RSI VP Cemil Jim Alyanak

Cemil ‘Jim’ Alyanak

Vice-President Communications and Strategic Initiatives

Joined RSI in 2018

  • 30+ years leading global public interest campaigns

  • Moderator of major panels with luminaries

  • Documentary filmmaker & photographer

  • Published: Communications and perception analysis manual & overview

  • Fundraiser and PPP mediator

  • Co-creator of RSI Risk and Crisis Communications Master Class

Personal introduction

My passion for communication has been a lifelong journey. It began during my high school years when I served as the yearbook photographer. In university, I took on the role of the general manager at the radio station, honing my skills further. Even during my time in the military, I found myself involved in communication projects as part of my secondary duties.

After completing my university studies in communications, I remained dedicated to this field. My focus primarily revolved around development, humanitarian, and environmental projects, with a special emphasis on risk and crisis communication.

Throughout my career, I have had the incredible privilege of working directly with distinguished figures such as Presidents, Secretary Generals, Director Generals, and CEOs from various countries. Many of these collaborations involved time-sensitive responses to major public health and humanitarian crises. Simultaneously, I have remained grounded by dedicating myself to grassroots projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. This work has taken me to challenging environments, including conflict zones, squatter settlements, slums, and other areas facing extreme hardship.

One noteworthy aspect of my journey is the time I have invested in developing, publishing, and teaching my theories on communication and perception. This endeavor began under the guidance of the esteemed Professor Malik, a true pioneer in the field of communications analysis.

Before joining RSI, I had the privilege of leading a public interest communications group that served clients worldwide.

Current focus at RSI

Now serving as RSI's Vice-President Communications and Strategic Initiatives, Cemil has three key functions: to head RSI's risk communications projects, to develop unique RSI strategic initiatives, and to help develop the company across borders and oceans.

Cemil is particularly interested on the goal-driven use of risk communication paired with an understanding of how people perceive a risk message. "People regularly communicate because of risk," Cemil says, adding "but the problem is one of goals; all too often risk communication lacks clear outcomes, it seems to be more about reacting than getting to a better place." Indeed, Cemil is laser-focussed on helping clients determine the right goal before moving on to the resolution of a risk communication challenge.

Cemil is also working diligently to develop RSI's 'Risk Communication Preparedness' paradigm. To support this effort, Cemil is heading the development of RSI's Risk Communication Master Classes.

References

The Critical Century Manifesto, 2014, https://a.co/d/6y7PSLn

Overview of Communications and Perception Analysis: Principles and methods used to analyze perception and experiences, 2014, https://a.co/d/5g1s8ZE

Cemil, moderating Nobel Peace Laureate Rajendra Pachauri and Jean-François Bach, Distinguished Secretary Emeritus of the French Academy of Science during a Cities and Climate Change session during a global conference of life sciences in Lyon, France.

Additional images of Cemil ‘Jim’ Alyanak at work

Expert editorials associated with Cemil ‘Jim’ Alyanak

Target

Why risk communication messaging goals matter

In the specialized domain of risk communication, the establishment of clear and well-defined messaging goals holds profound significance. This article explores the vital role that message goals play in the context of risk communication, emphasizing their critical role in ensuring effective and impactful communication strategies that span across the private sector, public sector, and civil…

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Case studies associated with Cemil ‘Jim’ Alyanak

Risk communication project at Geneva International Airport

Geneva International Airport

Geneva International Airport was concerned that its signage was become problematic. Not only was it aesthetically overwhelming after decades of revisions and additions, it was becoming a safety risk with incidents resulting from misreading of cryptic graphics and conflicting directional arrows. In addition, the airport was suffering from traffic pattern issues, both for automobiles outside…

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RSI's Cemil Alyanak undertook a complete analysis of the International Herald Tribune

International Herald Tribune

The original mandate aimed to find a new direction for the world renowned International Herald Tribune just as both the World Wide Web was in its infancy, and the newspaper faced increased competition from international and regional editions of established newspapers and magazines such as The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, and The Financial Times.

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Risk management project by RSI's Cemil Alyanak while in Tajikistan

International Organization for Migration

Under the supervision of Director Purcell and his cabinet, the six-month project began with an internal review of attitudes, projects, responsibilities and management reporting lines. The work uncovered multiple inconsistencies and inefficiencies. What’s more, there were very real risk consequences at the operational level.

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World Urban Campaign webpage screengrab

World Urban Campaign

The project began with a series of consultations with UN-Habitat at UNON in Nairobi. In addition to Cemil Alyanak and Nicholas you, the project grew to include many key stakeholders both within UN-Habitat and from other organizations. Among the key organizations included in the early stages were United Cities and Local Governments, Cities Alliance, the World Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Cisco, and UN agencies interested in urban health, notably the World Health Organization.

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Cemil ‘Jim’ Alyanak:
Extra-curricular

Cemil enroute to Tuktoyaktuk

In his younger years, Cemil was an avid martial artist, white water rafter, and climber. Cemil is also an active adventure motorcyclist becoming the first motorcycle to simultaneously ride up the Dempster and the new Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway – the ITH – all the way to Tuktoyaktuk, on the shores of the Arctic Ocean. Cemil has authored a novel entitled The Tuk50 Protocol. He is also a committed Amateur Radio operator (ham radio) holding an FCC Amateur Extra class license (K3MRI).