Cemil ‘Jim’ Alyanak
Vice-President Communications and Strategic Initiatives
Joined RSI in 2019
- 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
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.
Works and accomplishments
Some of Cemil’s proudest achievements include his global communication campaigns and documentary films. For years, he produced output for the World AIDS Campaign, World Health Day, World Urban Campaign, International Labor Organization, UN Human Rights, World Meteorological Organization, World Wide Fund for Nature, and several hundred more organizations based in multiple cities around the world.
His analysis and strategic counsel to the International Herald Tribune (1995) was seen as a masterful repositioning exercise ensuring the survival and growth of this iconic publication. Another analysis of note was the strategic rethinking of the International Organization for Migration which led to a reorganization and mission realignment.
Cemil is regularly called upon to moderate major international panels including ones with Nobel laureates. More recently, on behalf of RSI, Cemil moderated a forum for Health Canada.
Cemil’s documentary film credits include the five-part series called ‘Cancer is…’ filmed worldwide and featuring 52 of the world’s leading cancer advocates and scientists. Cemil has also produced multiple public service announcements shown on CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC, and dozens more networks worldwide. Cemil’s professional and personal photography work is also extensive having sold his first photo at the age of seven. His photo portfolio is available for viewing.
One of his greatest work products was the publication of his Overview of Communications and Perception Analysis and his book The Critical Century. More recently, Cemil published his first novel, The TUK50 Protocol.
Case studies associated with Cemil ‘Jim’ Alyanak
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…Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
Cemil ‘Jim’ Alyanak:
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).