Speakers

Aarathi Krishnan

Aarathi Krishnan specialises in strategic and applied foresight for the humanitarian and development sector. A seasoned expert with over 15 years experience globally, she works at the intersection of humanitarian and development futures, strategic foresight, and anticipatory institutional transformation. She is currently the Strategic Foresight Advisor for UNDP, where she is designing the integration of a systems approach to foresight across the Asia Pacific Bureau to build anticipatory capacities, decision making and programmatic offers to see, manage and respond to short and long term risk signals, policies and investments so that development futures can be flourishing for all. In addition, she is also an Affiliate at Berkman Klein Centre for Internet and Society at Harvard University as well as a 2020-21 and 2021-22 Technology and Human Rights Fellow at the Harvard Carr Centre for Technology and Human Rights. The focus of her research is on Foresight and Decolonial Tech Ethics in Humanitarian Tech Governance Previously she has supported a range of international humanitarian organisations on embedding institutional foresight and global strategy to drive institutional and systems transformation, including the UN Resident Coordinators, UNV, the World Bank, UNHCR, MSF, ICRC and IFRC . Twitter: @akrishnan23 and http://www.aarathikrishnan.com

Alice Tamang

Alice Tamang is an Indigenous Australian woman (Dharug), who brings her extensive experience working with Aboriginal communities across regional and remote locations, to her role as Indigenous Programs Coordinator of the Australian Volunteers Program. Alice’s work has focused on equitable inclusion, community development and cultural revival, across the education, arts and international development sectors.

Alok Rath

Dr. Alok Rath is an international development professional with over twenty-seven years work experience in Asia, Africa and the UK. An avid practitioner in volunteering for development as a sustainable and effective development methodology, Dr. Alok has worked with international development organisations such as Save the Children, Action Aid and currently with VSO. Having started his career in a volunteering capacity, Dr. Alok champions volunteering in a blended form. In his current role, Dr. Rath leads research, evaluation, and knowledge generation in VSO’s programmes in health, education, and livelihoods, putting people at the centre of evidence and learning processes. He has been a ‘Lead Discussant’ on role of volunteering in SDGs achievement at UN’s first HLPF on SDGs in 2016, a speaker at Africa Union’s youth engagement on SDGs in Kampala in 2017 and has been a speaker at the UNV’s Volunteering Conclave in India in 2019. He has contributed papers on volunteering for IVCO 2017 and 2018. Dr. Rath is an M.A, M.Phil, and Ph.D. in Anthropology. He has authored/co-authored several research papers on different areas of social science and development in his career.

Aminata Kelly Lamin

My name is Aminata Samuella Ruth Kelly-Lamin; a passionate advocate for women and youths from diverse front of life; a middle level manager taking lead in the policy and advocacy actions at ActionAid Sierra Leone (AASL). Aminata has a niche on Natural Resource Governance, advocating for mining community beneficiation including mining benefits, proper resettlement and relocation of affected families/communities in Sierra Leone. Been in the development land scape and real activism with experience of over 20 years; she has worked with both national and international organisations including but not limited to – Plan International, Network Movement for Justice and Development, United Nations Development Programme – United Nations Office Project Services, Sierra Leone Opportunities Industrialization Centre (SLOIC) and currently at ActionAid Sierra Leone (AASL). Aminata is working with young people as volunteers on Peace and electoral campaigns, mobilising first time voters and fostering peace among political youths using music. Over the years, she has worked with young people-volunteers within and from outside Sierra Leone.

Andreas Souvaliotis

He has been called Canada’s Chief Gamification Officer for figuring out how to nudge millions to live and behave differently — but in the title of his bestselling memoir he simply calls himself a “Misfit”.Andreas Souvaliotis is a globally recognized Canadian social innovator. He created the world’s first national wellness promotion platform, the once hugely popular Carrot Rewards app. A decade earlier he had built and sold Green Rewards, the first-ever environmental lifestyle promotion program in the world. He is a prolific, unconventional and outspoken supporter of global wellness, inclusion, diversity, climate action and social entrepreneurship.

Andres Morales

As a solutions-focused manager, Andres has supported NGOs, UN agencies, Governments and International Organizations in their efforts towards strengthening volunteering development, ensuring and advocating for the rights of children and young people and fostering educational initiatives across Asia-Pacific, Africa, Americas, Middle East and Europe. Currently, he is the Volunteering & Youth Development Regional Coordinator of volunteer for the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) in the Americas region and the Director of the Interamerican Centre for Volunteering Development (ICVD), where he is responsible for the technical support and coordination of the volunteer and youth areas to meet the needs of the 35 National Societies of America to guarantee the continuity of volunteers who are motivated, recognized, protected and trained, which in turn, can better meet the needs of vulnerable populations.

Ashraf Patel

Ashraf Patel

Ashraf is one of the co-founders of Pravah and ComMutiny – The Youth Collective. She has working towards promoting the ‘inside-out’ youth leadership field in India using the 5th Space framework aimed at nourishing personal and societal wellbeing through volunteering actions and reflections. She is currently part of bringing together a cross-sectoral formulation called the vartaLeap Coalition which is working towards the mission ‘Every youth a Jagrik, Every space nurturing Jagriks’. Jagrik is a hindi word play that embodies the idea of a‘ self awakened, aware and active citizen’. The coalition represents among some of the leading practitioners, policy makers and stakeholders who are committed to build the narrative of youth-centric development and societal wellbeing and volunteering based on values of justice, equality, liberty and fraternity at scale with soul. Ashraf is an Ashoka Fellow and has received the Jubilant Schwab Social Entrepreneurship Award of the Year (SEOY, 2020). She is the co-author of ‘Ocean in a Drop – Inside Out Youth Leadership’ (Sage, 2013).

Benjamin Haas

Benjamin Haas

Benjamin Haas is a researcher, educator, program planner & social innovator. As a founding editor of Voluntaris – Journal of Volunteer Services and Civic Engagement, he has broad expertise in the voluntary sector. He has worked as a senior advisor and consultant for various national and international NGOs, government agencies, and ministries like the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). He is specialized in decolonial approaches, postcolonial studies, critical whiteness, intersectionality and (critical) global education. Ben is passionate about applying complex research findings to the practice field and about developing grounded, feasible but ambitious power-sharing and decolonising concepts in multi-stakeholder contexts. Currently, he works as a research associate and PhD candidate at the Chair for Social Policy and Qualitative Social Research Methods and at the Seminar for Co-operative Studies of the University of Cologne/Germany. He holds an M.A. in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology from Leiden University in the Netherlands and has carried out extensive research in Europe, Latin America and West Africa. Publication List: www.benhaas.de

Benjamin Lough

Benjamin Lough is a Professor of Social Work and Business Administration and Director of Social Innovation at the Gies College of Business, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He also holds positions as Senior Research Associate with the Center for Social Development, University of Johannesburg, and Faculty Director of International Service at the Center for Social Development, Washington University in St. Louis. Ben’s research and teaching interests include volunteerism, community development, grassroots social innovation, and non-profit management. He was the lead researcher and author of the State of the Worlds Volunteerism Report 2018 and is currently researching the contributions of international volunteers to gender equality from the perspectives of partner organizations. Ben is a member of Forum’s ‘Research, Practice, and Policy Group’ and has produced several publications for Forum and UNV as a member of this group. He earned his Ph.D. in Social Work from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis in 2010.

Boudewijn Wijnands

Boudewijn Wijnands

Boudewijn Wijnands is founder, CEO of Deedmob. Deedmob is the largest social-tech startup for the social & voluntary sector in Europe since being launched at Oxford in 2017. The Deedmob software product is used nationally and internationally by more than 10,500 charities, companies, municipalities and governments. More than 2,600,000 people around the world volunteer using Deedmob’s technology. During the recent Covid-19 outbreak, the company gained a lot of international attention by launching several CoronaHelpers platforms worldwide. Deedmob’s technology was ranked highest in a report initiated by Bill & Melinda Gates on corporate volunteering technology. Boudewijn is a graduate of the University of Oxford, University of Amsterdam and was included in the Forbes 30-under-30 class of 2020 in the Social Entrepreneurship category along with Greta Thunberg. Boudewijn is also a member of the national Dutch think tank Denkwerk.

