Nº 6 2013 > Obituaries
Tribute to Marie-Thérèse Alajouanine
First woman ever to chair an ITU-T study group
Marie-Thérèse Alajouanine, a valued and prolific contributor to the work of ITU, was born in 1950 and passed away on 27 June 2013, aged 63. As head of delegation to many ITU conferences, she regularly exhibited a much-appreciated voice of reason and the spirit of compromise so often necessary to move forward on difficult issues at the international level.
Ms Alajouanine led various ITU groups with vision and energy. In 2004, she was appointed Chairman of ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) Study Group 2 on operational aspects of service provision, networks and performance. The appointment made her the first woman ever to chair an ITU-T study group and, between 2004 and 2012, was an undeniably powerful force behind this international group responsible for telecommunication numbering plans.
She also headed the Editorial Committees at the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Plenipotentiary Conferences, at the World Telecommunication Development Conference 2010, the World Radiocommunication Conference 2012, the World Telecommunication Standardization Assemblies in 2004, 2008 and 2012, and the World Conference on International Telecommunications in 2012. In 2000, she served as Vice-Chairman of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly.
Ms Alajouanine was an active participant in the groups of the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) that dealt with ITU matters. In particular, she chaired the CEPT project team that had been established to prepare European positions for the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly in 2004.
In her home country, France, Ms Alajouanine was a pillar of public policy in the telecommunication arena. A member of the Corps of Engineers, she was a founder of l'Autorité de Régulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (ARCEP), the French national regulator. She occupied various positions within France Télécom between 1975 and 2001, including: Deputy Director of the GSM programme and Deputy Director for international standardization. From 2001 until her untimely death, she was responsible for international standardization coordination in ARCEP.
On 1 January 2013 she was nominated by the President of France as Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, an outstanding and deserved accolade.