Abdul Baki, Joint Secretary and Chief of the UN Wing in the Economic Relations Division, Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh

Mr Abdul Baki is the Joint Secretary and Chief of the UN Wing in the Economic Relations Division (ERD), Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh. He is a career civil servant of Bangladesh with almost 27 years of experience working in the public sector in different capacities both in field administration and central services. ERD is mandated for mobilizing external resources for socio-economic development of the country. The division also serves as the Government’s focal point in interfacing with development partners and in coordinating the external assistance inflows into the country. As Chief of the UN Wing, Abdul has to coordinate, facilitate and monitor the works and development assistance programs of UN agencies in Bangladesh. He also holds the position of Project Director of the Smooth and Sustainable Graduation from LDC Status-Project of ERD. Prior to joining the UN Wing, Abdul was the Chief of the Development Effectiveness Wing, representing the Government in various international forums. Abdul earned a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Economics from Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh and a second Master’s degree in Governance and Development from Brac University, Bangladesh. Project management, Negotiation, Training management and Research are the areas of work he is most interested in.

Abdul Baki

Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme

Mr Achim Steiner became UNDP Administrator on 19 June 2017 and will serve for a term of four years. The United Nations General Assembly confirmed his nomination on 19 April 2017, following his nomination by Secretary-General António Guterres. Mr. Steiner is also the Vice-Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group, which unites 40 entities of the UN system that work to support sustainable development. Over nearly three decades, Achim Steiner has been a global leader on sustainable development, climate resilience and international cooperation. He has worked tirelessly to champion sustainability, economic growth and equality for the vulnerable, and has been a vocal advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals. Prior to joining UNDP, he was Director of the Oxford Martin School and Professorial Fellow of Balliol College, University of Oxford. Mr Steiner has served across the United Nations system, looking at global challenges from both a humanitarian and a development perspective. He led the United Nations Environment Programme (2006-2016), helping governments invest in clean technologies and renewable energy. He was also Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi. Achim Steiner previously held other notable positions including Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and Secretary General of the World Commission on Dams. Achim Steiner has lived and worked in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and the United States. He graduated in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (MA) from Worcester College, Oxford University and holds an MA from the University of London/School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

Achim Steiner

Ahmed Taleb Ali Al Shamsi, Chief Executive Officer, Emirates Foundation

Mr Ahmed Taleb Al Shamsi was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Foundation in September 2019. An emerging pioneer in the field of Youth Empowerment, Al Shamsi possesses an outstanding track record in youth development, mobilization and engagement as well as partnership building, leadership communication and strategic operations. In addition to his new role as the CEO of Emirates Foundation, Al Shamsi continue to hold the role of the Director of National Experts Program at The Crown Prince Court Abu Dhabi – Office of Strategic Affairs. In this position, he plays a catalyzing role in establishing a sustainable and effective mentorship model for youth. This features an innovative structure for mobilizing mentors and securing their commitments towards the human capital development of future Emirati experts. Al Shamsi also plays an instrumental role in designing the framework of a groundbreaking expertise think tank to consult on government policies, projects and regulations. Ahmed was also the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Youth Council from 2017 to early 2019 and the first UAE UN Youth Ambassador.

Ahmed Taleb Ali Al Shamsi

Amal Emam, Youth and Volunteering Coordinator, Egyptian Red Crescent Society

Ms Amal Emam is the National Manager of Youth and Volunteers in the Egyptian Red Crescent  where she is managing over 30000 volunteers all over the country .She is also the Regional Youth and Volunteers Coordinator in the International Federation Of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) in the Middle East and North Africa ,where she is technically supporting in developing and improving the volunteer management in 17 Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies in the region  among which are her remarkable achievements in developing volunteering policies and programs in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen. Amal is extensively working on volunteers’ safety and security with a special focus on volunteer insurance which has been enriched by her membership in the IFRC Volunteering Alliance Technical group of “Volunteering in dangerous situations”. She is also passionate about implementing new forms of volunteering such as virtual and corporate volunteering as well as applying the community-based volunteering in the refugees ‘s communities with successful case studies within ERC.  Amal believes in the ethical and competent leadership with the fact that she was elected in 2005 as the president of the Student Union in her University to become the first female ever along the history of any university in Egypt to carry this position .She is also a certified trainer in the Youth as agents of Behavioural Change program for promoting culture of non-violence and peace, where she has trained hundreds of peer educators worldwide. Amal was selected in 2012 to receive the prince of Asturias Award on behalf of millions of RC/RC volunteers around the world. She is a medical doctor by profession, holding a master degree in hearing and balance diseases, which inspired her to design and implement a First Aid program for deaf people, a program that was awarded the IFRC  youth on the move award in 2015.

Amal Emam

Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group

Ms. Amina J. Mohammed is the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Mohammed served as Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where she steered the country’s efforts on climate action and efforts to protect the natural environment. Ms. Mohammed first joined the United Nations in 2012 as Special Adviser to former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with the responsibility for post-2015 development planning. She led the process that resulted in global agreement around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals.  Ms. Mohammed began her career working on the design of schools and clinics in Nigeria. She served as an advocate focused on increasing access to education and other social services, before moving into the public sector, where she rose to the position of adviser to three successive Presidents on poverty, public sector reform, and sustainable development. Ms. Mohammed has been conferred several honorary doctorates and has served as an adjunct professor, lecturing on international development. The recipient of various global awards, Ms Mohammed has served on numerous international advisory boards and panels. She is the mother of six children and has one grandchild.

Amina J. Mohammed

Anju Dhital, National Volunteer, Volunteer Service Overseas Nepal

Ms Anju Dhital, 30 years old and working as a Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO) National volunteer in southern plain area of Nepal, was born with visual impairment.  She started supporting children with visual impairment at the age of 20.  She started teaching Braille to the visually impaired children nearby her house and became Braille teacher in the school in her hometown. She has more than six years of experiences of volunteering in disability sector and has been advocating for the rights of women and girls with disabilities. As a National volunteer with VSO in Nepal, she supports out of school children with visual impairment in her placement area. She is supporting them to enhance their learning though Braille and follow up them to know their health and wellbeing.  She is providing training to local facilitators in Braille and also engaged in developing different IEC materials into Braille to support people with visual impairment.  She has completed her Bachelors’ degree on Education. She wanted to continue her work in the sector of disability and support children with visual impairment on their access to quality education.

Anju Dhital

Arathi Krishnan, Humanitarian Futures and Strategic Foresight Advisor

Ms Aarathi Krishnan specialises in humanitarian futures and strategic foresight. She has worked in humanitarian and development aid globally for over 15 years and now focuses her work on reimagining futures for the humanitarian system and social change. She works at the intersection of humanitarian futures, strategic foresight, and systems transformation. She supports a range of international humanitarian organisations on how to embed foresight and strategy to drive institutional and systems transformation, including the UN Resident Coordinators, UNV, World Bank, UNHCR, MSF and ICRC. A 2020-21 Technology and Human Rights Fellow at the Harvard Carr Centre for Technology and Human Rights, she also works on research initiatives with a range of partners, including the World Economic Forum, on inclusive technologies, AI and Civil Society Futures. She is specifically interested in issues of planetary health, inclusive and equitable technology futures, new forms of growth and power, with a lens on decolonised and feminist futures. She writes and speaks publicly.

Arathi Krishnan

Artem Pavlovich Metelev, Chairman of the Council, Association of Volunteer Centers

Mr Artem Pavlovich Metelev is the Chairman of the Council “Association of Volunteer Centers” since August 2018. Artem has many years of unique experience in volunteering, social activities and outstanding organizational skills, that helped him to step up from a volunteer to the Chairman of the largest volunteer community in Russia and the CIS. Under his leadership, the organization united over 1,000 volunteer centers in Russia, formed a support infrastructure at the regional and federal levels, including legislative support, educational programs, and grant policies. Due to the fruitful work of the Association of Volunteer Centers, the number of Russians participating in volunteer activities increased from 3% in 2013 to 15% in 2019. Artem is a member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation of the VI and VII convocations according to the presidential list. In 2018, he was Deputy Head of the Directorate of the Year of Volunteer in Russia. In 2013, Artem founded the Russian public movement “Medical Volunteers", which has become the largest volunteer organization in the field of healthcare, and in 2014 created a unified information system for the development of volunteerism DOBRO.RU, which today unites more than 1.7 million users. In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Artem became one of the co-organizers of the Russian Campaign “#WeAreTogether”.

Artem Pavlovich

Ashoka Alawatte, State Secretary, State Ministry of Social Security of Sri Lanka 

Ms Ashoka Alawatte is the State Secretary, State Ministry of Social Security of Sri Lanka. She obtained her Bachelor Degreed (Hons.) in Commers from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka and her Master of Public Management from the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration. As the former Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Affairs and Secretary, Ministry of Primary Industries and Social Empowerment, during her tenure from 2018 to 2019, she strategically spearheaded the two Ministries towards the great developments in administration quality as well as in implementation of several important livelihood and infrastructure projects. Ms Ashoka Alawatte has played a major role through her leadership and technical advice for the development of the Policy Framework and National Plan of Action to address Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Sri Lanka (2016- 2020). She also participated in several international meetings including the meeting organized by the UNFPA, UN Women and WHO on Multi-Sectorial Services to respond to Gender-Based Violence Against Women and Girls in Asia and the Pacific in 2017 in Bangkok and contributed to the success of the meeting.