Carol Spahn

Carol Spahn is serving as the Acting Director of the Peace Corps.
She brings more than 25 years of public and private sector experience, and has worked in countries around the world on issues ranging from small business development to infectious disease prevention and women’s empowerment. Most recently, Carol served as the Peace Corps Chief of Operations in the Africa Region covering Eastern and Southern Africa. Previously, she served a five year term as the Country Director of Peace Corps/Malawi. Carol’s Peace Corps roots extend back to her service as a Volunteer from 1994 to 1996 in Romania, where she served as a Small Business Advisor.
Before returning to the Peace Corps as Country Director, Carol was Senior Vice President of Operations at Women for Women International, an organization serving marginalized and socially excluded women in conflict affected countries. Prior to that, Carol served as Executive Director of Accordia Global Health Foundation, a non-profit focused on creating sustainable centers of excellence in health in Africa. She served as Vice-President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer of Small Enterprise Assistance Funds, a nonprofit private equity fund manager that invests in small and medium sized companies in developing countries. She has also held positions at leading private sector institutions, including GE Capital and KPMG Peat Marwick. Carol holds a bachelor’s degree from the Catholic University of America and a master’s degree in international development from the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs.

Cristina Cruz-Hubbard

Cristina (Tina) Cruz-Hubbard currently serves as the Chief Diversity Officer for Peace Corps. Her portfolio includes developing a global strategy to integrate intercultural competence, diversity, equity and inclusion across core business functions in support of the agency’s three goals and mission to promote world peace and friendship. Prior to this role she led the efforts to define the intersection between culture, diversity, equity and inclusion and addressed issues related to supporting an increasingly diverse Volunteer and staff population by customizing effective and appropriate solutions in a complex global environment.  She has been working in the field of intercultural competence, diversity, equity and inclusion (ICDEI) since 1993, and her passion has been cultivating environments that enable deep and transformational learning across differences and empower and inspire leaders at all levels to create equitable systems and access for all.  She is a coach, strategist and ICDEI practitioner with experience in higher education, not-for-profit, corporate and governmental settings.  

Chris Millora

Chris is an interdisciplinary researcher whose scholarship revolves around understanding how people learn in everyday life particularly in/during ‘moments of social action’ such as activist movements and informal volunteering. He recently finished his PhD in Education and Development at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK. His doctoral research was an 11-month ethnography of the learning dimension of local volunteering by ‘vulnerable’ youths and adults in an HIV/AIDS awareness group and informal settlers’ movement in the Philippines. As a researcher of volunteering, Chris is committed to exploring how ethnographic and participatory methods could unpack (and problematise) the links between volunteering and development. Chris is currently research associate with the UEA UNESCO Chair in Adult Literacy and Learning for Social Transformation and is lead researcher/author of UN Volunteers’ 2022 State of the World’s Volunteerism Report. Starting January 2022, Chris will lead a 3-year, Leverhulme Trust funded project entitled ‘Literacies of Dissent’ looking at youth social movements and learning in the Philippines and Ethiopia. He has published on topics such as volunteering and inclusion and research ethics in long-term fieldwork in the Global South. For more information and publications see: www.chrismillora.com.

Christine Ogola

Christine Ogola (Kenya) – With passion for youth empowerment and a desire to see vulnerable groups build resilient livelihoods, Christine Ogola is the Kenyan YouthLead Ambassador, for the YouthPower2: Learning and Evaluation program. As a Climate Change Adaptation Advisor, she champions environmentally friendly initiatives, mentoring youth in the community to engage in sustainable climate change adaptation projects in achieving significant development. Young African Leaders Initiative – East Africa Regional Leadership Centre (YALI EA RL) Alumnus. Christine is an executive member of Youth for Sustainable Development (YSD), championing meaningful youth engagement, social accountability and inclusion for all. She is recognized as a Global Livelihood’s Impact Award Winner for her commitment in achieving significant impact, contributing to ending poverty and inequality. Her vision for Leaving no one behind is rooted in improving inclusion, participation, and responsiveness of the vulnerable groups in realizing the UN Agenda 2030. Christine believes that the world has more than enough to offer to guarantee a life of dignity to everyone.

Christina Munzer

Christina Munzer has been with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) since 2012, and is currently the Director of the Humanitarian and Development Deployments Section. She recently completed a three-year posting in Fiji as Counsellor, Development Cooperation for Fiji and Tuvalu. Before that she was Director of DFAT’s global Australian NGO Cooperation Program. Christina came to DFAT from the NGO sector, working at CARE Australia as Coordinator of Asia and Pacific programs and before that at the International Rescue Committee in several humanitarian and post-conflict postings in Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Christina served as a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, West Africa and has also worked in the US health sector. Christina has a Masters in International Affairs from Columbia University.

Courtney Kelner

Chris Courtney Kelner is a Programme and Grants Officer with the International Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE), a federation of 40 member committees committed to providing challenging intercultural learning experiences for young people globally. She started out as a volunteer in Kyrgyzstan with the US Peace Corps and has since been involved in the joys and toils of fundraising. She has a passion for organisational restructuring and revisioning our roles in the shaping the kind of world we want to live in.

Darlene Grant

In June 2020, Dr. Darlene Grant joined the Peace Corps Head Quarters Director’s Office as Senior Advisor. Dr. Grant served as Peace Corps Country Director in Kosovo from 2015 to 2019, and as Country Director in Mongolia from 2012 to 2015. Committed to service, from 2009-2011, she took a leave of absence from her tenured faculty position to serve in Cambodia’s 3rd Peace Corps Volunteer group as a TEFL English Teacher and Teacher Trainer.  Dr. Grant worked for 18-years as a professor of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. She also served for five years as Associate Dean, were she managed a multi-million dollar fellowship program, mandated with increasing the racial, socioeconomic, and ethnic diversity of graduate students throughout the university. Dr. Grant taught graduate and undergraduate courses in social justice, clinical practice, research methodology, and working with at-risk youth, and has authored dozens of journal and book chapter publications. Dr. Grant was named 2006 Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers.

David Styers

During the past three decades, David Styers has gained extensive experience as consultant, trainer, and facilitator working at the forefront of civic engagement in volunteer, leadership, and arts development.  He is currently the representative for volunteers at the United Nations as coordinator of the Volunteer Groups Alliance, and he is also Director of Learning and Leadership Programs at the League of American Orchestras in New York City.  David is a former Treasurer and North American Representative of the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE), and Board President of the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration as well as Volunteer Alexandria.  From 2000-2007, he served as a Senior Director at the Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network in the U.S. Also as a BoardSource Certified Governance consultant, David has expertise in NGO responsibilities and exceptional practices, fundraising, leadership and partnership development, outcomes measurement, strategic planning, and volunteer management. His clients have included local, state, national, and international organizations, and he was a Senior Governance Consultant for BoardSource for 13 years, including 5 years fulltime on staff from 2007-2012.

Elizabeth Agatha Musah

Elizabeth Agatha Musah is a Feminist, Advocate, Social Entrepreneur, SDG Ambassador, Regional Coordinator for VIONet, and founder of 4HER Initiative. 4HER works to positively transform and impact the livelihoods and wellbeing of vulnerable and deprived girls and women in impoverished communities in Sierra Leone. Elizabeth is an ambitious, adventurous, result-oriented, and selfless volunteer who believes in tolerance, integrity, and empathy for everyone. She is creative with exceptional interpersonal and problem-solving skills.
Ms. Musah has undertaken several developmental activities to keep communities clean, safe and healthy for the wellbeing of all. She mentors and organizes training, workshops, seminars, symposium, etc. for youths, girls, women, both virtual and physical to build, empower, transform and impact their lives for a meaningful and productive engagement. She mobilizes and works with communities to become empowered and improved, raise community awareness and inspire them to be better able to speak up, demand for improved services as well as demonstrating their responsibilities for a better and sustainable society.

