Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilisation work.
Ms. Abbie Jung
Synergy Social Ventures and Nexus Asia, Hong Kong
Abbie Jung is a co-founder of Synergy Social Ventures, a non-profit organisation that uses philanthropy and social entrepreneurship as tools for sustainable development. She also spearheads Nexus Global Youth Summit (Nexus) in Asia, developing social change opportunities with collaborative communities in the region including China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand. Believing in the power of leveraging technology and new media to resolve pressing socioeconomic and environmental problems, Abbie launched the East and Southeast Asia Chapter of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE). She is also involved in Synergy’s Future Funders Giving Circle and the +Social Good Community.
With a background in venture capital, social investment, public health and international development, Abbie has worked extensively with agencies such as Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières and the World Health Organisation. She has a Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from University of California Berkeley and a graduate degree in international public health from Columbia University.
Ms. Aditi Tembe
Equal Community Foundation, India
Aditi Tembe is an advisor to Equal Community Foundation (ECF), an award-winning action research charity based in Pune, India. ECF has been recognised internationally for transforming men’s cultural attitudes and behaviour towards women, addressing issues of violence and discrimination against women with local community groups. Previously the Senior Programme Manager and now an advisor, she assists the organisation in conceputalising programme strategy and design.
Aditi, at present, works as Manager, Corporate Partnerships at the Singapore Compact for CSR, the national society which furthers the CSR movement in Singapore.
With years of experience working in the health and development sector, Aditi began at the grassroots levels collaborating directly with beneficiaries. She served as a community health research officer at the Society for Education, Action and Research in Community Health (SEARCH), assessing the burden of neuro-developmental disabilities in the tribal belt of Maharashtra, India.
Aditi holds post-graduate degrees in Psychology (Organisational Behaviour & HRD) and Public Health from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India and the Institute of Health Management Research, Jaipur, India, respectively.
Ms. Amra Naidoo
Head, Media & Corporate Partnerships
Singapore Committee for UN Women
Amra Naidoo is the head of Singapore Committee for UN Women’s media and corporate partnerships, and the global team lead for Project Inspire, a global youth social entrepreneurship competition. Amra is passionate about social entrepreneurship and social innovation for sustainable and impactful development.
With a background in the development sector, marketing and business development, for the past 7 years Amra has worked closely with social enterprises, non-profits and for-profit organisations fostering strategic, sustainable partnerships. In particular, she enjoys working with for-profits and corporate partners to kick-start sustainable social impact. Amra holds two Bachelor degrees from the University of Queensland in Business Management and International Relations.
Ms. Angela Hariche
Director, International Data Relations
The Foundation Centre, USA
Angela Hariche, Director of International Data Relations, joined the Foundation Centre in February 2014 to build a global network around philanthropic data and knowledge. She began her career working in internet startups in San Francisco and then in 1999 started working in the area of sustainable development with the International Energy Agency in Paris on energy statistics and innovative knowledge sharing techniques.
In 2007, she moved to the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in Liberia, working in the area of key performance indicators at the mission level as well as capacity development projects in the areas of information technology and gender equality with the Liberian National Action plan for 1325. In 2009, Angela returned to Paris to join the OECD Post 2015 task team researching the next global development agenda. She was also a part of the OECD work on measuring progress where she was the Head of the Networks Unit. She also has in-depth experience in the areas of social cohesion, the digital divide, gender equality and child well-being.
Angela has attended and has degrees from Syracuse University (B.A.) the Open University in the UK in Social Science, Cultural Analysis (M.A.), L’Université Paris-Sorbonne and the American University of Paris.
Ms. Annie Yeo
Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Asia
Deutsche Bank AG, Singapore
Annie Yeo is Head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for the Asia region at Deutsche Bank, based in Singapore. She has been with the bank since 1999 working in the Communications Department as the Regional Head of Events and Sponsorship until 2009 when she moved on to assume this role where she is tasked with the strategic planning and development of the bank’s CSR footprint in Asia.
Annie’s appointment in this role underscores Deutsche Bank’s priority to embed CSR as an integral part of the bank’s operation and its commitment to build social capital, in a socially and ecologically responsible manner. Working in close partnerships with about 150 not-for-profit (NPO) organizations, key social challenges are addressed to create opportunities to education and personal development, make cultural experiences accessible to a wider audience, especially to those who are under-served. To increase the impact, employee engagement is heightened through frequent communication and volunteering activities.
