Rinalia Abdul Rahim

Rinalia Abdul Rahim

Senior Vice President, Strategy, Communications, and Engagement

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Rinalia Abdul Rahim is Senior Vice President of Strategy, Communications, and Engagement at the Internet Society (ISOC) where she is responsible for enabling and enhancing the effectiveness and impact of the Internet Society in championing a bigger and stronger Internet. She leads multiple global teams and has a broad portfolio including Strategic Planning and Impact, Content and Communications, Community Engagement, External Engagement, and Training.

Rinalia has more than 20 years of experience in ‘ICT for Development’ and was instrumental in driving that agenda in developing countries. She brings significant experience on issues related to access, empowerment, and governance.

She is experienced in the governance of global institutions with public interest orientation and spent 6 years actively engaged in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). She was elected to the ICANN Board of Directors by the global community of Internet end users (At-Large). During this period, she oversaw the stewardship transition of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), which established ICANN as an independent entity. Concurrently, she led efforts to enhance ICANN’s organizational effectiveness as Chair of the Board’s Organizational Effectiveness Committee. She also successfully led efforts to include Jawi in the Arabic Script Repertoire for the Root Zone in support of a multilingual Internet.

Rinalia’s experience includes leading the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) as Executive Director for 8 years where GKP became the world’s leading multistakeholder initiative in ‘ICT for Development’. She brought government, business, and civil society stakeholders together to explore collaboration-based solutions on various issues including poverty, education, and the empowerment of women and youth. She established high-impact programs and networks for sharing knowledge, building partnerships, and spreading best practices in every region. For the 2003 World Summit on the Information Society, the Swiss Government (Summit host) chose the GKP as its co-organizer for the WSIS ‘ICT for Development Platform’ where the multistakeholder innovations of more than 250 organizations based in 80 countries were showcased.

At the national level in the late 1990s, she worked on ICT policies, strategies, and programs for the Malaysian government. Some of these initiatives were highlighted by UN agencies as best practices in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. She was appointed by the Prime Minister to Malaysia’s National Information Technology Council and concurrently served on the Wawasan Open University Council for 5 years. In 2013, she was elected to the Internet Society Malaysia Chapter’s Executive Council.

She has held various advisory positions with international and regional entities/initiatives such as Mozilla Foundation, Global Action Network, World Economic Forum-UNESCO Partnership for Education initiative, United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development (UNGAID), International Task Force on Women and ICT, Youth Social Enterprise Initiative, UNDP’s Asia Pacific Development Information Programme, and the World Summit on the Information Society’s ICT for Development Platform.

Rinalia holds a Master in Public Policy Degree from Harvard University (USA) and a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Princeton University (USA). She is certified in Corporate Governance by INSEAD (France).

She grew up in Malaysia and has lived in the USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and Germany. She is fluent in English, Bahasa Malaysia and its Kelantanese dialect, and Mandarin. She is currently based in Germany and learning German.

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