Erin Bateman

Erin Bateman is the Director of Volunteer Cooperation for WUSC (World University Service of Canada). She has held leadership positions in a number of volunteering for development organizations over the past 20 years including VSO (UK) and Cuso International (Canada and Ethiopia). She started out as a volunteer in Kenya with Canadian Crossroads International and has an MSc. in Development Studies from the London School of Economics. Erin is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the International Forum for Volunteering in Development and co-leads Forum’s Diversity and Inclusion Community of Practice.

Erin MacLeod

Erin C. MacLeod
Erin has experience in the fields of education, communications, international development and the not-for-profit sectors. Holding a PhD in Communications, Erin has taught and lectured at both the college and university levels. Her award-winning writing has appeared in international publications such as the New York Times, the Guardian, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and many others. In addition, she has engaged in communications and monitoring and evaluation consulting for a range of development and volunteering organizations. She is also a member of the Monitoring and Evaluation Community of Practice in Ottawa, Canada. Her fields of interest are south-south relations, immigration policy, diaspora studies and development issues. Erin’s research into these areas has been supported by both doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Fazirah Naser

Fazirah Naser specialises in programme design and delivery in the volunteering sector with YSS, an agency owned by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) Malaysia. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Project Management from Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) and has been active with student engagement since her undergraduate years under AIESEC Malaysia and UNESCO UMP Chapter. Fazirah spearheads YSS’ first centre since May 2019 called YSS Centre of Volunteer Excellence & Efforts (CoVE) which mainly develops and coordinates training programmes for volunteers, grants management and manages international partnerships ​ for the organisation​. She is a part of MOHE’s working group as the main coordinator for a national students leadership programme and is the focal point for YSS for matters involving ASEAN and international coalitions of the volunteering for development sector. Fazirah is also a member of the International Forum for Volunteering in Development Diversity and Inclusion Community of Practice and is a part of the Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee reviewing the Global Standard.

Francois Awounkeu

Francois Awounkeu is the Country Representative of Cuso International in Cameroon, engaged for past 21 years in designing and implementing many projects and programs that target most excluded people. Under his leadership and with contribution of international volunteers, the program radio for indigenous group sponsored by Global Affairs Canada has created a huge impact on the Bagyieli group in Cameroon. The Nkuli Makeli radio has delivered a very inclusive program such as ensuring that indigenous group use their own language to communicate on issues affecting their living conditions. Before joining Cuso international he led the Baka rights and dignity project, with a successful advocacy campaign that contributed to the approval and the adoption of the school manual in Baka language in Cameroon within the context of intercultural multilingual education. The textbook has contributed to the achievement of the inclusive education in Cameroon. He has also led some key projects targeting the most present needs such as of livelihood for indigenous community, school feeding program and finally massive campaign on birth declaration for indigenous people. 

Fredrick Sadia

Fredrick Sadia is a Volunteering for Development Champion. Since 2014, he is the Secretary and National Coordinator to the VIO Society in Kenya. He is also Good Deeds Day Kenya Representative. Fred has been engaged in shaping the Volunteering space in Kenya, leading in building a robust relationship between the VIOs in Kenya and the Government of Kenya. His joint concerted efforts have seen the Development of the Kenya Volunteerism Policy 2016 and currently final works on the Proposed Volunteerism Bill 2021. In championing for Good Deeds, he has worked with other stakeholders to team up with the Government to commemorate Good Deeds Day every year since 2017. Fred has been part of Regional and Global discourses on Volunteering, always ready to offer his thoughts when called upon. He has been able to participate in IVCOs since 2017 and had the pleasure to endorse the Global Standards for Volunteering during IVCOs 2019. Fred is currently a Student of Community Development at Daystar University.  

Geeta Pradhan

Geeta is the Global Lead Advisor- Gender at Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). She has worked in the development sector for more than 17 years, working across Asia Pacific and Africa. Leads VSO’s strategic and technical approach to Gender and Social Inclusion integration across VSO’s global portfolio. This includes advising programs and projects to integrate and embedded gender to bring about transformative norm change. Leading on programmes on women’s empowerment that tackle gender-based violence and embedding gender-responsive programs across our thematic programs of health, education, and resilient livelihood.

Gerasimos Kouvaras

Gerasimos Kouvaras has 25 years of engagement as executive director, instructor, advisor and volunteer in and for the civil society sector at the national and international level. Since 2007, he has been Country Director of ActionAid in Greece.  Before joining ActionAid, among others, Gerasimos served Amnesty International as Director for Greece and the Greek Ministry of Education as Special Advisor on Volunteering and the Youth Sector. In that capacity, he led the National Office for Youth Policies and chaired the Working Group on Youth of the Council of the EU during the Greek EU Presidency in 2003. Gerrasimos is a PhD in Management candidate at Bayes (former Cass) Business School of City University of London and since October 2020 a Forum Board member. 

Heather Shapter

Heather Shapter is Executive Director of Crossroads International, which works with local partners in Sub-Saharan Africa to advance rights, reduce poverty, and increase access to justice for one million women and girls. She is also the Board Chair for Forum. She has held leadership roles in some of the world’s most respected International non-governmental organizations and foundations, in such diverse environments as the Caribbean, Africa, Russia, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. She has been recognized nationally and internationally for her leadership, in service of others.

Helene Perold

Helene Perold is the director of Helene Perold & Associates, a South African consultancy established in 1993. An evaluator, researcher, publisher and strategist, Helene has worked in the fields of volunteering, youth development, community service, education, public health and communication. http://www.hpa.co.za
In 2003 Helene founded VOSESA (Volunteer and Service Enquiry Southern Africa), a non-profit research organisation that for ten years worked to build an evidence base about volunteering and civic service in Southern Africa. Through its research and publications, VOSESA became recognised regionally and internationally as a knowledge leader in the field. Selected studies are available at http://www.vosesa.org.za.
Helene has served as a research fellow at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University, St Louis, USA, and as a senior research fellow at the Center for Social Development in Africa, University of Johannesburg, South Africa. Helene can be contacted at hperold@hpa.co.za.

Helge Espe

Helge Espe joined Norec (formerly FK Norway) in 2001, being closely involved in its strategic and operational development since then. He is currently working as Senior Adviser to the Agency, in particular as regards Agenda 2030, South-South and Triangular Cooperation, and matters relating to the UN organisations, the OECD/DAC/Global Partnership Initiative, as well as international think tanks, networks and associations of volunteering, including the Volunteer Groups Alliance and the Research, Policy, Practice and Learning group. Espe has previously worked in Ethiopia for 11 years as Resident Representative for Norwegian Save the Children. Espe has also worked as a planner and transport analyst in the Oslo City Planning office. He holds an advanced degree in Sociology and in Urban and Regional planning.

Ibrahim Soro Kamara

Ibrahim Soro Kamara is a Civil Society Activist and human right defender. He has been in the advocacy since 2003. He is the founder and Coordinator of YOUTH WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION [YWDO] a local NGO that seek the welfare and development of young people. Ibrahim is the Program Manager of Volunteers Involving Organisations Network (VIONet) charged with the responsibilities coordinate and manage all activities and events of the network. He has extensive experience in advocacy and training on women’s human right particularly Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights gender equality and sexual gender-based violence.

James O’Brien

James O’Brien is Executive Director of the International Forum for Volunteering in Development (Forum). Prior to joining Forum, he spent a decade in various roles with VSO, most recently as Volunteering for Development Leadership Manager. He has served as Coordinator of the Volunteer Groups Alliance and Chair of the Post-2015 Volunteering Working Group, and worked with Better Care Network and Lumos on responsible volunteering.

