#NonExecutiveDirector

Karen Merkel

Board Member, UK National Commission for UNESCO Board of Directors.

Home       >       Expert Network       >       Non-Executive Directors

Karen Merkel is an expert on international development through creative industries, having worked across multiple media platforms throughout her career and co-founding New Media Networks with Akim Mogaji in 2008.

In 2008, Karen co-founded New Media Networks, an international communication, production and training consultancy that works globally on content creation and media strategies. The company undertakes regular work with international and national broadcasters, the BBC, organisational members of the Commonwealth Family, the UN and regional agencies. In these contexts, Karen has developed a range of events and activities designed for broadcast i.e. masterclasses, showcases, training and discussions, which include Media Literacy.

Karen spent nine years at the BBC and throughout this time she has worked in World Service Education on global broadcast projects, as Director of Education for the BBC World Service Trust (now Media Action) and lead on a new educational partnership between BBC World Service and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

She also has 20 years of experience working across the UK as an Arts and Media Practitioner with community-based Arts Companies, producing independent programmes for BBC Radio 4 and 5Live, as well as creating and co-leading ‘SoundRadio’.

Karen has dedicated her time to vital charity efforts throughout her career, having participated as a member of the UNAIDS Communications Task Force: aids2031, Chair of Newham’s Community Health Council and a board member of ‘Acting Up’, a charity building digital platforms for self-advocacy for people with learning disabilities.

#Institution

Founder and Partner
New Media Networks (NMN) in London

Since 2008

#Alma-Matter

University of East Anglia

#Role at UNESCO

Director of the Communication and Information portfolio, UK National Commission for UNESCO

SINCE 2014

QUOTE

“My UNESCO portfolio has 3 facets: Freedom of Expression, Media Development and Access to Information and Knowledge. […] Each area is distinct, complex and fast moving. It is also endlessly fascinating.”

Karen Merkel

Liaising with the UK’s Permanent Delegation to UNESCO and approved by HM government, our Non-Executive Directors help steer the direction of the UK National Commission for UNESCO, and are each responsible for overseeing a particular field of UNESCO’s work in the UK.

ROLE AT UNESCO

Karen Merkel is a member of the UK National Commission for UNESCO’s Board of Directors, specialising in Communication and Information.

Institutions

New Media Networks (NMN) Consultancy
Co-Founder, Partner.

SINCE 2008

University of East Anglia
Associate Tutor

SINCE 2009

Stratford Circus: Creative and Performing Arts Venue
Chair of Stratford Arts Trust

SINCE 2012

Role at UNESCO

Non-Executive Director, UK National Commission for UNESCO’s Board of Directors, Communication and Information portfolio.

SINCE 2014

COMMISSION

The UK National Commission for UNESCO

ESTABLISHED 1946 – LONDON, ENGLAND

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) is the United Nations body responsible for coordinating international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication. The UKNC is a hub for all UNESCO-related matters in the UK, and the Board of Directors take part in formulating and regularly reviewing the strategic aims of the commission.

Publications

SELECTED PUBLISHED WORK

Read about some of the projects and initiatives that Karen has been a part of.

LATEST

INTERNATIONAL DAY International Migrants Day 18.12 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   December 18 We celebrate the International Migrants Day on December 18. READ MORE BELOW MIGRANTS DAY Photo credit, from top to bottom: Nicola Fioravanti, UNESCO Migration is a global phenomenon driven by many forces. These start with aspirations for…
Read More
INTERNATIONAL DAY International Day of Persons with Disabilities 03.12 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   December 3 We celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3. READ MORE BELOW DAY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES Photo credit, from top to bottom: Nathan Anderson, Arisa Chattasa. The annual observance of the…
Read More
INTERNATIONAL DAY International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 29.11 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   November 29 We celebrate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29. READ MORE BELOW SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE Photo credit, from top to bottom: Ahmed Abu Hameeda, Cole-Keister.…
Read More
INTERNATIONAL DAY International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 25.11 Home  →  What's On  →  Events  →   International Days   →   November 25 We celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25. READ MORE BELOW END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN Photo credit, from top to bottom: United Nations, Karl…
Read More

QUOTE

“More recently, the world has come to understand more about Disinformation and hopefully, how Media Literacy is the tool for citizens to use to discern fact from fiction. As I have a background in urban regeneration, I also focus on the Creative Cities Programme, which enables me to see at first hand the amazing work that goes on within UNESCO Designations. All in all, it’s a unique privilege to be involved in this amazing organisation.”

Karen Merkel

RELATED EXPERTS

Meet the UK National Commission for UNESCO Accredited Experts

#Education #Media

RELATED CHAIRS

Read more about our related Chairs in Media and Freedom.

