Once again the jury for the Lifetime Achievement Award has been faced with the difficult task of selecting one from among an excellent group of nominees, all of them with more than enough merit – an indication of the number of people who have contributed significantly to the development of the Internet in Latin America and the Caribbean.
After careful analysis of all candidates, the jury has unanimously decided to grant the Life Achievement Award 2010 to Carlos Afonso, Executive Director of NUPEF (Núcleo de Pesquisas, Estudos e Formação), Brazil.
His university degrees in Naval Engineering, Economy and Political Sciences are a testament to the diversity of angles from which Carlos Afonso has contributed to the creation and growth of the region's Internet community, playing key roles in several pioneering experiences.
During the 70s and early 80s, Carlos Afonso worked on public policies relating to Human Development in Chile, Canada and Brazil.
During the 80s he developed the Alternex project, one of the first computer based information and communications systems in Latin America and which would later became Brazil's first Internet service provider.
Carlos was one of the founders of APC (Association for Progressive Communications), an organization that was to play a major role in Internet and communications development around the world from the point of view of human rights and the democratization of information. In 1997 he was elected President of APC's Executive Committee, a position he held until 1998.
Carlos was also part of another innovative initiative, participating as one of the creators of the information system for the World Summit on Environment and Development (UNCED) that took place in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
During the early 90s he contributed to the creation of the Latin American Network Forum and was one of the civil society representatives who, together with many colleagues from the academic sector, helped strengthen the cooperation and collaboration spaces that would later originate most of the existing regional Internet related organizations.
He participated actively in the creation of the first Brazilian Internet Steering Committee, a successful experience in multistakeholder Internet governance that has already been working for 15 years. Carlos was a member of the Steering Committee until 1997. In 2003 he was elected to the Committee once again, a position he has now held for 7 years.
Carlos has been tireless in his participation in other international arenas such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers - ICANN, an organization where he has had an outstanding performance and occupied different positions.
In 2004 the United Nations Secretary General selected him to be a part of the Internet Governance Working Group. This group was charged with preparing a report to be discussed by the governments at the World Summit for the Information Society, which met in Tunis in mid-2005. After the Summit he was once again selected by the United Nations Secretary General, this time to be a part of a multistakeholder advisory group for the Internet Governance Forum.
During his intense career, Carlos Afonso has stood out for his untiring activity in favor of the development of the Internet society, always consistent with his responsible and inclusive vision of society, prioritizing the common good and actively defending a vision committed to the respect of human rights, gender equality, and the use of new technologies in benefit of human development.
Carlos is an example of dedication, a reference for the entire region.