Diana Thébaud Nicholson OWN Biographical notes

Since 1982, Diana has co-hosted the Wednesday Night Salon, which she co-founded with her husband, David. The weekly gathering of individuals from all professional backgrounds is devoted to informed discussion, blending wit and wisdom, devoted to the understanding and sometimes resolution of public affairs issues. As unofficial Researcher/Co-ordinator/Secretary and Voice from the Left of this unique organization, Diana researches, or coordinates the preparation of background material, writes the invitations which signal the evening’s topic, actively participates in the discussions and edits the summaries which appear on the Wednesday Night Web sites www.Wednesday-Night.com and www.dianaswednesday.com The latter was developed in response to (or defiance of) the growth of the former into a mega-site that is the creature of David and defies logical organization. Dianaswednesday allows her to pursue her particular interests free from the threat of having her comments edited or deleted by the more conservative thinker of the family.

After graduating from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service – BC, that’s before Clinton – Diana joined USIA (the United States Information Agency – not to be confused with the CIA), whose Director was the legendary Edward R. Morrow, as a journalist and assistant editor for the French Africa Press Division.

In one way or another, she has ever since devoted her professional career and personal activities to aspects of communications in multilingual, multicultural, multi-generational, and international environments. From Expo 67 to Transport Canada’s Mirabel Airport Project Office, and throughout her subsequent consulting career, she has reveled in highly focused and often controversial projects of international significance.

Between 1999 and year-end 2002, she held a series of contracts with IATA, the International Air Transport Association. Starting in the Corporate Communications office, she moved to the Aviation Training and Development Institute (ATDI) as Communications Consultant. In November 2001 to the amazement of her family, of which she was always the least tekkie member,  she became Content Manager for the new IATA website, which was successfully launched at the IATA Annual General Assembly in Shanghai in June 2002.

In May 2003, Diana was recruited as an in-house consultant and Information Officer ad interim for the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, where she remained for 13 months. After a hiatus of 18 months, she returned to the CBD for another year, under the new Executive Secretary, Ahmed Djoghlaf, as a consultant for Communications Special Projects.

In  early 2008, she became the strategic communications consultant for the Sauvé Scholars Program, working with the Executive Director  to prepare a new communications, outreach and recruitment plan and timeline for the Program; she subsequently was responsible for the project management of the development of the new corporate identity and website. She wrote and/or edited all content; advised on selection of visual materials (photos, etc.), managed the translation of static text; coordinated input from all Scholars (present and alumni); and fostered the development of an alumni-based Facebook mentoring service for Applicants. She continues to work with the Jeanne Sauvé Foundation and the Scholars Program as a volunteer.

Along the way, Diana has carried out highly varied consulting assignments.

  • She planned and organized the first Canadian seminar on Business Opportunities under UN procurement policies and the first Canada – U.S. Conference on Trade Facilitation
  • She directed the organization and public relations of Montreal fund-raising events for the United Nations Association in Canada from 1994 – 2000 and is particularly proud of what came to be known as The Tree-huggers’ Ball, in honor of then-UNEP Executive Director, Klaus Toepfer.
  • She led the interdisciplinary project team for construction and operation of Le Pélican d’Iberville a replica XVII century warship built at Ile-aux-Coudres and later, headed the team of experts to complete the English and French versions of the Rigging Manual for Le Pélican.

As a Senior Consultant she has directed and/or participated in communications programs and projects, international trade and trade facilitation feasibility studies for a variety of international organizations, private sector clients, and airport authorities in Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Namibia and Thailand.

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