|Email:||hilyard [at] oyster.net.ck|
Maureen Hilyard is a project manager and consultant for development projects in the Cook Islands. She has a Master of Management although her former career was in Education. She worked as a Regional Advisor with the New Zealand Correspondence School facilitating distance learning for homebased students working with their teachers in the school in Wellington.
She moved to the Cook Islands in 2004 under an NZAid contract as the Distance Learning Facilitator with the Cook Islands Ministry of Education working with outer islands students completing their studies through the Correspondence School teachers in Wellington. As part of this project, she helped to establish the internet into all the schools in the outer islands and persuaded the Correspondence School to digitise their learning programmes so that students could use the internet to complete and return work. This saved months of turnaround time of hard copies of school work from students on their small far-flung islands in the Pacific to the school in New Zealand.
Following this contract Maureen has worked for the Cook Islands government and private contracts on a range of development contracts. She founded an NGO - the Cook Islands Internet Action Group (CIIAG) which advocates for internet development focusing on accessibility and affordability and which became an ALS in 2011. She is a member of the Telecommunications Advisory Committee that advises the Minister.
Maureen joined the Pacific Islands Chapter of the Internet Society (PICISOC) in 2006 after meeting Vint Cerf at a PacINET held in Samoa. She ran PacINET in 2008 and joined the Board in 2009. She was Board Chair from 2011 until 2014, and was Secretary in 2015. Her interest in internet governance was spurred by a Diplo Course on IG in 2008 after which she was awarded a fellowship to attend her first IGF in Hyderabad. The following year she was an ISOC Ambassador at the Sharm el Sheikh IGF.
In 2010 Maureen was awarded an ICANN Fellowship to attend her first ICANN meeting in Cartegena and was soon captured by ALAC and a working group reviewing the regions. This involvement ensured that Pacific island countries, and other territories, became more integrated into the ICANN system as developing countries in their own right. Before attending her next ICANN meeting in 2012 in Costa Rica, she maintained contact through APRALO and At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC) meetings as well as joining into other working groups. She became the ALAC Liaison to the ccNSO in 2013 and was elected to take a seat on the ALAC after the 2013 AGM meeting. She ceased being the ccNSO Liaison in 2018 when she was elected as the Vice Chair of the ALAC. This position was taken over by Barrack Otieno from Kenya. She was involved in a number of working groups and a penholder for a number of ALAC policy statements. In 2020, she is now in her 4th term as one of the APRALO representatives on the ALAC, and is the Chair of the ALAC.
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