Ashoka Alawatte

Asit Singh, Joint Secretary of the Department of Youth Affairs, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, India

Mr Asit Singh is the Joint Secretary of the Department of Youth Affairs in India’s Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. As the nodal department for addressing the country’s youths in the age group of 15-29, the Department of Youth Affairs is responsible for implementing the Government’s National Youth Policy-2014 and for arranging bilateral exchanges of Indian youth with several countries of the world. The Department’s Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) network present in 623 districts of the country is focusing on the overall upgradation of youth facilities through its District Youth Coordinators. In addition, the Department is implementing the Government’s National Service Scheme (NSS), a unique volunteer scheme with 39 lakh volunteers on its rolls in different educational institutions of the country. NSS has the unique distinction of being the only civilian organisation to take part in the annual prestigious Republic Day Parade at Rajpath. The Department of Youth Affairs is further providing training to the youth of the country through different academic programmes under the aegis of the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD) at Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu – an Institute of National Importance. Mr. Asit Singh is serving as the National Coordinator for the services of the United Nations Volunteers under the UNDP-UNV Programme. Before joining the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, he had held various positions with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the Ministry of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Corporate Affairs, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Finance.

Asit Singh

Aya Sleem, Manager of the International Relations Department in the Assistant Minister Office of Egypt’s Ministry of Social Solidarity

Ms Aya Sleem is the Manager of the International Relations Department in the Assistant Minister Office of Egypt’s Ministry of Social Solidarity and a Technical Member of the Egyptian Fund for Drug Control and Treatment of Addiction. Aya represented Egypt in the World Youth Forum for Drugs in Vienna, Austria, in 2019 and 2020, and in the World Health Organization’s Consultative meetings on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS) in 2014, 2016 and 2019. In 2017, she worked on Egypt’s submissions to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the Nairobi Inter-Regional Conference of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) which aimed at addressing and countering the drug problem by sharing best practices from Africa, Latin America and West Asia. In cooperation with UNODC’s Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, she coordinated four training workshops focused on building capacities in the field of prevention and treatment of drug abuse disorders and HIV. Within the partnership between Egypt and the European Union, Aya supported projects on strengthening and expanding treatment services to addicts, implementing and mainstreaming early prevention services of drug abuse built upon evidence-based scientific materials and developing the technological infrastructure of the Fund for Drug Control and Treatment of Addiction. As a Technical Member, she is supporting the Fund’s research and awareness raising efforts.

Aya Sleem

Balghis Yousif Badri, University Professor of Sociology at Ahfad University for Women in Sudan

Dr Balghis Yousif Badri is a University Professor in Sociology and Social Anthropology and a pioneer in establishing gender studies in Sudan. Between 1997 and 2010, she established four different master programmes on gender studies at the Ahfad University for Women (AUW). Dr. Balghis Yousif Badri is a founder member of AUW’s outreach arm, the Babiker Badri Scientific Association for Women Studies (BBSAWS), and served as the Association’s President from 1987 to 2003. In 1997, she established the Community Animators Friendly Association (CAFA) as AUW’s outreach arm for youth. This youth NGO is working on education, entrepreneurship for poverty elimination and the eradication of female genital mutilation (FGM). Dr. Balghis Yousif Badri has conducted research on a wide range of issues related to women, political participation, development and peace. She is engaged in civic engagement activities both at university and NGO levels and took part in the development of several training packages for various target groups. As a Consultant with UNICEF and WFP, she initiated gender mainstreaming training programs in several Arab countries between 1993 and 1997. From 1994 to 1996, Dr. Balghis Yousif Badri was the Head of the Research Unit at the Center of Arab Women for Training and Research in Tunisia.

Balghis Yousif

Bessy Valle Paz, Head of Volunteering, Honduran Red Cross 

Ms Bessy Valle Paz is the Head of Volunteering at the Honduran Red Cross. She began her Red Cross career as a first aid volunteer and as part of the National Emergency, Disaster and Crisis Response Team at the Honduran Red Cross in 2012. Since 2014, she began in her current functions as Volunteer Manager, promoting the development of volunteering in said organization. She has participated as a volunteer in different volunteer-involving organizations for 22 years. She is an active member of the National Volunteering Network, which brings together and coordinates more than 30 organizations with national scope. Since 2015, she has been a member of the Volunteer Initiative in Conflicts and Emergencies (ViCE), led by the Swedish Red Cross and the Northumbria University, which carries out and supports research, innovation and advocacy for the development of volunteering in conflict and emergency contexts. Since its creation, she is part of the technical team on Volunteering in Dangerous Situations of the Global Volunteer Alliance of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Boureima Nabaloum, Director General, Public Interest Group-National Volunteering Program, Burkina Faso

Mr Boureima Nabaloum took office as Director General of the Public Interest Group-National Volunteering Program in Burkina Faso (GIP-PNVB) on May 21, 2019. Before joining the GIP-PNVB, he held various positions with the Ministry of Youth, Employment and Vocational Training, serving as Regional Director of Youth and Employment of East Burkina Faso (October 2008 to December 2011), Director of Youth Educational Strategies (January 2012 to March 2013), Director General of Youth Promotion (March 2013 to February 2015) and Project Manager (April 2016 to May 2019). Mr Boureima Nabaloum holds a Master’s degree in project management, the Diploma of Youth and Continuing Education Advisor (DCJEP) and a Master’s Certificate (C2) in Political and Social History.

Carlos A. Pereira Olmedo, Minister of the Technical Secretariat for Economic and Social Development Planning, Paraguay

H.E. Carlos A. Pereira Olmedo has been Paraguay’s Minister of the Technical Secretariat for Economic and Social Development Planning (STP), since September 2018. He is Dr. Honoris Causa from Florida Global University (09.10.19 in CDMX), Lic. accounting, MAE, Master in Business Administration (Graduated with distinction), Auditor Specialist in Anti Money Laundering (CAMS) (Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialists), Lawyer, specialist in Taxation. Among his main challenges as Minister of the STP are: (i) coordinating the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the 2030 National Development Plan; (ii) promoting the development of Public Private Partnerships and investment in infrastructure and services; and, (iii) the coordination of International Cooperation. He is an expert in Organization and Methods (O&M), in that sense he carried out work on the elaboration of manuals of functions, procedures and positions, and operational manuals in renowned companies and financial entities in the country, as well as in public entities. He also carried out works of formulation and preparation of technical and economic feasibility studies for financial and commercial entities. He served as manager and director of private companies and external auditor of financial entities and commercial companies. He is a university professor, holding the chair of Bank Accounting at the Technological University of Asunción, and in the Accounting and Auditing Area at the Inter-American University. He has been recognized as Honorable Mention proposed by the promotion of graduates of the Bachelor of Accounting Sciences from the Technological University of Asunción. He has been President of the National Development Bank (BNF) in the period between September 21, 2012 and August 15, 2018. He was elected as a member of the ALIDE Board for the periods 2015-2017-2018. Under his leadership, the BNF has been recognized for 2 consecutive years by the Commerzbank of Germany as "The Bank with the highest efficiency in foreign trade operations". He has participated as a panelist at 

Cécile Aptel, Acting Under Secretary General for the Partnerships Division at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Ms Cécile Aptel is Acting Under Secretary General for the Partnerships Division at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), where she also directs the Policy, Strategy, and Knowledge Department.  She has over 20 years of experience in management, strategy, legal and policy roles, having worked for the UN, think-tanks and NGOs in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North America.  Prior to joining the IFRC, she served as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Senior Legal Policy Adviser and established the UN Mechanism (IIIM) on Syria. She is a professor of international law, teaching at the Fletcher School, Pretoria University and Harvard.

Cécile Aptel

Cenk Alper, Sabancı Holding CEO

Cenk Alper graduated from Middle East Technical University, Mechanical Engineering Department in 1991. He received his master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the same university and completed an MBA at Sabancı University. Joining Sabancı Group in 1996 as Process Engineer at Beksa, Mr. Alper was appointed as the Global Technology Director at Kordsa in 2007 after serving in various positions in Turkey and abroad within Beksa. Holding various executive roles at Kordsa, Cenk Alper was CEO of the company from 2013 to 2017. Appointed as the Sabancı Holding Industry Group President in 2017, Cenk Alper holds this position currently in addition to his responsibilities as the CEO of Sabancı Holding as of August 2019. Mr. Alper is the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Brisa and Carrefoursa.

