Plain English Awards

celebrate New Zealand's clearest communicators

Annetta Cheek

Judge: Best Plain English Turnaround category

Chair, Center for Plain Language, USA

Dr Cheek is an anthropologist by training, earning a PhD from the University of Arizona in 1974. She worked for the US Government from 1980 until early 2007, and spent 4 years as the chief plain language expert on Vice President Al Gore’s National Partnership for Reinventing Government.

She was the chair of the federal interagency plain language advocacy group PLAIN, from when it was founded in 1995 until she retired from the government in 2007. She also administered the group’s website,

Dr Cheek was a founder of the non-profit Center for Plain Language and served as its chair from October 2003 until June 2014. She now serves as the Chair of the Government Affairs Committee of the Center. The Center sponsors both a plain language awards programme (the ClearMarks) and a federal agency report card on plain language.

She also serves on the board of Clarity, an international organisation promoting plain legal language.

2017 Plain English Awards judges