Brussels, September 4th, 2015 (SIGNIS) - Appointed by the SIGNIS Board of Directors at its meeting in Port-of-Spain (24th-29th May 2015) as Acting Secretary General, Ricardo Yáñez took over on the 1st from Alvito de Souza.

Alvito de Souza steps down as Secretary General of SIGNIS after 7 years in that position to pursue new career opportunities in the field of development. Ricardo Yáñez who started from september 1st running the General Secretariat, in Brussels, says that he feels privileged to had the opportunity of working side by side for the last 12 years with Robert Molhant (2001-2005) and Alvito de Souza (2008-2015), his two predecessors in the post.

Ricardo Yáñez was born in 1967 in Los Angeles (US) but grew up in Buenos Aires (Argentina). He was educated by the Brothers of the Christian Schools (La Salle Brothers) and later studied Communication Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). In his native country he worked as youth leader, journalist, secondary school teacher and media education facilitator for 16 years.

Between 1994 and 2003 he worked at the Social Communications Commision of the Bishops' Conference of Argentina. He was founder and Board member of OCIC (1998) and SIGNIS (2002) in Argentina. In those years he participated in several world congresses and events held by Catholic organizations in the field of social communications, among them the UCIP World Congresses in Campos do Jordao (Brazil, 1992) and Graz (Austria, 1995) and the OCIC Unda World Congresses in Montreal (Canada, 1998) and Rome (Italy, 2001).

In 2003 he settled in Brussels to join the work at the SIGNIS General Secretariat. Among his responsibilities were the Spanish content in all the SIGNIS publications and relations with members. In the first seven years of his work among other tasks he looked after the SIGNIS Post-Production Competition for Latin American Cinema and the SIGNIS Media Education Project (SIGMEP). Since 2011 he has been responsible (in collaboration with Lawrence Pieters) for coordinating the TV Desk. In this capacity he organized TV seminars in Costa Rica (2011), La Rochelle (2012), Nairobi (2013), St Petersburg (2014) and Aparecida (2015).

Since 2003 he has collaborated every year with the Cinema Desk assisting the SIGNIS Jury at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. And he has been a juror in many ecumenical and SIGNIS juries, among them: Berlin, Mar del Plata, Monte-Carlo, San Sebastian, Zlín and Havana.

Ricardo Yáñez will take on this responsibility until the next Assembly of Delegates, due to be in Quebec, Canada, in June 2017. In that meeting the Secretary General will be elected according to the association's statutes for the 2017-2021 term.