Prior to this role, Annie has worked in administrative and marketing positions with multinational corporations such as Caterpillar, ABB Asea Brown Boveri, W R Grace and Bankers Trust. During the tenure of her employment, she had the opportunity to spend five years working in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and New York.
Annie is a graduate from the University of South Australia with a Bachelor in Communications Management.
Ms. Audette Exel
Founder & Chair
The ISIS Foundation, Australia
Audette Exel is the founder of the ISIS Group. It has two parts and Audette is Chief Executive Officer of the business, ISIS (Asia Pacific) Pty Limited and Chair of its non-profit arm, The ISIS Foundation. Established in 1998, the corporate finance and advisory business was established to underpin the financial viability of the Foundation, and today it funds its core costs of The ISIS Foundation, allowing 100% of all donor money to go directly to project-related costs. ISIS AP has provided millions of dollars to support the Foundation since inception. Partnering with local community groups, The ISIS Foundation funds and manages many health, education and other essential service projects, touching the lives of more than 30,000 women and children living in poverty in Nepal and Uganda.
Audette is currently the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Steamship Mutual and a Non-Executive Director of Suncorp Group. Before establishing ISIS, she was Managing Director of Bermuda Commercial Bank and Chairman of the Bermuda Stock Exchange. Audette also practised as a lawyer, specialising in international finance.
In 2013, Audette was awarded an honorary Order of Australia for her “service to humanity through the establishment of the ISIS Group.” She was also recognised by Forbes as a “Hero of Philanthropy” in 2014.
Mr. Augusto Ponciano I. Carpio III
Executive Vice President & COO
Aboitiz Foundation, Philippines
Sonny Carpio is currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., the social development arm of the Aboitiz Group of Companies. He spearheads and conceptualises various programmes and projects for the communities where the companies of the Aboitiz Group operate nationwide. Programme areas of Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. cover Education and Skills Development, Enterprise Development, and Environment and Sustainability.
Mr. Carpio has years of experience in development management, grants management, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation and resource mobilisation alongside with working and coordinating with the various companies/subsidiaries under the umbrella of the Aboitiz Group of Companies in their respective Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes.
He serves as the chairperson of the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC), Treasurer of the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF) and the Association of Foundations (AF). He is also a board member of Tsuneishi Foundation and the Science Technology Education Center of Mactan, Cebu, and a convenor of the Coalition for Better Education which is also based in Cebu, Philippines.
Prior to assuming his present position with the Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., Mr. Carpio has had extensive 19 years of experience in Banking and Finance covering almost all facets of retail, regional and branch banking operations including, but not limited to, Cash Management, Accounting, Audit, Sales and Marketing, Credit Administration, Relationship Building and Leadership.
Mr. Benedict Cheong
Temasek Foundation Singapore
Benedict Cheong is the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Temasek Foundation Singapore, a philanthropic non-profit organisation set up by Temasek Holdings Singapore. Before assuming this role, he served for nine years as CEO of the National Council of Social Service in Singapore. He has also worked with the Singapore government in the Singapore Police Force for fifteen years, where he held various appointments at headquarters and in the operational units.
Benedict also serves in non-profit organisations and entities, including as Board Director of Temasek Cares of Singapore, as Chairman of Medifund Advisory Council, as Board Member of Caritas Singapore Community Council and as a Member of the Ministry of Home Affairs Independent Review Panel.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) in Mathematics from Oxford University, and earned the Master of Arts from Oxford University and Master in Public Administration from the John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Ms. Bhavani Prakash
Green Collar Asia & Eco WALK the Talk, Singapore
A leading expert in the field of sustainability, Bhavani Prakash is the Founder of Green Collar Asia, an industry-oriented sustainability portal, and non-profit website Eco Walk the Talk, a finalist in the Singapore Environment Council’s Asia Journalism Awards in 2012.
Bhavani is also a well-known speaker, facilitator, and executive coach based on various methodologies including Emotional Intelligence, mindfulness, positive psychology and the strengths-based approach. She advocates ‘conscious leadership’ for creating a sustainable future for oneself, the organisation, the community and the planet. She holds a Masters in Financial Economics from University of London and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, India.
Bhavani is a TEDx speaker and appears regularly on media including Radio 938Live, Business Times, Straits Times, New Paper and has been recently been nominated for the SONY TV IWA Woman of the Year 2014.
