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InterMedia appoints Africa MD

WASHINGTON, NAIROBI: InterMedia, a global research-based consultancy, recently announced the appointment of Vivien Marles as MD of the company's Africa branch, which is set to open in Nairobi, Kenya on 9 May 2011.
Marles joins InterMedia from Synovate Pan-Africa (formerly, The Steadman Group) in Nairobi, where she had been research director since 2006. She was also founder and director of The Steadman Centre of Applied Research, a unique capacity-building initiative run in partnership with Strathmore Business School in Nairobi.

"We are delighted to bring Vivien on board as InterMedia implements a full globalisation of our operations, of which Africa is an important step," said Robert T. Coonrod, president and CEO of InterMedia.

"Vivien is a seasoned research practitioner with extensive knowledge of the media, communication and global development sectors. She is ideally qualified to further InterMedia's business development plans in these domains while also strengthening our corporate presence and local capacity in Africa."

Building on Africa growth

As MD, Marles will build on an already-growing volume of InterMedia activity in Africa. InterMedia has worked in 25 African countries for a broad range of clients and funders, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme, the US Broadcasting Board of Governors, the BBC, the Population Reference Bureau, USAID, and Cisco Learning Institute.

"This is an exciting step forward for InterMedia as it chooses to establish its first regional office in Africa," said Marles. "It underlines the growing importance of the continent in media and communications research and is a testimony to InterMedia's commitment to building strong research capacity in Africa."

Senior-level experience

Prior to joining Synovate Pan-Africa, Marles held a number of senior-level positions in the media and research sectors, including: founding partner of The Fuse Group; international MD at Frank Magid Associates; director of planning, broadcast strategy and research for Granada Media Group; and head of research and planning at the BBC. Marles is a member of the UK Institute of Directors, the Market Research Society and the Royal Statistical Society. She earned a BA Economics (Honours) with a focus on Politics and Social Anthropology from Manchester University.

Marles is also a technical consultant on research to the African Media Initiative and serves on the Investment Board of the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund, where she evaluates the communication research components of proposals submitted to the fund. In addition, Marles is has an active member of the Pan-African Media Research Organisation (PAMRO), a group devoted to improving the quality and raising the profile of media and communication research in Africa. She has been a featured speaker at the past three annual meetings of PAMRO.
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