Cenk Alper

Mr Chuon Naron Hang, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Cambodia

Mr Chuon Naron Hang is the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports of Cambodia since September 2013. He also serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Supreme National Economic Council, a Think Tank of the Royal Government of Cambodia. He holds Master’s and PhD degrees in International Economics from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (1982-1991), an advanced Diploma in Insurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), United Kingdom, and the Malaysian Insurance Institute (MII). Since 2008, he is an associate of the CII and the MII. In 2012, he received a Master’s degree in international law (LLM) from the Royal University of Law and Economics and the University of Lyon 2, France, and was awarded a Diploma in the Law of the Sea by the Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Policy. Mr Chuon Naron Hang worked in various diplomatic missions and research institutions as a political and economic analyst. Since 1999, he held positions at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, such as Research Coordinator of the Economic Advisory Team and First Deputy Director of Budget and Financial Affairs Department. Since 2000, he introduced the reform of school financing by channeling funds directly to schools, leading to the establishment of school operating budget. Appointed Deputy Secretary General for Policies in 2001, he was responsible for economic, fiscal and financial policies, ASEAN, financial industry, economic analysis and for coordination with the IMF and the World Bank. He was Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Economy and Finance from 2004 to 2010. He served as member or chair of the Board of several State-owned companies and research institutes, including CDRI, the Learning Institute and Youth Star, and the Economic Research Institute of ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA). He represented Cambodia at the ASEAN and ASEAN+3 Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meeting between 2000-2010. In 2010, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance. He represents Cambodia at the Meetings of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors during Cambodian chairmanship of ASEAN in 2012. He also coordinated the policy dialogues between the Ministry and the Asian Development Bank, the IMF and the World Bank. He is the author of several government policy papers and the socio-economic development strategy and of books on Cambodian economy and public finance. His book “Cambodian Economy: Charting the Course for a Bright Future” was published by the Institute of Southeast Asia Studies. In 2016, he published a book in Khmer entitled “Education Reform in Cambodia: Towards a Knowledge-Based Society and Shared Prosperity”.

Chuon Naron Hang

Emily Sharp, Director for Strategy, Performance and Learning at the Pacific Community

Ms Emily Sharp is the Director for Strategy, Performance and Learning at the Pacific Community (SPC). She has 20 years of experience in applied science practice, strategy, policy, programme design and monitoring, evaluation and learning. Emily has been with the Strategy, Performance and Learning specialised unit within SPC’s Office of the Director-General for the past 4 years. SPL has staff based at its headquarters in Noumea, and its regional office in Suva. The team has the following core functions: (i) increasing development effectiveness through leading and coordinating corporate monitoring, evaluation, reporting and learning; (ii) supporting the Director-General and the Senior Leadership Team in undertaking strategic corporate initiatives, including organisational planning, organisational improvement or start-up projects and iii) serving as a strategic coordination point for key relationships with external stakeholders, including member countries and territories, donors and development partners. Prior to SPC, Emily was Manager – Policy and Program Development with Indigenous Land Corporation in Australia assisting indigenous Australians achieve economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits through owning and managing land. She holds a Master’s of Public Health from Charles Darwin University, and a postgraduate qualification in Assessment and Evaluation from University of Melbourne.

Fine Tu’itupou-Arnold, Secretary-General of the Cook Islands Red Cross Society

Ms Fine Tu’itupou-Arnold is the Secretary-General of the Cook Islands Red Cross Society (CIRC). A lawyer by profession, she started her career in 2004, at the Government’s Crown Law office in Tonga, and subsequently moved to the Cook Islands, where she was in private legal practice for 5 years before joining the CIRC in 2011. Over her time with The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Ms. Tuitupou-Arnold has worked in the areas of International Humanitarian Law, Disaster Law, Disaster Risk Management, Climate Change and a strong advocate for Localisation. Ms. Tuitupou-Arnold has also been involved in various platforms in the Movement concerned with governance. She currently serves as an elected member of the Standing Commission of the Movement. Working in association with the Cook Islands Government, Ms. Tuitupou-Arnold has, for Government, developed the National Disaster Risk Management Plan for the Cook Islands, and also reviewed Cook Islands legislation in the area of International Disaster Response Law, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change. Furthermore, Ms. Tuitupou-Arnold serves, in the volunteering spirit with which this forum is concerned, as a member of the Consultative Committee to the global Platform for Disaster Displacement, a member of Research Advisory Group to an Australia based think tank, the Humanitarian Advisory Group on Localisation in Asia and Pacific.

Fine Tu’itupou-Arnold

Francesco Rocca, President of the International
Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Mr Francesco Rocca was elected President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in 2017. He was born in 1965 in Rome and is a lawyer by profession. He started his career with his own law firm. In 2003, he moved to the health administrative sector and was the Director of St. Andrea Hospital, headed the Department of Social Affairs of the City of Rome and until recently the General Director of a Dermatological Hospital. Mr Rocca joined the Italian Red Cross in 2008 when he was asked to lead the change process of the Italian Red Cross and transform the structure from a public-sector organisation to a private volunteer-based organisation. The change process has been massive and today the Italian Red Cross works under a new umbrella guided by volunteers. Mr Rocca was elected President of this new structure in 2013. In 2009, when the Italian Red Cross was elected member of the IFRC Governing Board, Mr Rocca was the appointed representative. In 2013 he was elected Vice President and in 2017 he was elected President of the IFRC. Mr Rocca speaks Italian, English, and Spanish. He is father of two sons and grandfather of Marie.

Francesco Rocca

Gabriela Perona Zevallos, Executive Director of the Bicentennial Special Project, Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Ms Gabriela Perona Zevallos graduated in Communication for Development from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) and holds a Master’s degree in Public and Global Health from the Cayetano Heredia University. She is currently part of the Executive Program in Social Impact Strategies at the University of Pennsylvania. She was advisor to the vice-ministerial and ministerial office of the Ministry of Culture in Perú, an institution in which she was also in charge of the Department for Cultural Diversity and Racial Ethnic Discrimination (2013-2015). Currently, she is the Executive Director of the Bicentennial Special Project in the Presidency of the Council of Ministers.

Gabriela Perona Zevallos

Galina Bodrenkova, President of the National Volunteer Center 

Ms Galina Bodrenkova is the founder and elected president of the National Volunteer Center (until 2015 called the Moscow Charity House). She is also now a member of the Expert Council under the Government of the Russian Federation, a member of the Coordinating Council for Volunteering in Russia at the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation. Ms. Bodrenkova began volunteering in 1989-1990, when she still worked as the head of one of the units of the Ostankino Television Center, and in 1990 was elected deputy of the Moscow City Council. Together with a group of deputies during the period of the socio-economic crisis Ms. Bodrenkova organized a non-governmental system of voluntary assistance to needy people in Moscow with the participation of more than 6,000 volunteers. Since that time, for more than 30 years, practically all her free time has been devoted to the development of volunteering in Russia. She has over 60 published works in the field of volunteering. Over the years, Ms. Bodrenkova was a member of expert councils and working groups on the legal regulation of relations in the field of volunteering in various state institutions. From 2009 to 2015, Ms. Bodrenkova was the National Representative in Russia of the IAVE, from 2008 to 2012 - a member of the IAVE Board Directors. Now she is a member of the IAVE Global Network of Volunteer Leaders. From 1994 to 2009, before retiring, Ms. Bodrenkova worked in the apparatus of the Committee of the State Duma of the Russian Federation for Public Associations and Religious Organizations (last position - leading adviser). Bodrenkova holds a master's degree in history from the National Research University Higher School of Economics; Master of Public Administration of the Academy of National Economy under the Government of the Russian Federation.

Galina Bodrenkova

Hasan AL Heraki, Co-founder of the Bevol International Volunteering Platform 

Mr Hasan AL Heraki is the co-founder of the Bevol International Volunteering Platform. He is an entrepreneur and engineer with a master's degree in public administration. His previous work and research experience focused on social entrepreneurship and the Sustainable Development Goals in the MENA region.

Hasan Al Heraki

Henry Nkhoma, Registrar for Non-Governmental Organizations, Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, Zambia.

Mr. Henry Nkhoma is a Civil Servant serving as Registrar for Non-Governmental Organisations with the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services in Zambia. From 2008 to 2014, he has served as volunteer chair for the Zambia Volunteer Coordinating Committee (ZVCC) which spearheads the celebrations of the annual International Volunteer Days in Zambia. In 2011, Mr. Henry Nkhoma participated in the Global Volunteer Conference and in the 10th anniversary of the International Year of Volunteers (IYV+10) in Dakar, Senegal. He also took part in the preparation of Zambia’s position paper on volunteerism presented at the Volunteering for a Sustainable Future conference in Budapest, Hungary organized by the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) as one element of IYV+10. In 2019, Mr. Henry Nkhoma served as a panelist during a side event of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) in Marrakesh, Morocco. He was also part of the team preparing a submission asking the Zambian Parliament to consider the inclusion of a Clause on Volunteerism in the draft National Constitution (Bill 10). During the Voluntary National Review (VNR) process in Zambia, Mr. Henry Nkhoma participated in the assessment of volunteer participation towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals in Zambia. He holds a Bachelor of Mass Communication Degree from the University of Zambia, a Master’s in International Business Administration from the Edith Cowan University of Australia and a Master of Philosophy in Development Policy and Practice (MPHIL) from the University of Cape Town in South Africa

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, Indigenous Rights Activist and Founder of the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT)

Environmental activist and member of Chad’s pastoralist Mbororo community, Ms Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim began advocating for Indigenous rights and environmental protection at age 16, founding the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT) to introduce new income revenue activities for women and collaborative tools such as 3D participatory mapping to build sustainable ecosystems management and reduction of nature-based resource conflicts. Her vision is to grow support for both traditional knowledge and science to improve resilience to climate change especially for rural communities.  She is a member of the Indigenous Peoples of Africa Coordinating Committee and served as co-chair of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change during the historic UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris. She is dedicated to the protection of all Indigenous peoples, from the Congo to the Arctic, and the value of their knowledge in the fight against climate change. She advances environmental protection for Indigenous peoples by participating in international policy dialogues held around the three Rio Conventions; Climate Change (UNFCCC), Biodiversity (CBD), and Desertification (UNCCD) pressuring governments to recognize land rights of Indigenous peoples and advance their solutions for climate adaptation and mitigation. Ibrahim’s work with indigenous communities at the local and global level has achieved recognition and support including, the Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award, Hindou’s TED talk on how Indigenous knowledge meets science to solve climate change, member of EAT’s advisory board dedicated to transforming our global food system through science and partnerships and appointment as a UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, Daniel Mitterrand Prize, Lui-Walton Conservation International Senior Indigenous Fellow and National Geographic Explorer.

Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim

Hissa Al-Thani, Envoy to Secretary General of the League of Arab States
for Humanitarian Affairs

Experience and previous positions: 
-  Served as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Disability in 2003-2009.
-  Deputy Director of Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned's Office, Doha (1998-2000)
-  Member of the founding committee of the Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs;
    Doha, Qatar (1998-2003)
-  Member of the Committee that drafted the National Law 2004 for Persons with Special Needs;
    Doha, Qatar (2003)
-  Head of International Relations’ Section, Supreme Council for Family Affairs, Doha, Qatar (2000)
- Head of Department, Public Relations and International Cooperation of the National Council
   for Human Rights / Qatar (2000)
-  Member of the Arab National Council for Childhood and advisor to "Save the Children " (2006-2009)
-  Goodwill Ambassador for Qatar Foundation (2010)
-   Vice Chairman of the Shafallah Center for Children with Disabilities (2012)

She was honored in:
-  The Janadriya Festival as a distinguished figure in the humanitarian and development field;
    Riyadh - Saudi Arabia (2010)
- Honored as one of the Gulf personalities in the humanitarian and social services fields;
   Ajman, United Arab Emirates (2010)
- Honored at the Bahrain Forum of the Regional Network of Corporate Social Responsibility
   for Women Leaders in Social Responsibility, Manama, Bahrain (2017)

Iraida Manzanilla Guerra, Research Project Consultant, International Association for Volunteer Effort, Venezuela

Ms Iraida Manzanilla Guerra is a Research Project Consultant with the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE). She was IAVE´s Regional Representative for Latin America and member of its International Board until February 2020. Her growth as a professional has always been linked to the area of the social development organizations in Venezuela and in the Latin American region. She held managerial positions, helped to create new organizations and participated in their Boards of Directors. She’s a founding member of the consulting firm Iniciativa Latinoamericana C.A. She is a consultant in the areas of strategic planning, corporate social responsibility, volunteering for social development organizations and corporate volunteering and as a trainer in workshops and seminars about strategic planning, design, management and evaluation of social programs, strategic alliances, institutional strengthening for social development organizations, Management of volunteers, CSR and corporate volunteering. She has attended as a guest trainer in international seminars of the Agencia Española de Cooperación and Third Sector in Latin America Conferences about social issues. Since 1996, she has participated in multiple Points of Light Foundation-Hands On Conferences in USA and in IAVE Regional and World Conferences. A Sociologist graduated from the Catholic University Andres Bello in 1974 and from the Advanced Management Program of the Institute of Superior Studies of Business in 1985, she has taken specialization courses in the areas of Strategic Planning, Organizational Development, Corporate Social Responsibility and Volunteering. Iraida is bilingual (English-Spanish).

Irina Mersianova, Director of the Center for Studies of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia

Dr Irina Mersianova is the Director of the Center for Studies of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE). Irina chairs the Section for NGO Economy and Management at the Social Science Department of HSE. Holding a PhD in Sociology, the focus of her research is on the development of civil society, charitable giving, volunteering and citizen engagement. As a co-director of the longtime Civil Society Monitoring Project conducted by HSE for over a decade, Irina seeks to incorporate the data of the monitoring into strategic recommendations for the development of government policies in support of the NGO sector, philanthropy and volunteering. She initiated the foundation of the HSE International Laboratory for the Nonprofit Studies guided by the leading international Third Sector researcher Dr. Lester Salamon of the Johns Hopkins University. Since 2010, Irina has been a member of the International Association of Volunteer Effort (IAVE). In 2018, she received a certificate of appreciation from the Russian Federation President for her contribution to the promotion of volunteerism. Irina is an author of more than 350 academic research papers in leading peer-reviewed Russian and international journals.

Irina Mersianova

Isabel Ramos, Vice-Rector, Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences FLACSO, Ecuador

Ms Isabel Ramos is a research professor in the Department of International Studies and Communication and holds the position of Teaching Coordinator (Vice-Rector) of the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences FLACSO in Ecuador. Prior to her current position, she directed the Master of Research in Communication and Public Opinion at FLACSO for six years. She is a visiting professor of the Doctorate in Social Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires and has taught postgraduate courses at various universities in Latin America. She has published books and academic articles in international scientific magazines on mass media, political communication, public opinion and communication policies. Her main lines of research are media and power, communication and collective action and political economy of communication. Graduated in Social Communication from the National University of Córdoba, Argentina; Master in Culture Studies from the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, Ecuador Headquarters and PhD in Social Sciences from the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Argentina.

Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

Mr Jagan Chapagain is the Secretary General of the IFRC. He took up this role on 1 February 2020 and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Mr Chapagain has extensive experience and a broad knowledge of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, having begun his career as a youth volunteer at the Nepal Red Cross, advocating for and representing community voices. He has spent more than 20 years with IFRC, working across Europe and Asia. Prior to becoming Secretary General, Mr Chapagain was the Under Secretary General for Programmes and Operations,  Chief of Staff and Director of the Asia Pacific region where he provided leadership in responding to large-scale humanitarian crises and in building resilient communities in partnership with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and external partners across the region. Previously, he held various leadership positions including Deputy Head of Zone and Head of Operations for the Asia Pacific region from 2007 to 2011, Head of Regional Delegation for Central Asia from 2006 to 2007 and Senior Regional Officer for South Asia from 2004 to 2006 in Geneva. In previous missions, he worked in IFRC delegations in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Montenegro and Thailand. Mr Chapagain holds a degree in Engineering and certificates in Leadership and turn-around management and Emerging social sector leadership.  A national of Nepal, he is fluent in Nepalese, English and Hindi and has a basic knowledge of Urdu and Russian.

Jagan Chapagain

Jehad Ahmad Masadeh, Planning Affairs Advisor to Jordan’s Minister of Youth.

Mr Jehad Ahmad Masadeh is an Advisor in planning affairs to Jordan’s Minister of Youth. As a researcher, he has published over 20 scientific educational and social papers and a book on “Entrepreneurial Skills for Youth”. Jehad is an expert in statistical analysis, data processing and building measurement tools. In 2017, he was awarded the Imam Muhammad bin Saud University prize for proposals and initiatives for the development of the university environment”. Jehad serves as the Chairperson of the Hussein Bin Abdullah II Prize Award Guide Committee for Voluntary Work and is a Member of the Jordan Volunteering Bank Executive Committee, the Scientific Committee of the second conference for the preparatory years for Saudi universities, the Scientific Society for Educational and Psychological Sciences (Justin) of the King Saud University, the Scientific Society for Social Sciences of the Imam Muhammad bin Saud University, the Committee for Development, Quality and Benchmarks for Academic Accreditation and of the Curriculum and Educational Development Committee, where he serves as a trainer, evaluator and reviewer for ISO 9001.

Jehad Ahmad Masadeh

Kamilla Sultanova, Volunteer Representative, Global Dignity Finland

Ms Kamilla Sultanova is an entrepreneur, tireless equality activist, and vibrant keynote speaker based in Helsinki, Finland. Previously a container trader, Kamilla speaks and breathes diversity & inclusion, change, innovation, and volunteering culture - accelerating from inspiration to action. An alumna of prestigious networks, she truly knows and shows how to connect and collaborate in a more meaningful world. Kamilla has volunteered for 10,000 hours and she is connected to over 10 networks worldwide which shape the local and global activities to promote social change, civic engagement, representation, and economic empowerment. Previously she has held a successful career in corporate sales in Scandinavian shipping companies including Maersk Line, where she combined her civic work to fight ethnic discrimination, gender inequality and promote immigrant opportunities on the job market. With her business and non-profit expertise from Global Dignity NGO, Kamilla speaks to and trains executives, students and educators, and people of color to less diverse groups internationally on how volunteering, mentoring, and social capital are all the tools to empowerment and better earning, working and leaving. During last 3 years has empowered countless audiences to volunteer, aspire to become changemakers, support SDGs and create inclusive spaces in their own communities, from Helsinki, to Tashkent to Seoul. Kamilla is an alumna of several networks including “40 under 40” European Young Leaders, GMF Transatlantic Inclusion Leaders, Future Leaders Exchange and Finnish Innovation Fund’s SitraLab. Last year she has been invited to join Barack Obama and 300 other emerging leaders at the Townhall Europe to discuss the future of civic engagement and inclusive leadership. Kamilla was born in Karshi, Uzbekistan. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Corporate Communication from Aarhus University in Denmark.