Mr. Carl L. Liederman
Founder & CEO
LIEDERSHIP, United Kingdom
A leading international lawyer, Carl L. Liederman is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of LIEDERSHIP, (www.liedership.com) a value-based, client-focused, independent strategic advisory firm that operates globally on a trusted-advisor model. Carl has over 25 years of experience in the non-profit and charity sector, leading charitable boards, as well as advising charities, family foundations and Fortune 100 companies on their Corporate Social Responsibility strategies.
Carl has served in many leadership positions including Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Right to Play UK Ltd, Chairman of the Governance Committee and Trustee of Right To Play International, CEO of One Young World, Co-Founder and Trustee of the American Ballet Theatre International Exchange Ltd, Trustee of See Change: Uniting the Arts and Giving Ltd, Advisory Board Member of Madeira Global, and external legal counsel of Grassroot Soccer, Greenhouse, and others.
A member of the New York and Washington, DC bars, and a registered foreign lawyer in England and Wales, Carl received his law degree from Yale Law School and his Bachelor’s degree from Pomona College, summa cum laude, valedictorian.
Ms. Carol Candler
Voluntary and Philanthropy Sector Advisor
Lien Centre for Social Innovation, Singapore
Before arriving in Singapore a year ago, Carol was Strategy Director at Northern Rock Foundation – a leading UK venture philanthropy organisation. As well as focusing the Foundation’s spend-out strategy on impact and sustainability for the non-profits, the organisation supported and developed a comprehensive capacity building and leadership programme for the non-profit sector in the North-East, Carol commissioned and led a range of innovative research projects. These include ‘Third Sector Trends Study’ with Durham University, St Chad’s College – a longitudinal study to understand what makes strong and resilient non-profits and non-profit leaders and ‘Adding Value to (Research and) Grant Making’ – development of tools to improve the impact of research and funding on policy and practice.
Carol also chaired ‘Funders for Impact’, a national coalition of Foundations working to improve impact practice in the non-profit sector. An evaluator and a founding member of the Social Impact Analyst Association, Carol has over 30 years of experience across a range of private, public and voluntary sector organisations including ground-breaking work to develop engagement and participation across health and social care.
Carol has a master’s degree in Health and Social Research from Northumbria University, focused on developing participatory approaches to service design in health and social care services. She is currently working with Lien Centre for Social Innovation in Singapore advising on development of the SMU Change Lab.
Ms. Cherie Nursalim
GITI Group, Indonesia
Cherie Nursalim is the Executive director of GITI Group, a diversified group with real estate development, manufacturing, and consumer lifestyle presence in China and Southeast Asia, partnering with world-renowned brands throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Cherie Nursalim earlier worked as a research associate at the Harvard Business School and was Director of East-West Bank in California. She published an award-winning book on an American-Chinese Architect, and was among the co-authors of a book ‘Indonesia Matters’ published by the World Economic Forum.
She serves on the International and China Advisory Boards for Columbia University and MIT Sloan School of Management respectively. A Co-Chairman of the United Nations Global Initiative SDSN-ASEAN, she also serves on the Yale Center for Environmental Law Policy, and the University of Indonesia Climate Change Center boards. She is founding trustee of China Disabled Persons Foundation Board, China’s largest foundation, and is among the founding members of the Global Philanthropic Circle with Synergos Institute in New York and United in Diversity foundation. Cherie Nursalim is a recipient of Baiyulan Award from the Shanghai government. She initiated initiatives for HIV AIDS awareness in Indonesia for GT organisation which won awards from UNAIDS, International Labor Organisation and the Indonesian government. A new Orchid species of Dendrodium was named ‘Cherie Nursalim’ in honor of her services in the founding board of ‘Gardens by the Bay’ in Singapore. Cherie Nursalim was recently appointed to the Executive Board of the International Chambers of Commerce.
Cherie Nursalim received her Bachelor in Engineering Science and Economics from Oxford University, her Master’s in Business Administration from Columbia Business School and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader alumni at Harvard Kennedy School.
Ms. Christy Abraham
International Co-ordinator for Women's Human Rights
Christy Abraham is currently the International Coordinator for Women’s Human Rights at ActionAid International, where she had been working since 2010. In her role, Christy manages programmes for ActionAid across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, around programmatic areas of making cities safe for women and girls; eliminating harmful traditional practices such as early and forced marriages, female genital mutilation and practices such as sex selective abortion; and ensuring women have access to sexual and reproductive health rights and economic empowerment.