FULL LIST

A global network of universities that carry out research to address pressing challenges and contribute.

*by alphabetical order

Our advisors are experts in their field who provide advice to the UK National Commission for UNESCO by reviewing applications for UNESCO designations, prizes and patronage, and contribute to other aspects of our work.

🔮   Explore our #Advisor network     
Professor Matthew Cragoe     

#Man&Biosphere #Science

Melanie Board     

#GlobalGeoparks #Science

Dr Kirstin Lemon     

#GlobalGeoparks #Science

Sandeep Mahal     

#CreativeCity #Communication

David Wilson     

#CreativeCity #Communication

Rachel Hosker     

#MemoryoftheWorld #Culture

Chris Blandford     

#WorldHeritage #Culture

Tony Crouch     

#WorldHeritage #Culture

Leiutenant Colonal Tim Purbrick     

#BlueShield #CulturalProtection

All our accredited experts are selected to advise the UK National Commission for UNESCO on policy matters related to UNESCO. They are approved by HM government to represent the UK in UNESCO committees, commissions and programmes.

🎓   Meet our #AccreditedExpert     
Professor Alan Jenkins     

#IHP #Science

Professor Ivor Gaber     

#IPDC #Communication

Professor Harry Dixon     

#IHP #Science

Professor Edward Hill     

#IOC #Science

Mr Alan Evans     

#IOC #Science

Professor Sheila McLean     

#Bioethics #Social&HumanScience

Professor Lucy Blue     

#UnderwaterCulteralHeritage #Culture

Professor Samar Hasnain     

#SESAME #Science

Professor Adrian Weller     

#AI #TuringCenter #Science

UNESCO Chairs are based within Institutes for Higher Education and specialise in specific research fields. They provide policy advice to the UK National Commission for UNESCO and HM government, as well as reviewing UNESCO applications.

🪑   Explore our #Chairs network     
Chair in Geoscience and Society at the University of Plymouth
Chair in Media Freedom, Journalism Safety and the Issue of Impunity at the University of Sheffield
Chair on Analytics and Data Science at the University of Essex
Chair in Adult Literacy and Learning for Social Transformation at University of East Anglia
Chair on Artificial Intelligence at University College of London
Chair on Responsible Foresight for Sustainable Development at the University of Lincoln
Chair in Inclusive and Quality Education for All at the University of Bristol
Chair in New Media Forms of the Book at the University of Bedfordshire
Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts at the University of Glasgow
Chair in Water Science at the University of Birmingham
Chair in Cultural Property Protection and Peace at Newcastle University
UNITWIN Network in Global Pharmacy Education Development at the School of Pharmacy, University College London
Chair in the Development of a Sustainable Geoenvironment at Cardiff University
Chair in Globalising a Shared Education Model for Improving Relations in Divided Societies at Queens University Belfast
Chair in Higher Education Management at the University of Bath
Chair in Archaeological Ethics and Practice in Cultural Heritage at Durham University
Chair in Sustainable Mountain Development at the University of the Highlands and Islands
Chair in Gender Research at University of London
Chair in ICT for Development at Royal Holloway, University of London
Chair in Education for Pluralism, Human Rights and Democracy at Ulster University
Chair in Informal Digital Learning in Disadvantaged and Development Contexts at the University of Wolverhampton
UNITWIN Network in Ecohydrological Interfaces Under Change at the University of Birmingham

Liaising with the UK’s Permanent Delegation to UNESCO and approved by HM government, our Non-Executive Directors help steer the direction of the UK National Commission for UNESCO, and are each responsible for overseeing a particular field of UNESCO’s work in the UK.

🧭   Meet our #NonExecutiveDirectors     
Professor Colin McInnes     

#Chair #HumanSciences

Helen Maclagan OBE     

#Vice-Chair #Culture

Karen Merkel     

#Communication&Information

Professor David Drewry     

#NaturalSciences

Professor Anne Anderson OBE     

#HigherEducation

Joseph Nhan-O'Reilly     

#Education

JOIN THE NETWORK

Are you interested in becoming a UNESCO UK Expert? Find out more below

   Join our #ExpertNetwork        

EXPLORE FURTHER

Our 🎓 Accredited Experts are one of four pillars that form the structure for our 🕸️ Expert Network. Meet our 🪑 Chairs, our 🔮 Advisors, and our 🧭 Non-Executive Directors

click on the links above

PREVIOUS

Helen Maclagan OBE

#Culture #Heritage

   Visit #DirectorProfile        

NEXT

Professor Anne Anderson

#Technology #Communication

   Visit #DirectorProfile