Margrethe is a manager at the Language Council of Norway, the Norwegian Government’s consultative body on language issues. As plain language advocate, lecturer, and author she has played a major part in establishing plain language in Norway’s civil service – a ten-year initiative which has set a new standard for public communication in Norway.
Her resume includes positions in international organizations and extensive Board experience from both non-governmental organizations and public sector. She has a great faith in PLAIN’s strategic plan, and her main goals for her term as President are to make more value for PLAIN’s members and to professionalize the organization and the field of plain language further.
Margrethe loves the outdoors, and hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing in particular. She keeps a bevy of quails for their delicious eggs, but would like to upscale to hens in the future.
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.
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 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.
Marie is an international speaker, author of four books, and educator in a variety of subjects including business communication. She has shared her expertise with clients in private, non-profit and public sector organizations leading numerous program and course development projects. Using her combined experiences, Marie designs and delivers informative, practical workshops tailored to the audience’s needs.
Marie has direct adult education training with her certificates in Teaching English as a Second Language, Workshop Facilitation, and Adult Education. Presently, Marie is the Manitoba Chapter Chair for the Institute for Performance and Learning. Also, she is a Certified Training and Development Professional.
Marie enjoys music, art and books. She also enjoys spending time outside with her family.
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.
In 2014 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 bouldering and reading science-fiction. She dreams of a world where the right to understand is a universal right.
Miguel Martinho is a managing partner at Claro, the training and consultancy firm that introduced plain language to Portugal and has been helping Portuguese companies and government agencies communicate clearly since 2007.
Miguel has developed and carried out simplification projects with corporate and public clients alike.
Miguel has a background in Law and worked as a legal adviser to the Portuguese National Ombudsman, which showed him the importance of plain language and led him to join Sandra Fisher-Martins in her quest for the right to understand.
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.
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.
Irene is an enthusiastic proponent of plain language and a long-standing member of the Professional Editors’ Guild in South Africa. She works as a senior editor at Alexander Forbes Financial Services in Johannesburg.
Passionate about shaping clear communication in financial services, she presented Decluttering Communication: Plain Speaking, Plain Writing in 2017 and hosted What’s Trending in Plain Language? in 2018.
She enjoys being part of a creative team of writers and designers to make the ‘complicated simple, awesomely simple’ (Charles Mingus). She’s keen for South Africa to host a PLAIN conference.
Favorite activities are cycle commuting, hiking and camping. She dreams of cycling around the world.
Bede is a technical communication, information design and information management professional with 20 years’ experience. He is currently Senior Content Officer in the work health and safety function of a government infrastructure development agency.
Bede is bringing plain language to safety documentation – a long overdue task.
Bede has been president of the Australian Society for Technical Communication and was involved in certification for technical communicators and forming the national organization. He has extensive experience in the business of communication and in managing a volunteer-resourced organisation.
Bede joined PLAIN’s Professional Development Committee in 2016. He is committed to progressing PLAIN’s professional development agenda, in particular establishing professional certification for plain-language practitioners.
In his spare time Bede enjoys playing music and doing cryptic crosswords.
Kate has advocated for plain language for more than 20 years. She continues to do so with consulting and training services, in person and virtually through the PlainLanguageAcademy.com.
Kate is a co-founder, along with Cheryl Stephens, of PLAIN’s original organization and International Plain Language Day October 13, iplainday.org. She has co-organized, spoken at and supported PLAIN conferences since they began. Her motivation and commitment to spreading the word about clear communication reaches out globally through social media, event organizing and public speaking.
Kate’s clients come from all sectors in Canada, the UK and the EU. Plain language training is woven into every project. She loves seeing clients’ excitement when they put new skills to practice and their sense of accomplishment when successfully completing a plain language project.
Kate takes her plain language suitcase with her everywhere. She currently resides in a Rocky Mountain ski town in British Columbia. Although she doesn’t ski, she loves the energy alpine communities generate. She does hike, bike, kayak and snowshoe. But Kate’s current passion is getting on with writing novels.