Jelena Wander

Project manager for Inclusive Volunteering at bezev – Disability and Development Cooperation (Essen, Germany). Having completed voluntary services and internships in Indonesia, Peru and Mongolia on her own, she was convinced that the experience of international volunteering should be open to everyone. Therefore she is now focusing on the subject of inclusion in voluntary services and tries to break down barriers which are still existing for persons with disabilities and other discriminated groups. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Science.

Jennifer (JJ) Di Bella

JJ is a leader and certified coach with over 20 years of experience working globally, overseas, and at home in the U.S.A. Currently, she is the Chief of Programming and Training in the AF Region and formerly, the Regional Advisor for Southern and East Africa at the Peace Corps. In FY2020, she led the Peace Corps in piloting virtual service. Prior to rejoining Peace Corps, JJ served as the Chief of Learning and Development for the National Park Service (NPS) where she led a learning and development program serving 24,000 employees. Prior to working for the NPS, JJ worked for Peace Corps overseas and at HQ for 17 years in a variety of positions including: Recruitment Coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Region; Associate Peace Corps Director (APCD) Education and Director of Programming and Training (DPT) in PC/Zambia; and as a consultant. JJ holds a Master’s degree in Education from George Mason University (GMU). She served as a teacher trainer in St. Vincent & The Grenadines and is a Return Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV). She is currently pursuing her PhD in Leadership and Change.

Josef Estermann

Josef Estermann, of Swiss origin (1956), has a long career (17 years) in the Andean world (Peru and Bolivia). He holds a doctorate in philosophy and a master’s degree in theology. He was director of the Missio e.V. Missiology Institute (MWI) in Aachen Germany (1998-2004), lecturer and researcher at the Instituto Superior Ecuménico Andino de Teología (ISEAT), at the Universidad Católica Boliviana “San Pablo” (UCB), at the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés (UMSA) and at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar (UASB) in La Paz-Bolivia. Since 2012, he has been working as head of Bases & Research with Comundo at the “Casa Romero” and teaches at the University of Lucerne (Switzerland). He is member of the Board of Unité, the Swiss Federation of Personal Cooperation Organisations and is working and doing research on issues of development, decoloniality and interculturality.

Julia Nakamura

Julia is a graduate student in the Health Psychology program at the University of British Columbia. Broadly, Julia is interested in the aspects of psychological (e.g., purpose in life) and behavioral (e.g., volunteering) well-being that positively influence physical health outcomes, health behaviors, and psychosocial well-being in older adults, with her research lying at the intersection of health psychology, gerontology, epidemiology, and translational science. Her current research is focused on how altruism and volunteering are associated with health and well-being in older adults. She is currently working with United Way Worldwide to learn about the greatest needs of older adults during COVID-19, and using these insights to help create “off the shelf” volunteering guides that United Way Chapters can rapidly implement to help older adults in their areas.

Julia Sánchez

Julia Sánchez has served as Secretary General of ActionAid International since March 2020. She is a development practitioner, feminist, and environmentalist who has promoted equity and sustainable development for over 25 years. Julia has extensive leadership experience in international development program management, including many years working in developing countries with a range of international partners and donors. She is an active supporter of national and global civil society coalitions, currently serving as the Chair of the Board of CIVICUS and was previously Treasurer from 2016 to 2019. She also served as Co-Chair of the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness, among others. Julia is an economist and political scientist. She holds an MA (in Economics) from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She is trilingual and has lived and worked in numerous countries in North and Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Katherine Tubb

Katherine has mobilised thousands of volunteers into hundreds of charities globally. In 2003 she founded social enterprise and online volunteering platform, 2Way Development, as an enterprising alternative to government-funded international volunteering. She went on to advise the world’s largest charities and voluntary movements on creative business modelling to generate income and improve operations. Examples of her work include the design of an e-volunteering model for the Red Cross to mobilise voluntary expertise into 192 offices, a corporate volunteering product for AVI to raise $3m in new income, a volunteering programme for Panthera to help fight wildlife crime, and a social enterprise for WWF to foster a global community of landscape volunteers. She is Special Advisor to the Lonely Planet, Contributor at The Guardian, and has provided content for publications, documentaries and events to raise awareness of volunteering, including CNN’s ‘Be the Change’ series. More information can be found at www.katherinetubb.com

Kossi Mensan Edem AGODE

As a sociologist and geographer, my core business is project planning, analysis and management, and operations development. I have been working for 10 years on socio-economic development projects and institutional and organisational capacity building of private and associative structures in the sectors of agriculture, environment, inclusion, etc. My assignments often consisted of analysing needs and processes, and proposing adapted innovations that would bring added value. I have been pursuing this mission within ANVT since 2015 where I ensure, as Director of Operations, that volunteers are trained and work on development missions, with high added value for themselves, their organisations and the host communities. In this regard, I am continuously working on the development of volunteerism in order to align it with national development issues. The development of volunteering, youth employability, inclusion of people with disabilities and resource mobilisation are all my main topics of interest.

Kudzo Nyameko GBEMOU

Kudzo Nyameko GBEMOU is the Founder and Program Manager of Association Jeunesse – Sensibilisation – Action (JSA) in Togo, which carries out projects in rural communities through volunteering. A senior technician in local government management, he is passionate about local and sustainable development issues and has been involved in the associative field through 20 years. This commitment to the contribution of volunteers, leads him to currently assume the presidency of the Collective of Associations and NGOs of Solidarity Volunteering in Togo (CAVO). In addition, he is currently the General Treasurer of the National Consultation Framework of Volunteer Organizations in Togo (CCOVT). He is also a member of the Global Network of Volunteering Leadership (GNVL) of the IAVE world network. Sensitive to environmental issues, he is a member of the Global Network of Civil Society Organizations for Disaster Reduction (GNDR) and one of country representatives of Climate Initiatives for Francophone Africa (ICAF).

Lea Sofia Simonsen

Lea Sofia Simonsen is the Senior Project Manager for International Programmes at ActionAid Denmark, with 10+ years of experience working in ActionAid. Over this time, she focused on supporting countries in Central America, E., W. and S. Africa and the Arab Region on building the capacity of young people’s movements, organisations and networks through people to people support and volunteer approaches, emphasising the importance of localisation through a human rights based approach to development. In the past few years, she has moved into the field of humanitarian action and manages projects related to humanitarian volunteering and young people’s leadership in humanitarian action.

Lechin Lu

Lechin Lu is a core team member of the Criterion Institute, an activist think tank with a mission to use innovative finance to achieve gender equality outcomes. As a social innovator, Lechin specializes in intersectional analysis and participatory methodology and is keen on pursuing transformative program and policy design that addresses inequitable power dynamics. Lechin has over ten years of experience in community development, project management, strategic partnerships, and stakeholder management. She has worked in international development, community health, social service, and research institutions. She chaired local advocacy groups in Toronto. Before immigrating to Canada, she was a founding team member of the first non-for-profit family counselling center in southern China. Lechin is alumna-in-residence of the Institute for Gender and the Economy after she received her MBA from the University of Toronto. She also holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Calgary, specializing in international development.

Leigh Mathews

Leigh is a highly experienced practitioner with over 17 years diverse experience in the international development, philanthropic and corporate social responsibility sectors. She hosts The Good Problem Podcast, and is a published author. Leigh has a strong interest in ethics and is currently working on her forthcoming book – an exploration of the industry of doing good. Leigh is the co-founder of the international advocacy network, ReThink Orphanages, a member of the Course Advisory Committee for the Master of Social Impact at Swinburne University, Advisory Board member for the Australian Volunteers International (AVI) ChildSafe Volunteering Hub, and sits on the Victorian Government School for Student Leadership School Council where she chairs the Student Equity Fund Committee. Leigh is the recipient of the Victorian Young Australian of the Year Award 2009, the Australian Leadership Award 2009, and the JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World Award (Human Rights and World Peace) 2009. She is an alumni of the University of Melbourne AsiaLink Leaders Program (2014), and the Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership Executive Colloquium (2019).

