager

19 October 2012

The Open Government Partnership has chosen Joe Foti, formerly with the environmental group World Resources Institute, as the program manager for the Independent Review Mechanism.

Foti, who will start Oct. 22, was Senior Associate with the Institutions and Governance Program at WRI.

According to information on the WRI website, he was the lead author of “Voice and Choice: Opening the Door to Environmental Democracy,” the second global report of  The Access Initiative (TAI), and “A Seat at the Table: Including the Poor in Decisions for Environment.”

The entry says he was leading work on WRI’s toolkit for civil society involvement in climate change adaptation. He was the desk officer for Latin America and for environmental justice work in the United States.

“Joseph has also been the lead contact for WRI’s cooperation on legal reform to open environmental impact assessment to the poor in Chile and works with civil society organizations in Thailand and Indonesia to use new freedom of information laws to improve access to environmental information,” according to the entry.  He previously was a research intern at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and a teacher and consultant at Baltimore City Public Schools.

The WRI Access Initiative has been active on a wide range of transparency fronts  internationally. A blog post by Alisa Zomer that Foti retweeted in September 2011 suggested that national commitments on environmental transparency should be made both in the contest of the international environmental talks at Rio+20 and in the OGP realm.

As IRM program manager, Foti will be a part of the small OGP Support Unit.

The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM)  includes regular independent assessment reports for each OGP participating government and assessments by independent evaluators who will be chosen by an international expert panel (IEP) of 8 individuals. An announcement on panel members is expected soon.

The OGP has chosen, but not yet announced a new executive director.

According to the job posting: “Key responsibilities of the Project Manager will include working with the IEP to develop an assessment questionnaire/template for all OGP countries, helping to identify local researchers for OGP’s participating countries, working closely with each of the selected local researchers, shepherding draft reports through a government and IEP review process, preparing final reports for publication, and assisting in report outreach and dissemination.  The IRM Program Manager will also be charged with overseeing the IRM Program Assistant, and keeping the OGP Steering Committee and Support Unit informed and engaged throughout this process as appropriate.

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