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At the March 12 Executive Committee meeting of the International Association of Theatre Critics (aict-iatc.org), Michel VAÏS, Secretary General of the organization since 1998, announced that he would retire as of that meeting. Dr. VAÏS, a Quebecois who is a fluent speaker and writer in the organization’s two official languages of French and English, had been weighing retirement for some time. He expressed great confidence in his proposed successor, Natalia TVALTCHRELIDZE, a native of the Republic of Georgia who is herself fluent in four languages.

Following the Statutes of the organization, the Executive Committee accepted Dr. VAÏS’ resignation and immediately held an election for his replacement until the association’s next General Assembly, which will likely be in mid-2023. Ms. TVALTCHRELIDZE was unanimously elected Secretary General by a voice vote of the Executive Committee. Those present for the committee meeting, which included Honorary Presidents Margareta SÖRENSON (Sweden) and Yun-Cheol KIM (Korea), sang the praises of Dr. VAÏS, who had worked as Secretary General with five presidents of the global association. During his time in office and through his consistent efforts, Dr. VAÏS helped oversee consistent growth of the association, which has nearly doubled in size to represent nearly 3,000 members in more than 80 countries worldwide.

AICT-IATC President Jeffrey Eric JENKINS noted that Dr. VAÏS has been “a guiding force and a keeper of our institutional memory for nearly thirty years,” beginning as an Executive Committee member in 1994 before serving as General Treasurer and, later, as Vice President. “It is a tribute to Michel’s collaborative skills,” Dr. JENKINS continued, “that he ran unopposed nine times for the Secretary General post.” The Executive Committee voted unanimously to recommend that Dr. VAÏS receive the title of Honorary Secretary General at the next General Assembly.

Natalia TVALTCHRELIDZE has taken a leading role for AICT-IATC in the past several years as the association has dealt with issues related to social media and web resources. She is managing director of Ilia State University Theatre in Tbilisi, Georgia. She holds degrees from the American University of Paris, Tbilisi State University, and London School of Economics. She teaches Shakespeare and is a member of the Georgian Council for Higher Education in Performing Arts and Theatre Studies. She is fluent in English, French, Russian and her native Georgian.