Kamilla Sultanova

Kawthar Al-Eid, Board member of Bahrain Red Crescent Society

Dr Kawthar Al-Eid is a board member of Bahrain Red Crescent Society, a Family Physician and a Public Health Consultant. She earned her master's degree in Public Health with a concentration on Health Promotion and Community Health in August 2011 from the American University of Beirut. Kawthar’s area of interest and passion is in health promotion and education, especially community health. She engaged in public health practice that has led to remarkable achievements in combating obesity in the community through social media. One of her remarkable initiatives is the social media campaign "Obesity Does Not Suit Me" which is aiming at reducing obesity and helping people to maintain the ideal weight to prevent or reduce non-communicable diseases. Initiated in March 2018, the campaign is supporting the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3 by promoting a healthy lifestyle – including eating healthy and practicing physical activity daily. Followers in Bahrain and The Gulf area are receiving daily awareness-raising tips for healthy lifestyles through Instagram and other social media channels. In December 2019, Kawthar and her team published a research paper under the title “Impact of a Healthy Program on Weight Reduction using Social Media: A Voluntary Community-oriented Campaign through a Multidisciplinary Approach". The study concludes that followers of the campaign have begun to adopt healthy patterns and that there was a significant difference in weight reduction after following the program, especially for those who followed and applied the healthy program for more than one year. Since February 2020, Kawthar has also been serving as the Chief of the Health Mates Society. She is a member of different health-related NGOs with remarkable community engagement.

Kawthar Al-Eid

Kivutha Kibwana, Governor of Makueni County, Kenya

H.E. Professor Kivutha Kibwana is the Governor of Makueni County in Kenya. Previously, he served as the Presidential Advisor on Constitutional, Parliamentary and Youth Affairs (2007 to 2012), Minister for Lands and Settlement and Environment and Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Makueni Constituency (2002 to 2007). Prior to this he served in the Faculty of Law, University of Nairobi, rising to the position of Dean, Faculty of Law, and later Associate Professor. Professor Kivutha Kibwana has had a distinguished service in the civil society and was the founder of the Centre for Law and Research International (CLARION) and served as the Spokesperson of the National Convention Executive Council (NCEC). The two organizations spearheaded the agitation for constitutional reforms in the country for more than two decades. He is a holder of the Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D) degree from George Washington University, United States of America (USA), two Master of Law degrees from Harvard University, USA and the University of London, Master of Arts degree in Theological Studies from the Africa International University and a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Nairobi. Having received a multitude of recognitions and awards throughout his career, he was declared “Goodwill Ambassador for Volunteerism” by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection Kenya and the Volunteer Involving Organization Society in 2018.

Lani Anaya, Volunteer, MY World Mexico

Ms Lani Anaya is a Mexican practice-based research expert in peace and development. She holds a BA in International Relations from the National Autonomous University of Mexico with exchange studies at the University of Berkeley California and the National University of Malaysia where she took Peace and Conflict Studies and Multicultural Studies, respectively. Lani also holds a MSc. in Peace and Conflict Studies from Uppsala University and post-graduate studies in Ecumenism from the University of Genève and the World Council of Churches. She has done both research and fieldwork with projects related to the 2030 Agenda, youth inclusion, human rights, migration and ecumenism. Her professional experience includes collaborations at the International Centre of the Mexican Senate as well as consultancies with CSOs and international organizations related to conflict transformation, education for peace workshops, DDR, youth mentoring, capacity-building, and monitoring with both bottom-up and upside-down approaches. Lani currently volunteers in MYWorld Mexico as the #SDGActionFellowship Programme Coordinator and works as Senior Analyst at OAM Consult, a danish agency focused in peace and development projects with the UN, the AU, and the WB.  She is a member of the Mexican Council for International Relations COMEXI and columnist/commentator for Mexican local media. 

Lani Anaya

Lev Jakobson, Vice President, National Research University Higher School of Economics

Doctor Lev Jakobson is Doctor of Economics, Vice President of the National Research University Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE), professor of the Department of Applied Economics, and the Research Supervisor of the Center for Studies of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector at NRU HSE. He graduated from the Economics Faculty, Moscow State University, in 1975.  He worked as a senior lecturer, associate professor and professor at the Faculty of Economics from 1975 through 1997. Since 1997 Dr. Jakobson has been Vice Rector, First Vice Rector and Vice President of the Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia. Dr. Jakobson is a member of a number of the following boards and councils, such as the Presidential Council for Combating Corruption, the Expert Council under the Russian Federation Government, the Deputy Chair of the Public Council under the Russian Federation Health Ministry and a member of the Public Television Council. Dr. Jakobson authored over 300 academic publications in Russian and international peer-reviewed journals on issues of public administration, social policy, and finance, including monographs, manuals and educational materials.  Dr. Jakobson was awarded with the Russian Federation Order of Honor (2009), the Order for Service to the Nation, 4th Degree (2012),  the French Republic Order of Academic Palms (Ordre des Palmes academiques), and the Russian Federation Order of Alexander Nevskiy (2020).

Lev Jakobson

Luay Shabaneh, Regional Director for the Arab States United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Mr Luay Shabaneh is the Arab States Regional Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, assuming his duties since May 2016. A native of Palestine, he held a number of high-profile national and international public service positions over the last two decades - within the UN System, in government and in the multilateral arena - in the areas of official statistics, population census, population and development, monitoring and evaluation, programme management and advocacy. He began his professional career at the Palestine Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) where he served from 1994 to 2005 and was appointed as the second president of PCBS. He served as Chief Statistician of Palestine from 2005 until he began his career with the United Nations in 2009 serving first with the UNDP/UNCT and later with the UNFPA in Iraq. In 2015 he joined the UNFPA Regional Office for Arab States in Cairo as the Regional Adviser for Population Data and Policies in ASRO. Within the Arab region, he served as chair or board member in several regional professional and research committees such as the Chair of the Statistical Committee of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Chair of the Arab Regional Statistical Forum, and as board member in the following: The Arab Institute for Training and Research in Statistics, the MENA Health Policy Forum, the Palestine Economic Research Institute and the Arab Women Center for Training and Research. Luay holds a PhD in Applied Social Statistics from Lancaster University, UK, a Master’s Degree in Mathematical Statistics from the University of Jordan and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Baghdad University.

Luay Shabaneh

Lucia Kišš, Director, Slovak Agency for International Development Cooperation 

Ms Lucia Kišš is the Director of the Slovak Agency for International Development Cooperation (SAIDC – SlovakAid). Before joining SAIDC, Lucia worked over five years at the Ministry of Interior, as the Director of the Department for the Inclusion of Marginalized Roma Communities. She was responsible for the effective implementation of part of the operational programme Human Resources (450 mil. EUR). Lucia has experience from working in the European Commission and the NGO sector from Brussels. In Indonesia, she worked at the EU Delegation on trade and political issues and on project management at the International Organization for Migration (IOM). She graduated with a MSc. from the University of Oxford, where she studied International Development with a focus on refugee and migration studies. Lucia finished her BA (Hons) in International Studies with Political Science at the University of Birmingham, UK.

Lucie Morillon, Director of Studies, Communication and Advocacy, France Volontaires 

Ms Lucie Morillon has been Director of Studies, Communication and Advocacy for France Volontaires since 2017. The unit she manages is dedicated to promoting the recognition of volunteer and solidarity commitments around the world through three complementary approaches: the production and sharing of knowledge, communication, and advocacy. As a member of the leadership team, Lucie contributes in this capacity to the overall management of France Volontaires, as well as to the fulfillment of the organization’s performance, transparency, and accountability objectives.   Prior to joining France Volontaires, she had devoted her career to freedom of expression as the Programs Director at Reporters Without Borders (RSF), where she coordinated the organization’s field projects, international network and advocacy strategy and served as a spokesperson. She founded RSF’s Washington DC office, directing the development of its US activities from 2004 to 2009. Having earned her degree in Contemporary History and in Public and Political Communication, Lucie is a dedicated advocate for human rights and international solidarity.

Mahdi Mohammed Aljamal, Director of the Disaster Management Department, Palestine Red Crescent Society 

Mr Mahdi Mohammed Aljamal is the Director of the Disaster Management Department at the Palestine Red Crescent Society (RCS). He joined the Palestine RCS as a activities coordinator for young people in 2010. In 2013, he started working as a Head of Youth Programmers with RCS – the age for working as and being a youth leader in the youth programmes is 30 years. In 2018, I became the Director of the Youth and Volunteers Department. Mr Mahdi Mohammed Aljamal spent 10 years working with youth and volunteers. He attended several meetings and workshops about volunteer management and Youth Empowerment Support (YES). Mr Mahdi Mohammed Aljamal is 35 years old, married and a father of two kids named Wattan Alnoor and Marcile.