Lénaïk LE POUL

Lénaïk Le Poul is a multi-stakeholder programme manager, at France Volontaires, with experience in leading projects addressing climate change, education and inclusion issues all over the world. She fosters strategies combining several approaches, such as policy reform, capacity building and long-lasting cooperation. She facilitates collaborative experiences for groups of stakeholders who wish to build a strong partnership to tackle complex issues together, ensuring positive impact. She believes that transnational cooperation at all levels is a key towards global understanding and justice.

Lou Talbot Beirne

Lou has been Programme Manager for CBM Ireland since 2018. Lou has 12 years’ experience in international project, programme management and volunteer management in Ireland, Ethiopia, Uganda and Malawi working on psychosocial community development projects with international and local organisations . She leads the development of CBM Ireland’s programme portfolio in Europe and around the world..
Lou oversees CBM Ireland’s international projects and is growing our institutional donor base and global project portfolio. She ensures that all funds are spent to the maximum benefit of people affected by the double-disadvantage of poverty and disability, with a focus on quality, inclusion and accountability.
She is also a board member of the Church Mission Society Ireland and in her spare time she’s an enthusiastic member of Discovery Gospel Choir, Dublin’s leading inter-cultural choir.

Lynette Teo

Lynette is a project and programme manager with 12 years of experience managing multi-million dollar healthcare, education and community development pilot projects and services across Asia. She is currently Manager, Volunteer Cooperation for the Singapore International Foundation (SIF), and works with specialist volunteers to design, implement and evaluate education and healthcare projects in Indonesia, India and China. Her current projects span across early childhood education, children with special needs to palliative care. Prior to joining SIF, she had a career in Singapore’s public health sector, building and developing long term community care facilities and services for seniors and their caregivers, to meet their health and social needs.

Manisha Dhakal

Manisha Dhakal is transgender woman. Her gender pronoun is she/her. She is LGBTI rights activist from Nepal. She has been involving in Nepal’s LGBTI rights movement since 2001 through different projects on HIV/AIDS, human rights activism, constitutional campaigns, advocacy, capacity building, academic research, LGBTI child rights and others. She was the first trans woman in Nepal Country Coordinating Mechanism of Global Fund. Manisha is currently the Executive Director of Blue Diamond Society (BDS), Nepal’s pioneer LGBTIQ rights organization & president of Federation of Sexual and Gender Minorities of Nepal. Regionally, Manisha is one of the founder member of the Asia-Pacific Transgender Network. She was one of the former Co-Chair of ILGA Asia Board. She is also a board member of IRGT; Innovative Response Globally for Transgender Women and HIV (“IRGT”). She was awarded the “Nai Ram Laxmi” National award in 2010 for her contributions to the LGBTI movement in Nepal. On 21 December 2007, the Supreme Court of Nepal issued a landmark verdict directing the government to enact laws enabling equal rights to LGBT citizens. Manisha was involved in court pleadings on this case on behalf of LGBTI people before the Supreme Court. Manisha possesses a master’s degree in finance from Shanker Dev Collage, Kathmandu.

Margret Damba

Margret Damba is a dynamic, experienced, and knowledgeable Social Scientist committed to improving communities social and development outcomes. She holds a Master’s of Science degree in Social Ecology and an Honors degree in Political Science & Public Administration She is an experienced Gender and Social Inclusion Expert with experience in both the public and private sector in Southern Africa. She has skills in both qualitative and quantitative research and have vast experience conducting research work with varies International Non-governmental organisations working in Southern Africa. These include Hope Initiatives Southern Africa, World Vision International, Zimbabwe, CIAT and local NGOs among them ORAP Zenzele.
She has volunteered with VSO Zimbabwe since 2017 and was the lead researcher for VSO Zimbabwe Country Office conducting the Social Exclusion and Gender Analysis (SEGA) research in 2019. Her capacity strengthening skills have contributed to positive developments in more than 19 local Partners and CSOs, in social inclusion and gender. Margret is a Returned Volunteer with VSO Zimbabwe, having volunteered previously as the Social Inclusion and Gender Advisor under the Volunteering for Development Grant from 2017 to 2019. She is now the Volunteer as the Gender and Women Empowerment Advisor under the GBV prevention project: Speak it Loud, Zimbabwe, funded by UN Trust Fund.

Mariatu Kabba

Mariatu KABBA is a 2021 Mandela Washington Fellow with more than seven years experience in broadcast journalism. Her innovative radio programming skills give voice to the marginalized as she relates inspiring stories of women and girls who push boundaries to make a mark in traditionally male dominated areas. Currently, Mariatu is a radio mentor at BBC Media Action Sierra Leone, where she works with community stations to enhance programming, gender mainstreaming, and safeguarding. Known for her community service, peacebuilding, and gender activism, Mariatu is the national Communication Manager of VIONET Sierra Leone and a co-founder and executive director of Strong Women, Strong Girls Sierra Leone, a non-profit mentorship initiative that strengthens the socioeconomic status of women and girls. An avid writer with an interest in social accountability issues, Mariatu holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, and is currently pursuing a course on Peacebuilding and Nonviolence at the Global Unites Master Trainers Academy. Mariatu is motivated to champion issues affecting the growth of women and girls and to provide them with the leadership skills to be successful in life.

Marit Bakken

Marit Bakken is the Director of Programmes in Norec – the Norwegian agency for exchange cooperation. She has worked with international partnerships in different roles since 2006, through volunteering, project coordination and management. She has wide experience in advising a variety of actors in how to develop international partnerships, develop projects and in facilitating trainings on the same topic.
Ms Bakken holds a master degree in musicology and has worked with youth development through music, both in Norway and in South Africa.

Mark Cumming

Mark Cumming brings together his life-long interest in community service, volunteering and international development in his role as Head of Comhlámh. As the Irish association of returned development workers and volunteers, Comhlámh supports people in their journey of working for social justice locally and globally. His early formative career was in Human Resources with International and Irish owned industry. He worked as a volunteer youth and community worker in Kenya and later worked for several years in recruitment and selection for the Agency for Personal Service Overseas, an agency of Irish Aid. He spent 13 years with Trócaire (Caritas Ireland), across a range of governance and human rights programming, evaluation and policy/advocacy functions in Ireland and the Global South. He is passionate about the place of Development Education in international volunteering. He is a board member of Forum and the Irish Fairtrade Network. He has a Masters in Development Studies.

Matt Baillie Smith

Matt is an interdisciplinary global development academic whose research focuses on volunteering in humanitarian and development settings and on young people as development actors. He is director of Refugee Youth Volunteering Uganda (www.ryvu.org), a large interdisciplinary research project exploring volunteering by young refugees in Uganda, director of ISSRAR, a research project exploring youth agency for Sustainable Development in Palestine, leads work on young people and climate change in the deltas of South and South East Asia as part of the Living Deltas Hub. (www.livingdeltas.org) and is co-director of collaborative research on ‘blended volunteering’ with the INGO, VSO. Matt previously worked for a development NGO and he continues to work in partnership with a range of national and global development organisations. This work includes co-designing and delivering research projects, acting as a critical friend to organisations and work to help build research and data collection and analysis capacity within development organisations and the groups they engage with. At Northumbria, Matt is co-director of the Northumbria Centre for International Development and Director of the Global Development Futures Hub. For more information, visit: https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/about-us/our-staff/b/matt-baillie-smith/

Mayuko Onuki

Dr. Mayuko Onuki is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at Waseda University, Japan. Before the current position, she was a research fellow at JICA Ogata Sadako Research Institute for Peace and Development, conducting survey research on competencies and long-term contributions of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCVs).  She received her Ph.D. in Social Psychology at the University of Southern California, specializing in group processes, intergroup relations, and emotions/motivations. Her current research focuses on roles of international volunteers in global civil society as well as social integration in post-conflict societies such as Rwanda and Cambodia. 

