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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 10 October 2014. Washington, DC. Frances Seghers, an experienced government affairs executive well versed in legal and regulatory issues, has joined The International Intellectual Property Institute’s (IIPI) Board of Advisors. Ms. Seghers’ participation will ensure that IIPI is at the forefront of copyright and international licensing issues.

Ms. Seghers recently retired as the Executive Vice President of Worldwide Government Affairs for Sony Pictures Entertainment.

“IIPI is gratified to welcome Frances Seghers to the Board of Advisors,” said Andrew Hirsch, Executive Director. “Ms. Seghers has an exceptional knowledge of copyright law and international licensing issues, and we look forward to her advice and counsel on IIPI’s projects, particularly as we look to begin collecting societies in the Middle East.”

Ms. Seghers said “I am proud to join IIPI’s team in their work to use intellectual property for economic development. I am confident that my background in international trade and licensing, as well as my knowledge of government affairs will be an asset to IIPI’s effort.”

Frances Seghers has more than two decades of experience dealing with trade-related issues, copyright, and licensing. From 2005 through 2011, she served as the Executive Vice President of Worldwide Government Affairs for Sony Pictures Entertainment, where she oversaw the company’s business interests in dealing with all levels of government across the globe. Ms. Seghers examined the impact of proposed government policies and helped the company to achieve the best response. Much of Ms. Seghers’ work focused on copyright laws and regulations, and the development of new digital business models.

Prior to serving as the Executive Vice President of Worldwide Government Affairs, Ms. Seghers served as the Senior Vice President of EU Government Affairs for Sony. In this post, Ms. Seghers opened the Brussels office of Sony Pictures, Sony Music, and Sony Computer Entertainment so that the company could focus on European Union issues. She developed not only the company’s position on updating international treaties, but also the industry’s positions. Among her key accomplishments, Ms. Seghers softened proposed EU Legislation that would have severely restricted sales of US programming to European broadcasters. She also played a key role in implementing the EU Copyright Directive.

Prior to moving to Europe, Ms. Seghers worked as the Vice President of Federal Affairs for the Motion Picture Association of America, where she was responsible for identifying issues relevant to the industry throughout the executive branch of the US government. She played an essential role in ensuring that a “cultural exception,” which would allow discrimination against US programming, was not present in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) trade talks or in World Trade Organization trade talks. She also worked within a copyright industry alliance to ensure adoption of copyright laws in the then newly liberated states of the former Soviet Union.

Ms. Seghers graduated, cum laude, with a degree in Journalism from Louisiana State University. She spent a number of years working for newspapers, trade newsletters and for Business Week magazine.


The International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI) is a non-profit organization and think tank that promotes the use of intellectual property rights to create jobs and increase competitiveness in developing countries. The IIPI was founded by Bruce Lehman, former Commissioner of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, in 1998. Jorge Amigo Castañeda, former Director General of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property, is the Institute’s Vice Chairman.

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