Man Bahadur BK, Division Head, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Nepal

Dr Man Bahadur BK is the Division Head at the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Nepal. In 2010, he joined the government bureaucracy as a joint secretary and served as the Director General for the Labour Department, as Chief District Officer in several districts, and as Secretary for the State Government of State No. 5 and Karnali. Until 2010, he has long working experience with various international development agencies such as GTZ, Save the Children, UNICEF, CWS UK, UNDP. He has been serving as an adjunct faculty member for M.Phil Program (Education) and MBA-BF Program, Tribhuvan University and written a dozen text books for college students and several books on development issues including Social Inclusion in Microfinance, Eradicating Hunger: Rebuilding Food Regime. As an outcome of his research, he re-engineered a financing model into a new inclusive modality on innovative financial inclusion called “community owned micro-banking‟ which has been recognized as third generation microfinance. He is the principal initiator of the bi-annual National Microfinance Summit, Nepal, started in 2008 and has been campaigning for “Building an Inclusive Financial System”. Dr Man Bahadur Bishwakarma has completed his postdoc research entitled “Enhancing Food Security to the Deprived Groups: Learning from the Experience Around the World” as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar (2016/17) at Brandeis University, USA. He obtained his PhD on “Social Inclusion in Microfinance Cooperative Societies of Nepal” in 2010 from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. He received his postgraduate diploma in Social Studies from the ISS, Netherlands (2004), his MBA (1991) in Financial management and his MA (Economics) in Rural and Cooperative Development (2000) from Tribhuvan University, and his Diploma (1997) in Agro-Cooperative Management from Japan.

María Asunción Cekalovic, National Director, Instituto Nacional de la Juventud, Chile

Ms María Asunción Cekalovic is the National Director of Chile’s Instituto Nacional de la Juventud (INJUV, National Institute of Youth). Previously, she has worked as an innovation and entrepreneurship consultant, chief of staff and regional manager of programs related to good labor practices with a gender perspective. In addition, she served as INJUV's Metropolitan Regional Director since August 2018 thanks to a selection process for Senior Public Management. She is a social worker from Universidad Tecnológica de Chile INACAP and has a Master's Degree in International Studies from the University Of Santiago, as well as diplomas in Social Marketing, Public Management, Territorial Development and Local Economic Development.

Mariam Al Ouardi, Volunteer with the Collectif Marocain du Volontariat

Ms Mariam Al Ouardi is a young Moroccan student researcher in social sciences. Through a volunteer contract with the Collectif Marocain du Volontariat (CMV), she is involved in a social project in the Oriental region (Jerada) that is focusing on strengthening the equality between men and women in Morocco. This experience provided Mariam both with the will and the energy needed to form part of the change she wants to see. Her work as a volunteer further helped her to develop her strong communication skills.

Mariam Al Ouardi

Marko Russiver, Founder of Namarie Society and Core Team at the Global Hack

Mr Marko Russiver is a designer, startup founder and an occasional activist. He is a co-founder of Namarie Society, a private think-tank. He is one of the drivers of #theglobalhack #hackthecrisis hackathon movement that activated over 200 000 participants globally, and to his big surprise, he is a TED speaker. In the last six years Marko has been working closely with research organizations and government entities including Accelerate Estonia, CERN, ESA, European Commission, and UAE Government, exploring practices that empower researchers and bring transparency to research funding globally. Over the years Marko has gathered an extensive advisory of government officials, creatives, venture capitalists and scientists from around the world who work with him as an extended think-tank. He deeply believes that open sharing of knowledge is a core driver shaping the future of humanity and that design can be leveraged as a method to help solve the world’s greatest challenges. Before heading into the startup world, Marko was an ADC awarded creative director with 15 years of experience in strategy and service design. As a hobby, he has designed over 130 books as he is an avid reader since his young age. Marko was nominated for MIT Technology Review’s Innovators Under 35 Europe 2018 Awards, Young Entrepreneur of the Year by Swedish Business Awards and portrayed in Inc Arabia Magazine following Guaana’s participation to the Dubai Future Accelerator. He is also part of a European Commission Next Generation Internet roundtable.

Marko Russiver

Mr Matias Acosta, Head of Exploration, UNDP Accelerator Lab Argentina

Mr Matias Acosta is the Head of Exploration at the UNDP Accelerator Lab in Argentina and a fellow at the Centre for Science & Policy at the University of Cambridge, and CEO of Shaping Horizons, a volunteering program developed to foster open innovation for diplomacy and sustainability. Matias has vast experience in materials/devices for the 4th industrial revolution like sensors for IoT and fuel cells to transform hydrogen to clean electricity. Moreover, he has worked actively at the interface between science, policy and diplomacy. Throughout his career, Matias has published more than 30 peer-reviewed articles which have been cited more than 2,000 times. His academic achievements have been recognized with more than 10 international awards. During his work at UNDP, Matias evaluates technological trends and provides foresights about innovations that could promote sustainability. Besides he also runs/prototype projects to evaluate their feasibility for creating policies in cooperation with the public sector. Matias passion is to build disciplinary, geographical and generational bridges for an inclusive and sustainable future.

Mohammed Shahnaz Bin Mawardi, Assistant Director, Rakan Muda Development Division, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Malaysia 

Mr. Mohammed Shahnaz Bin Mawardi is the Assistant Director of the Rakan Muda Development Division in the National Youth and Sports Department at the Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia. He has been working as a civil servant of Malaysia for 10 years, including in the Volunteer Unit. As Project Officer for the volunteering program, his job is to develop a volunteering platform for youth in Malaysia. Some of the volunteering programs implemented by the Ministry of Youth and Sports are the Malaysia International Youth Volunteer Program (MyCorps), the Rakan Muda Day Out, the Post-Disaster Programs and the Malaysia Volunteer Day. During his tenure as a project officer for the MyCorps Program, he has successfully supported 122 young volunteer leaders to carry out community development initiatives and sustainable projects in 7 countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Laos, Nepal and Bangladesh. Shahnaz earned a Diploma of Sports Studies and Bachelor of Sports Sciences from Mara University of Technology Malaysia.

Nada Abdullah Fakher, Executive Director, Yemeni Foundation for Voluntary Work

Ms Nada Abdullah Fakher is the Executive Director of the Yemeni Foundation for Voluntary Work. An expert in family counseling, she offers trainings in the field of caring for and dealing with the elderly, especially in emergencies. Holding a bachelor’s degree in Social Services, Nada Abdullah Fakher has sixteen years of experience in the humanitarian and development field, with a focus on volunteer work. As a project manager, she gained experience in studying the situation of and providing training to children and women, especially those in difficult circumstances. Nada Abdullah Fakher further has significant experience in gender-based violence. She is a member of the Bivol International Volunteer Platform as well as of the Arab Union for Voluntary Work.

Nadhavathna Krishnamra, Director-General of the Department of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand

With 28 years of experience in the Thai Foreign Service, Dr. Krishnamra took up the position of Director-General of the Department of International Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand on 18 January 2020. Prior to his current tenure, he served as Director-General of the Department of Protocol and Chief of Protocol since 2017, a period which covered Thailand’s chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2019. Dr. Krishnamra has held various diplomatic positions overseas including as Minister at the Royal Thai Embassy in London from 2014 to 2017, and as First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva from 2001-2004. At Headquarters in Bangkok, he also served in various roles at the Department of ASEAN Affairs, the Department of East Asian Affairs and the Department of International Organizations, notably as Director of the Social Division from 2008-2015. He was also seconded to the Secretariat of the Prime Minister in 2006-2008.  Dr. Krishnamra studied Modern History and received the degree of Master of Arts from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom. He was subsequently conferred the degree of the Doctor of Philosophy in International History and Politics from the Institut Universitaire de Hautes Études Internationales, Geneva, Switzerland.

Neil Pierre, G77 Coordinator, Permanent Mission of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana to the United Nations

Ambassador Neil Pierre assumed his current position with the Permanent Mission of Guyana to the United Nations in New York in January 2020, at the start of Guyana’s Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China for 2020. Prior to that he served the United Nations in various capacities, from June 1995 until his early retirement from the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) in December 2018. Before joining the United Nations, Mr Pierre worked as a diplomat in the Foreign Service of Guyana, serving in London, Brussels and at the Permanent Mission of Guyana to the UN in New York. Mr Pierre obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guyana, a Certificate in Diplomacy from the University of Oxford and a Master of Science Degree (Political Economy) from the London School of Economics (LSE). He is married and has three sons.

Neil Pierre

Olivier Adam, Executive Coordinator of the United Nations
Volunteers programme

Mr Olivier Adam took up his appointment as the Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme on 2 January 2017. Mr Adam joined UNV after having served as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Deputy Regional Director and Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Regional Bureau for Europe, Commonwealth of Independent States (2014 – December 2016). Prior to this, he was Manager of the UNDP Bratislava Regional Centre (2012-2014) and before that UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine (2009-2012).  Mr Adam served in different capacities at UNDP headquarters in New York:  as Head of Global Fund Partnership and Team Leader for HIV/AIDS team, Bureau for Development Policy (2004-2009) and Senior Political Affairs Officer, Department for Political Affairs (2000-2004). He also held the positions of Deputy Director, Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (1997-2000) and Deputy Division Chief with the UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (1993-1996). From 1991-1992, Olivier was Deputy Resident Representative in Argentina, and Assistant Resident Representative in Haiti from 1990-1991.  Mr. Adam started his career in the UN system as Junior Professional Officer with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (1987-1990). Olivier holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, a master’s in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is a graduate of the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences-Po).