Melanie Gow

Melanie has held senior leadership roles across international development and the Australian health sector. Her portfolio accountabilities have included research, policy and advocacy, international programs, corporate affairs, marketing, sales, strategy and governance. She also worked and lived in Geneva, Switzerland, where she held various positions including Deputy Director for International Policy and Advocacy with World Vision International and President of the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child. While based in Geneva, Melanie worked closely with UN agencies and international NGOs on a range of human rights issues. She has undertaken extensive research on violence against children, refugee and asylum-seeking children, child labourers and children affected by armed conflict. Over the years Melanie has served as a Board member on several not for profit Boards and was Co-Chair of the United Nations Special Experts Panel on Violence against Children. Melanie has also consulted to for purpose organisations, focusing on strategy, leadership and transformation. Melanie joined AVI in late 2020, taking up the role of CEO.

Mercy Inyanya Kubasu

My Name is Mercy Inyanya Kubasu from Nairobi , Kenya. I am a project management professional currently focusing on International Volunteer Management. I currently work at International Cultural Youth Exchange (ICYE) Kenya as a programme coordinator. I am passionate about the empowerment of young people active in the IVS (International Volunteering Service) space, Community Development and creating awareness about the inequalities within the IVS Space.

Nadira Pervin

Nadira Pervin is a human rights activist. She has been working with Nagorik Uddyog, Bangladesh as Supervisor of the project titled “Promoting Dalit Rights through Mutual Learning”. This project is being implemented in partnership with Samata Foundation, Nepal with the support from Norec since March 2021. She has more than 20 years of working experience in the arena of access to justice through community mediation and human rights education, gender justice, peace promotion and promoting and protecting human rights of Dalit and socially excluded communities. She is experienced in project designing, management and facilitating trainings. Ms. Pervin completed masters in Sociology. She is one of the member of Asian Feminist Alliance for Economic, Social and Cultural Right (SAFA), Global Legal Empowerment Network, NAMATI and Jai Jagath Campaign and  Peace Forum facilitated by Act Alliance. She has experience to lead campaign on SVAW with brothel based sex workers across the country. 

Nazmul Ahsan

Manager, Young People, ActionAid Bangladesh. 10+ working experience in the development sector.

Nazmul Ahsan is based in Dhaka, Bangladesh currently working with ActionAid Bangladesh and managing youth programming portfolio. Nazmul’s work focusing on youth programming and implementation of agenda 2030, mobilizing young people, building their leadership and holding the respective governments accountable at various level- including facilitating evidence-based policy advocacy- particularly on SDG-8, 10, 12 & 16. His works includes supporting the young people developing their own platforms and building their contextual agenda while building their capacity in this regard. He supports young people to engage with the various platforms and develop their networking at sub-national, national, regional and international level to address the structural causes of social exclusion and marginalisation. Nazmul has long experience of working on the capacity development for community, particularly for young people, on various human rights issues and agenda. He is skilled on exercising various participatory methods, tools and approaches to facilitate empowerment process of community.

Nichole Cirillo

Nichole joined IAVE as Executive Director in October 2019. Nichole has significant executive experience across environmental and social justice sectors and has led the engagement of a large network of global volunteers.  Her roles have included Mission Director/Head of PR at Stonyfield Organics, International Director of Learning at Earthwatch, Senior Manager, Outreach and Mobilization at Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) and Executive Director at Friends of the Public Garden and Boston Common. At Earthwatch Nichole led the implementation of a citizen-science volunteering program related to fresh water across 36 cities globally, developed and managed a sustainability leadership volunteering program that built a climate leadership network of 1400 finance executives across five continents.  Nichole’s role at UUSC saw her lead the design and implementation of a capacity building strategy for global social justice grantees, and train and mobilise volunteers for disaster relief in Africa and Haiti. Nichole has extensive leadership, management, fundraising and communications experience, gained working with teams of staff and volunteers in different parts of the world. Importantly Nichole herself has been a volunteer for much of her life and partnerships building has been a common theme throughout her career. Nichole holds a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science) from Rutgers University and a Master of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy from Tufts University.

Nicole Dagher

Nicole Dagher is an international development practitioner with more than 10 years’ experience as a project and volunteer manager having worked with Cuso International, Crossroads International, United Nations Volunteers and Raising The Village in Africa, Canada and the Caribbean.   Nicole is currently the project manager at WaterAid Canada and works as a freelance consultant supporting international development and volunteer organizations with grant writing, donor reporting and monitoring and evaluation.

Patience Malunga

Patience Malunga is a training adviser at the Norwegian Agency for Exchange Co-operation (Norec).Since 2018 I have facilitated trainings and workshops with volunteers and  young professionals from Asia ,Latin America, Africa and Norway .Patience has lived and worked in Zimbabwe before moving to Norway in 2015.

Paul Buenconsejo

Paul Buenconsejo

Mr. Paulino Buenconsejo is currently the part-time Executive Director of the Philippine Coalition on Volunteerism (PhilCV) and the Liaison Officer of the League of Corporate Foundation-Health Committee. He was the Executive Director of Philex Group Foundation, Inc. – the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of the country’s largest mining company, Philex Mining Corporation. Prior to this, he was Assistant Executive Director of Metrobank’s socio-civic arm, Metrobank Foundation, Inc. where he helped oversee the implementation and mobilization of various projects. Mr. Buenconsejo has over 25 years of experience in CSR work, ranging from operational planning to policy-making. Paul is an active consultant on stakeholder engagement and is also a member of the LCF-CSR Institute’s Speakers Bureau. 

Peter Kanyandago

Professor Peter Kanyandago is the current Chair of the Board of Directors of the  African Volunteers Association (AVA) and Co-Investigator in the Refugee Youth Volunteering Uganda Project (RYVU), as a Research Fellow based at Uganda Martyrs University. His academic work focuses on (re)valuing African cultures and promoting social and environmental justice. He has endeavoured to find an interface between academic work and concrete community development work. Professor Kanyandago is currently engaged in research and use of African endogenous knowledge and science, especially in promoting and defending plant biodiversity in Uganda in relation to climate change and food security, as well as actively participating in the RYVU research which aims to develop new understandings of volunteering that reflect the experiences of refugees in Uganda. He has done some work for UNESCO and the International Federation of Catholic Universities. Professor Kanyandago holds a PhD from the Catholic University of Louvain and speaks Runyankore, French and English.

Philip Goodwin

Chief Executive, VSO
Dr Philip Goodwin has been Chief Executive of VSO since March 2015. He was previously CEO of TREEAID, an NGO working on agro-forestry in dryland Africa and spent 11 years with British Council where he held leadership positions in Kenya, Uganda, Pakistan and Belgium. Philip has been a community development volunteer in Timbuktu, Mali. He has a PhD and MSc in environmental policy and a degree in agricultural economics.
Philip is Trustee of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute, the charity that saves lives at sea, and International Civil Society Centre who work across environmental, human rights, social justice and humanitarian issues. He is co-author with Tony Page of the leadership book “From Hippos to Gazelles: how leaders create leaders”.

Rahim Hassanali

Rahim has successfully coordinated the development, pilot, and rollout of the world’s first Global Volunteering Standard that establishes and promotes responsible and impactful volunteering. Rahim also led the planning and delivery of Forum’s 2019 annual conference (IVCO) which brought together 200 heads of agencies in Kigali, Rwanda. During his time at VSO, Rahim has also been the UK lead for the International Volunteering for All Project (IVO4all) which created policy and practice improvements across Europe to ensure international volunteering is increasingly accessible to disadvantaged young people. Before joining VSO, Rahim worked with Habitat for Humanity International, the Aga Khan Development Network, Tutu Foundation, Raleigh International, and The Prince’s Trust focusing on advancing quality in practice and widening participation across the UK and internationally.

