Board of directors

Dr. Neil James

President, Governance and finance co-chair, Professional development advisor, Publications chair (Australia)

Neil is Executive Director of the Plain English Foundation in Australia, which combines plain English training, editing, and evaluation with a campaign for more ethical public language. Founded in 2003 with Dr. Peta Spear, it has since trained more than 15,000 professionals in plain language.

With a background in government, the media, and publishing, Neil went on to earn his doctorate in English at the University of Sydney. His books include Writing at work and Modern Manglish and he has published more than 80 articles and essays on literature and language.

Neil is a regular speaker about public language in the media throughout Australia. He is a PLAIN representative on the International Plain Language Federation.

Anki Mattson

Vice-President, Membership chair (Sweden)

Anki is a certified plain language consultant with an examina from Stockholm University. She started her plain language expert career at the Swedish Migration Board 15 years ago. Since then she has started, and still runs, a successful plain language agency and has worked on legal texts at the Swedish Government Offices.

She also co-wrote the bestselling book Juristens skrivhandbok. The democratic potential of officialese and legalese, or rather the un-democratic potential of the two, fascinates her. She has therefore stayed on their track: putting democracy and human rights on the plain language agenda.

Anki believes plain language should be put to work to promote democratic values and human rights everywhere. Language is a powerful tool, and she believes that we should use it to make the world a better place.

In her free time Anki enjoys taking care of her family’s 19th century cottage and catching up on her reading.

Greg Moriarty

Secretary, Membership advisor (Australia)

Greg is the Training Manager at the Plain English Foundation in Sydney, Australia.

He has presented plain English workshops for hundreds of professionals in legal, corporate, and government organizations ranging from the Commonwealth Bank and Department of Attorney General and Justice to the Parliament of Victoria and the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Greg writes crime fiction in between teaching himself acupuncture.

Diane Macgregor

Treasurer, Governance and finance co-chair (Canada)

Diane is a plain language editor with Communications Nova Scotia, helping government specialists reach their target audiences with efficient, effective, human-centered documents.

She was involved in Alberta’s work to improve government communications and consumer contracts in the 1980s, and has been a plain language advocate ever since. She served as secretary on the founding board of PLAIN (2008–2010).

Diane dreams of spending a whole summer on a beach.

Sylviane Duval

Publications advisor (Canada)

Sylviane launched her knowledge translation/transfer and research communications business in 2003, after working at McGill University and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. Most of her clients are academics to whom plain language does not come naturally.

She once heard renowned Ontario Justice Horace Krever say that nobody had ever asked him to make legal text more complicated. That lesson stuck. Since that day, she has made a special effort to ensure all of her work is in plain language, and trains others to achieve that goal.

Vera Gergely

Communications co-chair, Website manager (Hungary)

Vera has worked in different fields and environments, from NGOs through multinational companies to startups.

She has experience in software testing, project management, organizing events, and technical writing, with a Masters in Economics.

Two years ago, she embarked on the ambitious task of introducing plain language in Hungary. Since then, she has worked as a freelancer, offering plain language editing and training to companies. She partnered up with a news portal, and launched a plain language award. Vera also wrote a comprehensive guide on how to write clearly in Hungarian.

She loves reading science-fiction and playing soccer. She dreams of a world where the right to understand is a universal right.

Jana Goldman

Professional development chair, Communications advisor (United States)

Jana has been a plain language advocate throughout her communications career.

She began as a daily newspaper reporter and editor. When she retired in 2013, she was the press officer for an office of U.S. government scientists working with climate change and other issues.

Through her business, Press Here, Jana continues that work, training scientists to use plain language when talking about their work to non-scientists. She has also trained U.S. government employees to comply with the Plain Writing Act of 2010.

Jana enjoys reading detective fiction from the 1930s to 1960s and traveling with her husband, a cultural anthropologist.

Margrethe Kvarenes

Publications advisor, Conference advisor (Norway)

Margrethe is a plain language advocate, lecturer, editor, webmaster and writer at the Language Council of Norway, the Norwegian Government’s consultative body on language issues. She plays a major part in the national initiative “Plain Language in Norway’s Civil Service”, in partnership with the Norwegian Agency for Public Management and eGovernment. Through a wide range of activities this partnership has set a new standard for public communication in Norway.

Margrethe’s resume includes translation, editing, publishing and communications work as well as international relations. She is co-author of both Norwegian and Danish Plain Language manuals, and she is the editor of the Norwegian Plain Language website

She loves mountain biking, cross-country skiing, cooking, gardening and reading, and she keeps a small bevy of quails for their delicious eggs (but would like to upscale to hens in the future).

Robert Linsky

Conference chair, Website advisor (United States)

Robert, Information Design Doc, is the Director of Information Design at NEPS, a leading communications management consulting firm.

His expertise is in information design and document processes and he has been creating solutions for a wide range of nationally and internationally recognized financial, insurance, healthcare and telecommunications companies.

Robert is the creator of the LUNATM (Locate/UNderstand/Act) philosophy, the design of information for clear communications, and served on the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts College of Art & Design for 12 years including 2 terms as its Chair.

Robert’s passion is photography and travel and he recently traveled the Silk Road in China.

Claire O’Riordan

Conference advisor (Ireland)

Claire is at the forefront of Ireland’s campaign for clear communications. She is responsible for running the Plain English Editing and Training Service of the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA).

Claire started a petition on behalf of NALA, calling on the Irish Government and its agencies to provide information in plain English. This petition is receiving significant coverage in the Irish national media.

Claire launched Ireland’s first ever Plain English Awards. Claire was the conference coordinator for PLAIN’s 2015 conference in Dublin, Ireland, and continues to work on PLAIN’s conference committee.

Claire dreams of living in a penthouse in New York.

Joanna Richardson

Communications co-chair, Forum moderator (Argentina)

Joanna is a British national who has made Buenos Aires, Argentina her home.

With a background in literature and translation, since 2002 Joanna has taught plain English writing skills to Spanish-speaking lawyers at Argentina’s leading law firm, Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal.

More recently she has applied her expertise from the clear communications field to coach professionals in public speaking.

Joanna enjoys creative writing and making chutney in her spare time.

Darlene Shura

Membership advisor (Canada)

Darlene is the founder and executive director of SimplyClear Writing. Her special talent is helping organizations that are drowning in information save time and money by making their external and internal communications easier to read and use.

For over 20 years, she has provided writing and editing services based on best practices for clear writing and plain language. She also trains her clients’ staff to do the same.

Clients include leading organizations in the government, technology and financial sectors, as well as regulatory and legal bodies.

Darlene loves travelling, reading, and walking her dog, and is the proud owner of a beautiful 7-year Rocky Mountain horse named Sunday – because that’s her favorite day of the week.