Cemil Alyanak bio


Known to my friends as Jim, my adult life has been spent working in two fields, as a Commissioned Officer and pilot in the Canadian Armed Forces and in the field of communications. My communications career began in photography, it evolved into publishing, finally resulting in the challenge of leading three communications groups. Somewhere in between, I headed up communications for a major multilateral organization. I was also the founding President of the Forum for the Analysis of Communications and Trends, the strategist behind the World Urban Campaign and a founding board member of the World Prevention Alliance.

Cemil in 2012
Cemil in 2012

Over the years, working with some exceptional staff, I have launched or lead countless projects ranging from advising secretary generals, producing international TV documentaries, organizing hundreds of events worldwide and creating multilateral campaigns, to engaging in grassroots work in the remotest regions of the world. Indeed, my television studios, creative studios, printing presses and consulting staff completed thousands of assignments for UN agencies, civil society, governments, donors, media and corporate social responsibility initiatives.

I am currently focussed on sharing what expertise I have gained, notably in the field of the impact of communications. I do so with Excess Noise, a company dedicated to the improvement of communications, rather than its creation. Our focus is Communications and Perception Analysis, Communications Supply Chain Optimization and Ergonomics. Through Excess Noise, I continue to give my Communications and Perception Analysis conferences. I am also proud to be a senior advisor to world-reknowned epidemiologist, Professor Peter Boyle.

I have also come back to my filmmaking and photography passions. I have recently completed a documentary on cancer in Africa, I continue to top off my photo portfolio.

My most recent publication is The Critical Century, available on Amazon. Additional author bio on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/cemilalyanak

Finally, I am an avid licensed Amateur Radio operator, Amateur Extra Class, with call sign K3MRI.

Key achievements

I have overseen hundreds of individual projects. What follows is a selection of some of the ones I conceived and managed personally. There were many more.

  • Cancer is Attacking Africa (2016) A 90-minute documentary exposing Africa’s challenges as it faces its next health crisis: cancer. Watch it on YouTube.
  • The Critical Century Manifesto (2014) My third publication which presents a workplan for unlocking the global development gridlock – Available on Amazon [click here]
  • World Urban Campaign (2009 – 2010) A very broad partnership comprising governments, civil society and private sector partners that I conceived and built up on behalf of UN Habitat
  • Cancer is … (2007 – 2009) Four-part HD television documentary series, introduced by President George H.W. Bush featuring 52 interviews with leading cancer specialists, advocates and patients worldwide and co-produced with the American Cancer Society, WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, Union for International Cancer Control and the IAEA’s Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy
  • World AIDS Campaign (2004 – 2010) Six World AIDS Campaign concepts, all the production materials, the web strategy and implementation, dissemination worldwide, public service announcements on all major international television networks, even a three week presence on the big screen on Times Square and the key to multiple partnerships with other organizations
  • Women are … (2005 – 2007) Two-part television documentary series co-produced with UNAIDS and the World YWCA featuring Mary Robinson, Emma Thompson, Musimbi Kanyoro, Alicia Keys, Marina Mahatir, Purnima Mane and Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
  • 40 First Ladies (2004) Documentary film co-produced with UNAIDS and the Clinton Foundation, featuring President Clinton and the First Ladies of Africa who launched a joint campaign to combat the spread of HIV in Africa while increasing access to health
  • Global Patient Safety Challenge (2005 – 2008) First participated as a member of the advisory board, then participated in all aspects of communications and awareness including strategy, production and dissemination
  • Public Service Announcements (1995 – present) Multiple television public service announcements aired on CNN, Al Jazeera, EuroNews, TF1, GloboSat and multiple national broadcasters
  • Travel Emotions (1993 – 1994) A landmark study of how people perceived travel, carried out on behalf of WWF International, with the intent of deciphering ways of encouraging proximity vacation travel rather than long-haul holidays
  • International Herald Tribune (1992 – 1993) Analysis and overhaul of the International Herald Tribune’s positioning and image vis-a-vis its major global competitors performed on behalf of then publisher Lee Huebner and owners of the NYT and the Washington Post
  • Overview of Communications and Perception Analysis (1977 – 1995) Extensive research project entitled Overview of Communications and Perception Analysis which sought to provide communications experts with a quantifiable means of evaluating communications signals and messages
  • Conference speeches and debate moderation (ongoing) Moderation of Nobel laureates including Rajendra Pachauri and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and dozens of major global dignitaries; multiple speaking engagements with up to 4000 participants

Past clients

I have had the privilege of working with amazing organizations ranging from United Nations and government agencies down to grassroots organizations working in the remotest regions. I have worked for major international media as well as partnering with small local publishers. Last, but not least, I have worked or partnered with major corporations on multiple public interest projects.