Rebecca Pursell-Gotz

Rebecca Pursell-Gotz

Rebecca Pursell-Gotz is a Research Specialist at Voluntary Service Overseas. She is involved in designing, undertaking, and managing research into volunteering practice. This includes understanding how volunteering practice incorporates VSOs core approaches of social inclusion and gender, resilience and social accountability. Rebecca has a specific interest in understanding how relational volunteering has evolved over time to respond to changing contexts, and how different types of volunteers work together to maximise impact. This includes understanding the unique contribution of community volunteering to achieving sustainable change, and to responding to emergency situations that arise, such as Covid-19. Most recently, Rebecca has been involved in research projects focussed on understanding blended volunteering in Tanzania, and in understanding how the principles of relational volunteering emerge in VSO’s health programmes.

Rebecca Tiessen

Rebecca Tiessen is a Professor in the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa. Her research focuses on gender and development and the role of volunteers and youth in advancing gender equality and human flourishing. Some of her most recent research can be found in Voluntaris: the Journal of International Volunteering and Civic Engagement. See Insights on Volunteering: Perspectives from the Global South (2018) and Innovations in Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Understanding the Role of Intenrational Development Volunteers as Transnational Actors (forthcoming, 2021).

Regina Fuchs

Regina Fuchs is a sociologist and has been working in the field of human rights and disability inclusion for many years. As a project manager for inclusive volunteering, she is working with bezev, a German NGO focussing on equal opportunities for persons with impairment/disability. In addition to the consultation of persons with disability interested in international volunteering, she is also involved in training organisations on the topic of planning and implementing inclusive volunteer services. Regina Fuchs completed her studies in Sociology, Political Science and Gender Studies as MA at the Albert- Ludwigs-University Freiburg/Germany. 

Ricar Pascoela

Director of Working Women’s Centre Timor-Leste (WWCTL)
Ricar has worked in various NGOs in Timor-Leste and has management experience in women’s workers rights especially domestic workers and vulnerable women’s workers. By working on issues of legal protection and social protection on workers and gender with an interest in women’s workers empowerment as a pathway to gender equality became her priority attention. With WWCTL, since 2012 She has worked closely to empower domestic workers nation wide. Recognizing that domestic work is a particularly vulnerable and undervalued profession, with the aim to empower domestic workers in the workplace and beyond, so that domestic workers can be recognized as workers, with access to decent work and the right to legal protections. To this end, the organizations that she lead have succeeded in mobilizing domestic workers in campaigns, facilitating working contracts with employers, and lobbying the Ministry of Labor to agree to a specific regulation on domestic workers, which expect to be passed in 2021-2022.

Romanus Mtunge

Romanus possess over 22 years of experience in managing health and Economic Development Programs in the areas of economic empowerment, access to quality health services, marketing, sales, demand creation and behavior change communications. He is a training facilitator for development program managers, an experienced health manager with degree in health management and a marketer with masters degree in marketing and has strong analytical and planning skills and high ability to coordinate the efforts of many stakeholders to meet intended goals.  Some of his major achievements through working with international and national volunteers includes but not limited to managing and providing economic empowerment to thousands of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) through Business Development Services (BDS), market linkage, access to finance and technology and business formalization in Tanzania. He also managed 18 sub-grantees that included NGOs and CBOs and a network of over 2,000 volunteer Community Change Agents (CCAs) under the funding support from Global Fund and US President’s Malaria initiative (PMI) in 18 regions of Tanzania for over six years period. He has been a Country Representative for Cuso International for the past five years in Tanzania after having worked as a Country Director for Population Service International (PSI) for over 10 years.

Sádé Budhlall

Sádé Budhlall has been working in the humanitarian sector for the last seven years. Her core expertise is on youth and volunteering development, leadership development and capacity building.
She has progressively responsible experience at the national and international levels in designing and delivering results-based volunteer programmes, as well as significant experience in training, advocacy, and communications for social impact.
She is presently the Director of Volunteer Development at the Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross where she has innovated strategies, policies, and programmes to support volunteering in the evolving social landscape. Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership Development and Organizational Happiness are central themes of her approach towards creating enabling infrastructures for volunteering; and her work has engendered best practices amongst geographically dispersed networks.
She is a former UPEACE scholar, a member of the Network of Experts at the IFRC’s InterAmerican Centre for Volunteering Development (ICVD), and a Board Member of SHIFT! Caribbean—a non-profit organization dedicated to cultivating sustainable transformation through facilitating conscious leadership workshops in the Caribbean.

Seema Khan

Seema Khan is a prominent advocate of rights of Nepali Muslim women at national and international level. She founded and worked as chairperson/CEO of Nepal Muslim Women Welfare Society (NMWWS) since its establishment in 2006. She is also the founder and Chairperson of Interfaith Alliance for Peace (IAP), addressing the issues of violence and discrimination against women caused by the socio-cultural-religious harmful practices She is also one of the board members of The World Muslim Community Council (TWMCC). Ms. Khan strongly lobbies women empowerment for equitable participation in public decision-making bodies, government authorities, community development initiatives and political bodies. Ms. Khan had participated as the guest speaker and participant in different international and national trainings, workshops and seminars on women’s human rights for social, legal and economic empowerment of marginalized women. As a prominent activist, Ms. Khan regularly writes articles in the national newspapers and participates in dialogues on the issues of women and religious minorities in community and national level radio and TV.

Silvia de Benito

Nazmul Silvia de Benito is a lawyer and graduate in political sciences, specialised in human rights and democratisation. She has focused her career on building the capacity of human rights stakeholders, which led her to work on strengthening of rule of law in Kosovo and Armenia. She has also been engaged in advocacy and training support for small NGOs and NHRIs in Geneva and Brussels. More recently, she has moved onto the field of development and humanitarian action and manages projects related to humanitarian volunteering and disaster risk reduction mainly in Latin America, Western Africa and MENA region. Silvia is passionate about volunteering and activism and is engaged with local neighbourhood grassroot movements in Madrid.

Simone Galimberti

Simone lives in Nepal since 2007. Initially he works for an international NGO focused on education, school health and nutrition and organizational Development. Since 2012 he joined his wife Kalpana in setting up ENGAGE, a local not for profit focused on harnessing the power of local volunteering. ENGAGE’s priorities areas are disability rights and youth empowerment and tries to bring together youth with disabilities and youth without disabilities especially through the power of sports. Its flagship program is the ENGAGE Sport Coach where local youth with a passion for sports partner teams of peers living with disabilities, advancing adaptive sports but also creating the foundations for a more inclusive society. In this area ENGAGE organized 3 editions of the Turkish Airlines ENGAGE Empowering League, one of the biggest wheelchair basketball competitions in the region and also a platform to advance awareness on disability rights. ENGAGE is also partnering with the International Committee of the Red Cross through Fit & Healthy No Matter What that was organized in 2020 and through the Virtual Wheelchair Basketball Competition that is right now ongoing. ENGAGE also promoted deaf football and blind cricket always through its ENGAGE Sport Coaches. Simone also enjoy writing opinion pieces in Nepal and in the South East Asia and beyond…

Stephanie Boyd

Stephanie was born and raised in Canada but has spent the past 24 years living and working in Peru as a filmmaker, activist and writer. Despite having a severe hearing impairment, she has produced and co-directed three award-winning feature documentaries with indigenous and farming communities that have been screened at more than 100 international festivals and been broadcast around the world on stations including the Sundance Channel, CBC Country Canada, Al Jazeera, TeleSur and Canal N (Peru).  Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including The New Yorker online, Salon.com, Toronto Star, The New Internationalist and Corporate Knights magazine. Stephanie and her Peruvian colleagues have developed a participatory style of filmmaking that involves participants in the filming, editing and distribution of their own stories. She is currently a volunteer with Cuso International in Peru’s Amazon region, working with the Institute of Legal Defense (IDL) to provide communications support and training for legal campaigns with the Kukama Women’s Federation and Radio Ucamara, an indigenous media outlet. 