Olivier Adam

Omar Agbangba, Executive Director, Togolese National Agency for Volunteering

Mr Omar Agbangba is the Executive Director of the Togolese National Agency for Volunteering since 2015. The Agency is responsible for promoting volunteering at the national level as well as implementing volunteer-related policies. With an education background in sociology and sciences of education, Mr Omar Agbangba has worked for over 20 years in development issues, including gender equality, children and youth rights, civic engagement, economic empowerment and volunteering. Some of the key organizations that he has worked for include Plan International Togo, where he was a Program Support Manager and Plan International Liberia, where he acted as an Emergency Response Program Manager.

Peter Kanyandago, Chair of the Board of Directors of the African Volunteers Association (AVA) and Research fellow at Uganda Martyrs University

Professor Peter Kanyandago holds a PhD from the Catholic University of Louvain. He was born in 1951 at Bukuba in Uganda. He is a Catholic priest belonging to the Archdiocese of Mbarara, in Uganda.  He is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the African Volunteers Association (AVA) since 2001. AVA was formed after an international conference which took place at Uganda Martyrs University in 1998. The conference aimed to propose means to eradicate poverty in its different facets and AVA was formed to implement one of its resolutions.  He is also a Research Fellow at Uganda Martyrs University where he worked for 22 years since 1994, and where he held different academic and administrative posts including being Deputy Vice Chancellor for 10 years. His academic work has focused on (re)valuing African cultures, promoting sustainable development, social and environmental justice. He has made research and published in these areas. Professor Kanyandago has endeavoured to find an interface between academic work, concrete community development work and Christian engagement. With AVA and through AVA, he has shown that there are many people who are willing to share their time and other resources to contribute towards the eradication of poverty through voluntary work. He is currently carrying out some activities to promote growing of African indigenous plant species and he is participating in a research which brings together an international team of from 4 universities: Loughborough University (UK), Mbarara University of Science of Science and Technology (Uganda), Northumbria University  (UK), and Uganda Martyrs University (Uganda). This international research team aims, among other things, to develop a new understanding of volunteering that reflects the experiences of refugees in Uganda. Professor Kanyandago speaks Runyankore, French and English.

Peter Kanyandago

Prakriti Dhungel, National Volunteer, Volunteer Service Overseas Nepal

VSO’s National Volunteer Ms Prakriti Dhungel is working in Empowering New Generation of Adolescent Girls in Education Project. At Province 2 – southern belt of Nepal she is supporting children with hearing impairment and training them sign language. She is actively monitoring bridge class organized for out of schoolgirls with hearing impairment in her placement. She is providing training on sign language to partner staff and VSO Nepal staff.  She is developing different learning materials and awareness video for people with hearing impairment. Prakriti herself was born with hearing disability. The difficulties in communication to her started from her own home being the only deaf member in the family. The complications worsened as she grew up joining her education. However, she had the opportunity to join school for deaf people where she gained confidence communicating with people. Today at 30, she has helped numerous numbers of deaf people get the confidence that she has got providing them sing language training.  She has completed her Bachelor level degree on Education. She worked as a volunteer in teaching basic sign language to the children with hearing impairment in community nearby her house. She wants to continue her volunteering journey adding value to many lives.

Prakriti Dhungel

Rafael Diez de Medina, Chief Statistician and Director of the Department of Statistics of the International Labour Organization (ILO)

National of Uruguay, Mr Rafael Diez de Medina graduated in Economics and Statistics, obtaining his M.A. in Economics and Econometrics in UDELAR (Uruguay) and post-graduate studies in Statistics and Econometrics (CIENES, Chile). After having worked for many years in the National Statistical Office in Uruguay as head of the Household Surveys Division, in 1986 he joined the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) as Regional Advisor in Labour Markets, then been appointed Special Advisor to the Executive Secretary, Technical Coordinator and Director of the ECLAC’s Montevideo office, working intensively at the regional level in technical assistance to all National Statistical offices, especially focused on household surveys, income and expenditures surveys, living standards surveys and poverty assessments. He participated actively in the harmonization of labour and poverty statistics jointly working with the World Bank and the Inter-American Bank in the MECOVI project, as well as in the Household Surveys Capability Programme of the UN Statistical Department. He has worked as consultant to the World Bank, the IADB, FAO, UNDP, UNIDO, GTZ, IOM, ILO, EC, UNFPA, ALADI, etc. He has taught Statistics, Sampling Techniques and Econometrics at many universities in Latin America and the Caribbean, having authored several books and publications in statistical methods and applied time series. He worked extensively in qualitative models and in labour econometrics. In 2003, he joined the ILO as Senior Economist in the Policy Integration Department in Geneva. In 2007 he was appointed Senior Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Office of the Director General and in 2009 he was promoted to Chief Statistician and Director of a newly created ILO Department of Statistics, based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Rafael Diez de Medina

Redi Tlhabi, Broadcast Journalist

Ms Redi Tlhabi is a charismatic moderator, member of the esteemed UN Global Journalists Corps, an author, and award-winning broadcaster. She has traveled extensively in her work as a television presenter for Al Jazeera, SABC AFRICA and Enews Channel Africa. Redi is passionate about social justice and gender equality and has degrees in journalism and English Literature. A veteran interviewer she brings intelligence and wit to every conversation she moderates. Redi Tlhabi is a founding member of the global speakers’ agency Moderate The Panel (MTP), established to transform the world of events and conferences with powerful diverse voices. Her most recent moderating assignment for MTP was in Cape Town for the Global Fund.

Redi Tlhabi

Samuel Turay, National Coordinator of the Volunteering Involving Organizations Network (VIONet) in Sierra Leone

Mr Samuel Turay is also the National Coordinator of Volunteer Involving Organizations Network (VIONet) which was Founded by VSO and Co-Founded by United Nations Volunteers. VIONet is the biggest volunteer network that is advancing volunteering for development in Sierra Leone. He is also a Project Assistant for VSO International – Sierra Leone. Samuel Turay is a passionate Volunteer and a Youth Activist. He was the Project Support officer at VSO International – Sierra Leone as a National Volunteer, Coordinator and Founder of Sierra Leone Association of Volunteers which is a community base organization with that was established to promote volunteering for development. He is a trained social development practitioner spanning over seven years of experience in the areas of volunteering, emergency aid response and youth engagement and community development.

Samuel Turay

Sarah Mbi Enow Anyang Agbor, Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology of the African Union (AU)

H.E. Professor Sarah Mbi Enow Anyang Agbor, from Cameroon, was elected in 2017 as the Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology of the African Union Commission (HRST-AUC). H.E. Professor Anyang Agbor has over Twenty (20) years’ experience in the field of Academia. She is a Professor of African and Commonwealth Literature, Department of English. Previously she was the Deputy Vice Chancellor in Charge of Research, Cooperation and Relations with the Business World (DVC-RCB) in the University of Bamenda, North West Region, Cameroon. Commissioner Anyang Agbor has written a number of academic Books and Publications to contribute to scholarship. Presently, she provides guidance and vision to the HRST Mandate – Education, Science and Technology, Youth and Human Resources.

Sarah Mbi Enow Anyang Agbor

Shivanee Appadoo, Coordinator for Community Mobilisation and Local Community Support, Preparedness Team at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre in Mauritius.

Ms Shivanee Appadoo joined the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre (NDRRMC) as a Coordinator for Community Mobilisation and Local Community Support, Preparedness Team on 08 January 2018. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Local Government and Disaster Risk Management and is the main institution for the planning, organizing, coordinating and monitoring of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management activities at all levels for the Republic of Mauritius. All the activities of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Centre are in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030) and the Centre firmly believes that volunteering is a component for Disaster Risk Reduction. Before joining the NDRRMC, Ms. Appadoo worked at the National Empowerment Foundation for 8 years in the field of poverty alleviation. She holds a degree in Sociology as well as an MBA with Specialisation in Public Administration.

Shivanee Appadoo

Sophia Stanger, Head of the Volunteering Section, Jugend Eine Welt, Austria

Ms Sophia Stanger is heading the volunteering section of the Austrian NGO and volunteering involving organization Jugend Eine Welt. She has been a volunteer herself, including educational activities, youth work and action for environmental justice in Austria and abroad (e.g. Republic of Congo 2012/13). Sophia holds university degrees in political science, African studies and peace and conflict studies which she has studied in Austria, Tanzania and the UK. Whilst being a volunteer coordinator and working to provide appropriate structures for volunteers, she continues to volunteer on a regular basis.

