WASHINGTON (June 30, 2016)– WRI is pleased to announce that Carole Excell, Project Director of The Access Initiative (TAI) at WRI, has been selected to serve as the sole external member of United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Access to Information Panel. Appointed by the Executive Director of UNEP, Excell will join Jochem Zoetelief and Sara Rahman of UNEP on the first-ever panel to monitor implementation of UNEP’s newly revised policy, created to expand openness and access to environmental information.

During her two-year term, Excell will review cases where citizens have requested information and provide input to bolster UNEP’s policy. UNEP and WRI have a shared interest in enhancing transparency and public participation when it comes to environmental decision-making, and the two organizations have a long history of working together on these issues.

Following is a statement by Mark Robinson, Global Director for Governance, WRI:

“We are delighted to have a WRI governance expert joining UNEP’s Access to Information Panel. Carole and TAI colleagues played an active role in shaping the new UNEP Access to Information policy. UNEP has been far sighted in opening up the Panel to external representation as this will further strengthen its legitimacy and independence.

“Carole has extensive experience in implementing freedom of information laws from her work at the Carter Center and for the governments of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. She has an open and collaborative spirit and is an excellent choice for this important role.”

Alexander Juras, Chief of UNEP’s Major Groups and Stakeholders Branch, issued the following statement:

"With Carole Excell, UNEP is happy to have an individual on its new Access to Information Panel who is widely known for her knowledge, professionalism and enthusiasm for promoting free access to information. Carole, a key contributor to UNEP’s Access to Information Policy, will help ensure that stakeholder interest in transparency is looked after in the best way possible.”