Stephen Goodman

Stephen Goodman

Stephen Goodman is the Chief Executive Officer for Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) in New Zealand.  Prior to joining VSA in 2017, he had a defence career which included extensive experience working throughout Asia-Pacific.   Stephen has been a member of the Board of Directors for the International Forum for Volunteering in Development, co-leading Forum’s Standards Working Group, and for the last year as Vice-Chair.

Syed Hasnain

“Syed Hasnain is 32 years old refugee born in Helmand region of Afghanistan. His mother helped him to escape from Afghanistan when he was 10 as his family members were forcing him to fight for Talebans during the civil war. He has been for 4 years in Quetta city in Pakistan. Later he went in Iran where he stayed for 3 years and half, he was arrested, jailed and later repatriated by Iranian police for illegal stay in Iranian territory. After repatriation he succeeded to enter again in Iran by paying human smugglers and passing along territory, he crossed the Iranian border and arrived in Turkey. Here once again he had to entrust his life in smugglers hand to arrive in Greece by boat. After a long and dramatic journey, he arrived in Athens. As Greek police avoided taking his asylum request, he decided to go in Greek countryside where he has been victim of labour abuse as in Iran for several months, disappointed by the conditions in Greece he decided to leave the country, he went to Patras port where he was assisted by smugglers to hide myself under the truck near the engine, after embarking the ship, he arrived in Italy, he has been lucky to survive as he risked to fall down and get hit by that truck. Finally, in 2007 he started a new life upon recognition of refugee status to have the right to stay legally in Italian territory.
From the very beginning after having learned Italian language, he was engaged with refugees, asylum seekers and unaccompanied foreign minors as social worker, cultural mediator, and legal adviser.
He worked with several humanitarian NGOs like Save the Children, Jesuit Refugee Services, UNHCR, Intersos and MSF. On February 2018 he joint Network for Refugee Voices to advocate for refugee’s basic right to get involved in policy making processes and spaces and to be self-represented in all refugee related public events.
In April 2019 together with other 6 refugees he founded the first national union of refugees in Italy which is called UNIRE (Italian National Union of Refugees and Exiles). The aim of the refugee-led union is to change the negative and toxic narrative around the migration issue by highlighting the active and positive participation of the refugees in the host societies.
Syed as president of UNIRE is member of EXPERT GROUP ON THE VIEWS OF MIGRANTS IN THE FIELD OF MIGRATION, ASYLUM AND INTEGRATION at EU Commission. The mission of the group is to provide advice and expertise on policies in the field of migration, asylum, and integration of migrants. Actively involving migrants, including asylum applicants and refugees, in the design and implementation of policies in this field is essential to make them more effective and better tailored to the needs on the ground.
Currently he is working as project officer and social media manager with Missing Children Europe organization on Miniila App project. Miniila is a mobile application which provides legal information to the migrant children and guides them to the nearest organisations that provides services for the children in 8 European countries.
Syed is graduated in political science and international relation from roman university of Sapienza, his graduation thesis was on Participation of refugee in policy-making processes.
“My dream came true when I started working with refugees and migrant children as their difficulties and suffering are similar to what I experienced once upon a time and this similarity is a key tool for me to serve them in an effective and efficient way”

Tracy Kandeya

Tracy Kandeya

Dr. Tracy Kandeya is VSO Zimbabwe National Policy and Advocacy Advisor and has vast experience working with volunteers and has developed volunteerism advocacy material to protect the rights of volunteers some of which have since been published. She has over 20 years’ experience in M & E Research, Report writing, trainer in the Global Standard for volunteering for development. Has capacitated more than 2000 individuals both national and international from both Civil Society, Private Sector and Government. Programmer and strategist with experience in providing technical leadership in the design and delivery of research, monitoring, evaluation and knowledge management. Has developed Zimbabwe National Volunteer Strategy, good advocacy skills, volunteerism policy development skills. Good skills in mainstreaming volunteerism into development and achievement of the SDGs. Good expertise in convening volunteer involving organisations and civil society as a means to convert their input into the national policy document and practice. Capable of positioning volunteerism as a credible solution for the sustainable development goals.

Ujjwal Sundas

Ujjwal Sundas has been working at Samata Foundation as Director for Program and Research unit since 2013. Currently, he is leading the Norec project namely, Promoting Dalit Rights through Mutual Learning, a partnership between Samata Foundation, Nepal (Coordinating partner) and Nagorik Uddyog, Bangladesh ( a partner organization). Mr. Sundas is a PhD scholar (Singhania University, Rajasthan, India) who has a long experience of working as a Manager in various sectors including social, manufacturing and service sectors. Managing teams and individuals are the area of his major forte. He has an immense experience of successfully executing projects in the area of human rights of marginalized communities in Nepal. He has been contributing for the various research related works and publications of Samata Foundation. Mr. Sundas has been involved with Norec program (formerly known as FK exchange program) since 2013. He has supervised 16 Norec fellows from Nepal, Bangladesh and India so far.

Vanessa Dickey

Vanessa served as a Peace Corps Volunteer for two years in West Africa and has led and supported training, programming, medical and safety and security operations teams for Peace Corps for more than eight years in Madagascar and Senegal. Over the course of that time she oversaw the training and service of more than 800 Peace Corps Volunteers.  She is currently leading pilot operations for Peace Corps’ newest service model, Virtual Service in which more than 200 Virtual Service Pilot Participants have been contributing to the work of Host Country Partners in 27 countries.  Vanessa has a background in international development, program design and evaluation and public health and has worked or volunteered in five countries in Asia and Africa.  She is thrilled to be able to continue to serve the important mission of the Peace Corps as a staff member and through this new initiative that matches Returned Peace Corps Volunteers with short term Host Country engagements.

Victor Moinina

Victor has been doing lots of youth activism and voluntary work since 2009. He has also worked as a focal person for youths and livelihoods with the Volunteer Involving Organisations Network (VIONET) and has worked as the National Early Warning Systems Manager/ Head of Programs/ Deputy National Network Coordinator at the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding- Sierra Leone. Currently, he is a Board Member at West Africa ICT Action Network, a global youth ambassador for education. He has worked as an African Union Youth Volunteer with the World Food Program Ethiopia and the Country Director of CILG-Sierra Leone. He has won several awards both locally and internationally, including National Debate Heroes 2015 and Youth Activist of the year 2014 in Accra, Ghana. He is the Executive Director of Pro-Idealist Limited and a lecturer at the Institute of Public Administration and Management in the Department of Governance and Leadership. He is a reputable speaker and leader.

Wan Ahmad Hazman bin Wan Ahmad Daud

Wan Ahmad Hazman Wan Daud is a recognised figure in the field of volunteerism, leadership and students development in Malaysia. Serving as YSS Board Director, Hazman is also currently working as the Chief Strategic Officer for one of the MNCs based in Malaysia. Hazman is a part of Ministry of Higher Education’s several working groups as advisors on volunteerism and leadership initiatives such as the National Students Icon Award and Malaysia Higher Education Blueprint 2015 – 2025.
A PhD candidate in Land Administration and Development for Aboriginal People in Malaysia, Hazman was the receiver of the Royal Education Award (Medal of Excellence) during his undergraduate convocation. He also received other awards for his excellence, among which are the UTM Students Icon, UTM Leadership Icon, and Berita Harian Varsity’s Icon Award 2012. He has presented papers and represented Malaysia in conferences such as the 66th UN DPI/NGO Conference, IAVE World Volunteer Conference, and ASEAN Young Leaders Conference. He also used to write columns in newspapers such as Berita Harian, Utusan Malaysia and Sinar Harian on topics relating to students and volunteerism.

Zulqurnain Asghar

First practicing visually impaired Psychologist in the history of South Asia and member of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). Dedicated, result-driven, progressive and visionary leader with over 20 years of counseling, training and research experience, seeking to deploy knowledge and expertise in Disability Sector, Inclusion, Clinical Psychology, Early Childhood Education of children living with disabilities, Mother-Child Care and Gender and Development areas in a professional and mission oriented environment.Author of study reports, policy brief and working paper related to disability and political inclusion of PLWDs.