Board of directors

Lodewijk Van Noort


President (Netherlands/Italy)

After working in commercial communication, Lodewijk van Noort realized his heart was in communication for a social purpose. He switched first to the Reading & Writing Foundation and now to the municipality of The Hague.

In 2017, Lodewijk received the title of Dutch Ambassador Clear Language for the Government. This resulted in the position of leader of the Dutch Clear Language Campaign (Direct Duidelijk) at the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations in 2018 and 2019. In 2020, he was a finalist in the Dutch Communication man/woman 2020 election.

Torunn Reksten

profile picture of Torunn Reksten PLAIN Vice President

Vice President (Norway)

Torunn Reksten is a plain language expert at the Language Council of Norway.

As a plain language advocate, lecturer, editor and author since 2008 she has played a central part in building plain language awareness and competence – an initiative which has set a new standard for public communication in Norway.

Torunn represents the Norwegian standardization body to ISO 24995—Plain Language and serves on the Drafting Committee of ISO Working Group 11 for the standard. She has also project-managed the implementation of the Norwegian Language Act, which contains a plain language section. She headed the Programming Committee for the PLAIN 2019 conference in Oslo and is in charge of the Language Council’s plain language strategies. Torunn is passionate about innovation, service design and good user experience. If you can’t find her, look in the nearest yarn store.

Heloisa Fischer


Membership, Regional Development (Brazil)

Heloisa is a Brazilian journalist and educator, owner of Comunica Simples consultancy. She became involved with Plain Language in 2016. Before that, she had been an influential communicator in the classical music sector. She wrote the first book in Portuguese on public communication with the plain language perspective. In her Masters in Design, she researched the impact of writing style on the comprehensibility of digital public services.

Heloisa created a method of teaching plain language. A free online course on her method at the National School of Public Administration has attracted more than 20,000 students. She is the co-founder Rede Linguagem Simples Brasil, a network focused on the public sector.

Heloisa lives in Rio and loves listening to music, reading, and going to art events.

 

James Archibald


Canada / Italy

As a proponent of clear writing, he introduced a series of lectures on the importance of plain language during his tenure as the director of McGill University’s graduate program in jurilinguistics. This led to his participation in the initial working group that developed the international standard officially adopted by ISO in 2023. His explanation of the plain language movement’s evolution was the object of an extensive interview aired on DGT’s Radio Lingvistika in 2020 during which he discussed the key findings of the 2020 Clarity conference co-sponsored by PLAIN, “Access For All: Plain Language”. Of interest to jurists was plain legal writing as a precondition for the full exercise of rights, an issue of concern to all. ( Episode 67: Access For All: Plain Language (podomatic.com) )
Archibald currently teaches at the University of Turin in the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures and Cultural Studies after having taught at McGill University for 35 years. In addition to his teaching and research, he chairs ISO’s international committee on terminology workflows and language coding (TC37 ̸ SC2). A former Vice President of the Association for Business Communication, he is also an honorary life member of the Modern Language Association of America. His research focuses on communications, translation and glottopolitics.

Michelle Waitzman


Canada

Michelle is a PLAIN member in Toronto, Canada. She has been working mainly as a professional writer and editor, as well as a plain language instructor and consultant. Being on the PLAIN board allows Michelle to immerse herself in the community and stay on the cutting edge of plain language practice.

She has board experience with Editors Canada (a national organization with around 1,300 members), including two years when she was treasurer. She has delivered webinars and conference sessions, and has taught an online plain language course.

Farida Barki


Belgium

Farida has been working as a plain language editor, lecturer and author for over 14 years. She mostly works for civil services and nonprofit organisations in multiple fields, including health care, education and the legal industry.

She is an expert in writing easy-to-read texts for non native readers and readers with low literacy skills. Furthermore, she monitors very closely the developments of plain language in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium.

Finally, Farida is an event host, moderator and performer. She loves scifi, singing and chocolate, not necessarily in that order.

Nadja Green


South Africa

Nadja is passionate about promoting plain language as a strategic priority and about mentoring and building capacity.

In 2019, she developed a strategic framework for achieving plain language in organizations. By serving on the board of PLAIN, she hopes to contribute her insights and experiences to help develop strategies that further this essential goal. 

She also aims to mentor and to create opportunities for plain language enthusiasts in South Africa, and the rest of Africa, to develop their skills. 

She sits on several committees including some for the International Plain Language Federation.

Kristina Levchenia


Russia/Germany

Kristina is a plain language consultant, translator, and teacher. She believes in plain, inclusive, accessible, and non-violent communication. She holds a degree in education, a master’s degree in translation, and is doing the Plain Language Certificate program at Simon Fraser University. She does work for the International Plain Language Federation’s ISO Standard Localization and Implementation Committee and is a member of Clarity International’s Communications Committee.

When Kristina isn’t working, you can find her outdoors hiking, paragliding, or kitesurfing.

Nicole Watkins Campbell

Nicole Watkins Campbell

Treasurer, Finance and governance (Canada)

Nicole is a freelance editor and plain language consultant. During 30 years with the Nova Scotia government, she worked to make communication clear and effective. She led a plain language policy committee and edited print and web materials in nearly every area of life that a provincial government touches.

This included creating plain language materials for legislation and helping to make the legislative process more accessible. Nicole has edited bylaws and policies for not-for-profit organizations and public legal information and apps on wills, powers of attorney, and personal directives to make them clearer for average readers. She is working on plainer information to help investors understand their rights and training on workplace sexual harassment.

Karin Hansson


Sweden

Karin is enthusiastic about PLAIN and after more than 10 years as a plain language expert involved in collaboration of various kinds in Sweden, she is interested in getting involved in collaboration on the international level and in contributing her by-now pretty long experience in the field in Sweden. 

Karin was a founding member, the first president, and a board member for several years of the Swedish association Språkrådgivning och textvård for students and practitioners of plain language. 

She has been involved in seminars and conferences that the association has organized. 

Claudia Mont’Alvao


Brasil

After serving as PLAIN’s Brazil Ambassador for nearly a year, Claudia aims to extend her contributions in different capacities.  With executive-level experience on various boards, she, as the head of a lab, has consistently maintained its recognition on national and international fronts as a pioneer in discussing Human Factors applications in Design.

Cinzia Theobald

Cinzia is passionate about plain language, and volunteers on various plain language committees and working groups including several for the International Plain Language Federation. 

Being on the PLAIN Board would give her a chance to make a valuable contribution to the field she loves.

She has worked in the field of plain language (health literacy) for over a decade. She also works with communities experiencing significant disadvantage and in one of the most culturally diverse areas in the world. She sees the need for plain language every day.