This list is not exhaustive; I have certainly missed a few. I have also omitted those organizations and companies with whom I signed a confidentiality agreement.

Public interest organizations

Organizations for whom I have worked or with whom I have partnered:

  • Aéroport International de Genève (AIG)
  • Agence Mondiale de Solidarité Numérique (AMSN)
  • American Cancer Society
  • Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Waste
  • BioVision – World Life Sciences Forum
  • Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI)
  • Clinton Foundation
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
  • Department of Health, UK
  • Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA)
  • Ecumenical Loan Funds For Human Development (ECLOF)
  • European Broadcasting Union (EBU)
  • European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA)
  • European Union (EU)
  • Europa Donna, The European Breast Cancer Coalition
  • Franciscans International (FI)
  • Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
  • Global Forum for Health Research (GFHR)
  • Global Movement for Children (GMC)
  • Global Observatory for eHealth (WHO)
  • Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health — World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Green Cross International (GCI)
  • Institut Pasteur
  • International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA)
  • International AIDS Society (IAS)
  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • International Bridges to Justice (IBJ)
  • International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC)
  • International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD)
  • International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM)
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
  • International Federation of University Women (IFUW)
  • International Hospital Federation
  • International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM)
  • International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF)
  • International Prevention Research Institute (iPRI)
  • International Social Security Association (ISSA)
  • International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
  • International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
  • International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  • Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
  • Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF)
  • Médecins Sans Frontières, section Suisse (MSF)
  • Medicines Patent Pool (MPP)
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)
  • Oak foundation
  • Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
  • Organization of African First Ladies Against AIDS (OAFLA)
  • Public Services International (PSI)
  • Ramsar convention on wetlands
  • Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership — World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Small Arms Survey
  • Stop TB Partnership
  • The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
  • Tobacco Free Initiative TFI (WHO)
  • Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC)
  • UN-Habitat
  • Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)
  • Union Network International (UNI)
  • United Nations (UN)
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
  • United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)
  • United Nations Volunteers (UNV)
  • UNplus
  • UN Watch
  • Universal Postal Union (UPU)
  • USAID Office of Transitional Initiatives
  • World AIDS Campaign (WAC)
  • World AIDS Day (WAD)
  • World Alliance for Patient Safety — World Health Organization (WHO)
  • World Council of Churches (WCC)
  • World Health Day — World Health Organization (WHO)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA)
  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
  • World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM)
  • World Prevention Alliance (WPA)
  • World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • World Urban Campaign (WUC)
  • World Water Day — World Health Organization (WHO)
  • World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF International)
  • World YWCA — Young Women’s Christian Association


Media for whom I have either consulted, used for dissemination of films and public service announcements or that I have partnered with:

  • Al-Jazeera
  • Al-Jazeera (English)
  • Albanian Radio and Television
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
  • CNN
  • Euronews
  • GloboSat
  • International Herald Tribune
  • South African Broadcasting Network
  • Télévision Suisse Romande
  • TF1
  • TV8 Mont-Blanc
  • World Radio Geneva
  • World Radio Switzerland

Private sector

Companies for whom I have done public interest work or with whom I have partnered on public interest projects:

  • Accenture
  • Amadeus
  • Arcelor
  • BMW
  • KPMG
  • Sanofi-Pasteur MSD
  • SAP
  • Sunoco

Places I have worked or been on assignment

I have worked or been on assignment in the Canadian Arctic, the Sahara and the Far East. I have spent time in the slums of Nairobi but also in the corporate penthouse suites of Manhattan. All in all, I have lived in, worked in or visited 150 countries. I have had the privilege of spending time with Presidents and Prime Ministers but have also been astonished by the work of community workers in Old Fadama. I still have many places to visit and will continue to do so with an open mind, each and every time.

Current not for profit activities

  • World Prevention Alliance: Founding Board Member
  • National Press Club: Photo, Communications and Freelance Committee Member
  • American Childhood Cancer Organization: Pro Bono Advisor


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