Bodour Al Qasimi, founder of the UAE's Kalimat Group, has been confirmed as president-elect of the International Publishers Association (IPA), only the second woman to take on the role in the organisation's history.
The announcement was made at the organisation's first virtual General Assembly held today (Monday 23rd November), with Karine Pansa, owner of Girassol Brasil Edições, made vice-president-elect.
The confirmation came following online elections held in November.
Al Qasimi, hitherto IPA vice-president, said: “As the second woman to assume the role in 124 years, this is an important advancement in our efforts to promote diversity and inclusion. Leading by example puts the IPA on an even firmer footing to make the case for a diverse publishing industry. I plan to work closely with all of our members to help our industry recover from the ravages of 2020, and transition smoothly to a post-Covid world and to set our essential industry on a bright, new track.”
The meeting was also the the last for outgoing president Hugo Setzer, who thanked IPA members for their support and encouraged them to continue to work together to overcome the damage of the pandemic on the international book industry.
He said: "I have been really privileged to be able to serve you, first as vice-president and then as president. Since I started as vice-president four years ago, I said that I wanted to build bridges; bridges of understanding between different countries, different cultures and ways of thinking. I am sure there is so much more that unites us than the minor issues of difference between us. That is why IPA has remained united for almost 125 years now. Let us continue to work together to be able to emerge stronger from this crisis.”