Toily Kurbanov, Deputy Executive Coordinator, United Nations Volunteers

Mr Toily Kurbanov took up his appointment as the Deputy Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme in August 2016. Toily joined UNV from Myanmar, where he had led UNDP’s strategic support to the nation’s democratic transformation in his role as UNDP Country Director since 2012. During his time in Myanmar, he mobilized UN expertise and policy advice to help develop the capacity of national legislature, to support justice sector reform, decentralization and post-conflict recovery in ethnic areas, and to assist national stakeholders in sharpening the focus of socio-economic policies towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. From 2007 to 2012, Toily worked as Deputy Resident Representative in Fiji and the Pacific Small Island Developing States, where he provided day-to-day management of UNDP, including implementation of the agency’s programmes in areas of climate change adaptation, disaster resilience, poverty reduction and civic education. Toily joined UNDP in 2004 through the Leadership Development Programme, initially serving as Management Specialist in the Office of Planning and Budgeting at UNDP Headquarters and supporting design and implementation of corporate systems for result-based management and budgeting. Prior to joining the UN, Toily had a distinguished career in the Government of Turkmenistan:  as Ambassador to Armenia (2000-2003), Chairman of the State Tourism Corporation (1999-2000) as well as Minister of Foreign Economic Relations (1997-1998). As cabinet member and subsequently as senior diplomat, Toily leveraged the breadth of his respective portfolios and depth of his expertise to promote national socio-economic reforms and to facilitate international trade and investment. Toily was invited to join the government having succeeded in the banking sector, where he worked as First Vice President (1995-1997) and Director of International Settlements (1993-1995) at the State Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of Turkmenistan, contributing to the modernization and improved transparency of the banking sector of the newly independent nation. Toily holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a Diploma in Economics from the Plekhanov Russian Academy of Economics.

Toily Kurbanov

Dr Viacheslav Ivanov, Chief Expert of the Centre for Studies of Civil Society and Nonprofit Sector, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia

Dr Viacheslav Ivanov is an international expert in civic engagement, nonprofit sector, philanthropy and volunteering. He serves as a Chief Expert of the Centre for Studies of Civil Society and Nonprofit Sector at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Viacheslav is a member of Research on Volunteering, an international online group for academic cooperation of global experts for study volunteerism as a modality for peace, poverty eradication and sustainable development. He has over 30 academic and peer-reviewed publications, including his contribution as a technical advisor to the State of the World’s Volunteerism Report (2018) and co-authoring the book Volunteering and Charity in Russia and the Challenges of National Development (2019). Viacheslav has been a member of the International Association of Volunteer Effort (IAVE) since 2010 and IAVE National Representative for Russia in 2015-2018. He is a Trust Board Chair of the Russian National Volunteer Centre, a member of IAVE Global Network of Volunteering Leadership. Viacheslav is also a President of the European University for Volunteering (EUV), international nonprofit association which offers university education on topics related to civil engagement and civil society to volunteers and professionals working in the field of volunteering.

Viacheslav Ivanov

Wanalee Lohpechra, Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand

Ms Wanalee Lohpechra is the Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand. She covers the following portfolio: sustainable development, Thailand’s ECOSOC membership 2020-22, SEP for SDGs, UNESCO Executive Board, and Election of UN bodies. Prior to her current tenure, she served as Director of the Socio-Cultural Division of the Department of ASEAN Affairs from 2017-2020. Over the course of 25 years of experience in diplomacy, Ms. Wanalee Lohpechra has served the Royal Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs in various diplomatic positions overseas including as Minister-Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Thailand to ASEAN in Jakarta from 2014-2017, and as First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations in New York from 2004-2008, where her portfolio covered various development issues discussed at the Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) of the General Assembly. Ms. Wanalee Lohpechra’s previous assignments at Headquarters in Bangkok also includes various roles at the Department of European Affairs, the Department of Information and the Department of International Organizations. Ms. Wanalee Lohpechra studied Economics and received the degree of Bachelor of Arts, with 1st Class Honors and Gold Medalist from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. She also holds an MA in Economics from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.  

Wanalee Lohpechra

Wjdan Al-Matari, Volunteer and Founder, Helping Hudaida Migrants Initiative

Ms Wjdan Al Matari is an excellent with honor International Business Management graduate from the Lebanon International University. She was born in November 1996 in Yemen. She has worked as a volunteer in her community for more than 8 years with various NGOs and Initiatives, including the Helping Hidaida Migrants Initiative. Moreover, she represented Yemen in several national and international conferences in Asia and Europe. She was the communication coordinator for Seyaj Org and then she held the same position in the International Training Academy. Wjdan Represented the Yemeni youth at the Leiden University in the Kingdom of Netherlands and she was the only youth nominated to give the youth speech on behalf of Rota foundation in Qatar. She is a Member of Regional Adolescent and Youth Advisory Majlis (RAYAM) / UNICEF. She is also one of the youths who redrafted UN security council resolution 2025 in Alexandria, Egypt. Furthermore, she is a social media activist who advocates youth's issues in Yemen.

Wjdan Al-Matari

Xavier Castellanos, Acting Under Secretary General for Programmes and Operations, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Mr Xavier Castellanos is the Regional Director for Asia Pacific for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) since August 2015 – based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is responsible for managing the IFRC humanitarian and development activities covering 38 countries. He was previously the Regional Director for the Americas and previously, Deputy Head of Operations for the same region. He has more than three decades of experience working in emergency humanitarian emergencies and operations and in community development. He has also worked with national and international institutions from the private and public sectors, as well as non-governmental organizations mainly in the communications and cooperation field. During his career, he has lead large disaster response operations and engaged in several disasters and crisis that have required humanitarian action. This includes international humanitarian teams and leading from the point of emergency to recovery. He joined the Red Cross in 1981 as a volunteer in his hometown. Specializing in communication, with an emphasis in health, and as a television producer, he applied his knowledge by working with local communities, in the field of community education, disaster risk reduction and vulnerability reduction and leadership development, as well in training methodologies associated with community development. He joined IFRC in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch, which caused severe damage in Central America in 1998, and worked in communication and public information. He later served on missions working in disaster risk management in numerous countries around the world and at the IFRC secretariat in Geneva. He has also worked in the areas of international humanitarian law, volunteerism, strategic planning and training with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. He is part of the IFRC Global Senior Management team since 2019. Born in Quito, Ecuador, he speaks Spanish, English and intermediate level of Portuguese.

Xavier Castellanos

Yang Yang, Vice Chairperson of the Chinese Young Volunteers Association (CYVA)

Ms Yang Yang is China’s first-ever Winter Olympics gold medallist and Vice Chairperson of the Chinese Young Volunteers Association. She is a three-time Olympians and won five Olympic medals with two gold, two silver and one bronze. As a winner of 59 world champion titles throughout her 23 years of sports career, she still holds the record of the most world champion titles in China. After she retired from skating in 2006, she is actively and voluntarily involved in sports organization worldwide. She served as a member of International Olympic Committee from 2010-2018, Council Member of International Skating Union from 2016-2019. And in Nov. 2019, she was elected as the Vice President of World Anti-Doping Agency, the organization serving to protect clean athletes and clean sports. She is the Chairperson of Athlete Commission of Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games, Member of the National Committee of Chinese People Political Consultative Conference, Vice Chairperson of China Youth Federation. Yang Yang has devoted her time to philanthropy and established Champion Foundation since she retired, which commits to the sports education for children and the Athlete Career Program development in China. She is also the Founder of Feiyang Ice Skating Center in Shanghai to develop winter ice sports. Yang Yang believes volunteering brings people closer and makes communities more friendly.  She was involved in 2008 Beijing Olympic Game Volunteer department and she established the Olympic Champion Volunteer Service Group during the Games and to encourage the young volunteers to better understand Olympics and to be proud of serving Olympics.

Yang Yang

Yuriy Didula, Director, Building Ukraine Together program

Mr Yuriy Didula is Co-Founder and Director of the Building Ukraine Together program. As a student, he founded the students’ fraternity of the Ukrainian Catholic University which has started several national youth exchange projects, including the most vibrant and long-term one: Easter Together that brought together young people from the East and the West of Ukraine. A graduate of the Ukrainian Catholic University, Yuriy also studied Central and Eastern European studies at LaSalle University of Philadelphia. In 2014, after a year with National Endowment for Democracy (Washington, DC), he returned to Ukraine and has been working on the development of the Building Ukraine Together program ever since.

Zohra Jalal, National United Nations Volunteer, UN Women

Ms Zohra Jalal is a proud UN volunteer with UN women Afghanistan, youth activist and peacebuilder. At a very young age, she realized that if you would like to bring about a positive change, you need to step up and be bold. Fighting for a positive change and giving voice to others requires courage and sacrifice, and she know this because she has been there for young people, been with them and stood up for them. Ms Jalal has a bachelor’s degree in business administrations from Kardan University. Making a vast network of professionals and academics including with youth has given her skills and ability to contribute to the activism of youth-led groups at her university and workplace, and awarded with best debaters and best student of 2018. Her civil activism started three years ago when she joined AIESEC, an international youth-run organization. She actively engaged in organizing several events and trainings for the youths development and support in Kabul and provinces in Afghanistan. This helped her further extend her youth network, knowing girls and boys from different regions representing different communities and cultures. In early 2018, she was part of Young women professional program with UNDP Afghanistan and worked in the communication and coordination area. Ms Jalal is currently working at UN Women Afghanistan with a focus on gender equality, women empowerment and peace building. She works on SDG goal 5 gender equality that all men and women should have access to equal resources and opportunities. Being a volunteer has given her an opportunity to be the agent of change in her community through advocating women rights giving voice to them and empowering them.


Zohra Jalal