Tom Milo, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; was educated at the Vossius Gymnasium, Amsterdam; followed by 4 years of Slavic Studies with Old Church Slavonic, Russian, Bulgarian & Macedonian at the University of Amsterdam, 6 years of Turkish Studies with Ottoman Turkish, Modern Turkish, Azeri & Yakut Turkic at the University of Leiden with additional Arabic Studies including Modern Standard Arabic as well as Egyptian, Lebanese and Moroccan Arabic at the University of Amsterdam.
Obtained HGV (heavy goods vehicle) driving license and worked in Saudi Arabia in a Dutch trucking company 1976-77. This turned out to be an excellent way to improve conversational and driving skills in both Arabic and Turkish, as the firm mainly employed Turkish drivers on the roads between the North Sea and the Gulf.
Served as a captain in the Royal Netherlands Army and did two tours of duty as an Arabic speaking officer in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. Worked as a freelancer producing Moroccan dialect translations for the Amsterdam City Council Information Office. Taught courses of Turkish and Moroccan colloquial Arabic.
Incorporated DecoType (associate member of the Unicode Consortium) in 1985 together with two partners: Mirjam Somers, an architect and Peter Somers, an aircraft engineer. DecoType were the first in the industry to develop Arabic script solutions based on thorough research into the Islamic Calligraphic Tradition. DT contributes fonts and Arabic Calligraphy applications to Microsoft Office Arabic Edition and to Adobe PageMaker Middle East, DT provides a special interface for Calligraphic typesetting; to the MacOS 9 it contributes Arabic fonts. Upgrades for Adobe InDesign and MacOSX are in the pipeline. DecoType works closely together with Tradigital (UK, Germany, Egypt) to whom DT provides research and development.
Has been involved with Unicode since 1988, when, as a consultant for Adobe Systems, he mapped all the regional and historical varieties of the Cyrillic alphabet. In the next year he joined the ISO10646 working group of the Netherlands Standardization Institute, contributing on Cyrillic and Arabic script issues. Has participated in and contributed to the International Unicode Conferences since 1991. Was three times given the honour to do the Keynote Address (IUC14Boston, MA 1999, IUC15 San Jose, CA, 1999) and, directly following the dramatic events in September 2001, at IUC19. Hosted the 16th IUC in Amsterdam.
Tom holds a Unicode Bulldog Award - looking for a good place to put it.