The CRNI board of directors, our network of regional representatives and past clients extend their appreciation to our long-serving President as he announces his retirement.
After some fifteen years in the role Joel Pett – multi-award winning editorial cartoonist for the Lexington Herald Leader – has decided to retire from the Presidency of Cartoonists Rights Network International’s board of directors.
Cartoonists from across the world can attest to Mr Pett’s warmth and camaraderie as he took particular pleasure in welcoming winners to the United States and presenting them with our annual Courage in Cartooning Award. He was never in finer form than when speaking out on behalf of the abused and victimized, such as his announcement of the award to Ali Durani aka Eaten Fish in 2016.
With dry wit and great pragmatism he’s helped lead CRNI through some of its most challenging periods, most especially the months following 2015’s attack at Charlie Hebdo when the organization had to bolster itself significantly, and on to significant achievements such as last year’s victory at the Index on Censorship awards.
He has also been extremely generous in his patronage and so we thank him for materially supporting CRNI’s work in defence of cartoonists’ freedom of expression.
Mr Pett’s decision comes six months on from the retirement from active duties of CRNI’s founder and executive director Dr Robert “Bro” Russell. Like him, Mr Pett will remain on the board of directors to ensure our organization continues to benefit from his experience and good counsel.
Going forward CRNI’s efforts will be spearheaded by new President Matt Wuerker – cartoonist in residence and founding staff member at POLITICO, Washington DC – and Terry Anderson – hitherto Dr Russell’s deputy and based in Glasgow, Scotland – as Executive Director.