Prior to that Christy worked with ActionAid India for nearly two decades. She has extensive experience of programme planning, policy analysis, developing advocacy strategies and facilitating trainings on issues of gender-based violence, HIV and AIDS, Women’s sexual and reproductive health rights etc. Christy has worked extensively with women living with HIV, women engaged in sex work, transgender women, trafficked women, migrant women, women informal workers and women with disabilities. Besides programming, she also has experiences in the areas of fund raising, sponsor communication and management.
Christy is also on the Board of Ashraya, a child rights and women’s rights organisation in Bangalore, and the Management Committee of the Community Based Rehabilitation Forum, a Disability organisation in Bangalore. In addition, she advises organisations and individuals on issues of HIV/AIDS and creating families through adoptions.
Christy holds a Masters degree in Social Work, specialising in Management, from Mahatma Gandhi University in Kerala, India. She has trained in Leadership Development at Chulalankorn University Bangkok, Thailand as well as by the Maxwell School of Public Affairs, Syracuse University, USA. She is also trained on Gender based violence through Kimmage Open and Distance Education, Kimmage Development Studies Centre, Dublin, Ireland.
Ms. Clair Deevy
Head of Corporate Social Responsibility
Microsoft Asia Pacific, Singapore
Clair Deevy leads Microsoft’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes in Asia Pacific. Her responsibilities include community grants, youth engagement, disaster response, NGO capacity building, and employee engagement as well as leading regional marketing communications for CSR, Government and Public Policy outreach.
Working in the fields of CSR, communications, and environmental stewardship for more than 15 years, Clair’s professional and volunteer experience encompasses Government, NGOs, Corporations and Corporate Foundations.
Clair holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Management, a Master of Management and is currently completing a Professional Doctorate focused on CSR and Public Private Partnerships through the University of Canberra, Australia.
Ms. Crystal Hayling
Lien Centre for Social Innovation, Singapore
Crystal Hayling is the principal of C2 Projects, and she consults with businesses, social enterprises, and foundations to make strategic and impactful philanthropic investments. She is also a trustee of the Lien Centre for Social Innovation, Asia Venture Philanthropy Network (Singapore), the Singapore American School, and the Center for Effective Philanthropy (Boston).
With years of experience in the social sector, Crystal has worked across topics including women’s health and development, community health care, non-profit management, social innovation and youth development. She has worked for Temasek Trust, helping Fortune 500 companies develop their Asian philanthropy strategy.
Prior to moving to Singapore in 2010, Crystal was President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Shield of California Foundation, where she oversaw the distribution of more than $100 million in grants. As a senior advisor to the Marguerite Casey Foundation, she supervised programmes aimed at helping poor families break the cycle of poverty. She also established the Medi-Cal Policy Institute, a public policy think-tank that created Health-e-App – one of the first Web-based public health apps in the U.S.
Crystal is a graduate of Yale University and Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.
Ms. Elisa Kang
Benefiit – An Association for Impact Investing, Singapore
Elisa Kang is Co-founder and member of the Executive Committee of Benefiit, a non-profit Swiss association with the mission of making impact investing accessible. She is also a Director of Kinara Capital Holdings (Singapore) Pte Ltd, an SPV investing in a social enterprise in India. Elisa has 14 years of wealth management experience and was part of the global team originating Impact Investing at UBS in the Asia-Pacific region. She is currently based in Singapore.
Ms. Elizabeth Nair
COMO Foundation, Singapore
Elizabeth Nair is from the COMO Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the COMO Group that includes luxury fashion retailer Club 21, hospitality company COMO Hotels and Resorts and the holistic wellness brand COMO Shambhala. She also oversees Sustainability for Club 21 in Singapore and manages the global Club 21 Scholarship.
Her philanthropic experience includes strategic grant management in the fields of gender equity, income generation, health, technology, education and entrepreneurship. Her corporate sustainability experience focuses on customer engagement, corporate partnerships, employee engagement and talent development.
Elizabeth holds a Bachelors in Environments from the University of Melbourne.
Mr. Essa Al Mannai
Reach Out To Asia (ROTA)
Under Essa Al Mannai leadership, the organisation has led a variety of initiatives in Asia. The projects often involve education leadership and teacher training, as well as sports, environment and skills development initiatives. ROTA recently collaborated with reputable organizations in rehabilitating 22 schools in Gaza. ROTA has also signed a partnership with the Asian Football Confederation as part of a strategic plan to integrate sports as a tool in education. In Pakistan and Nepal, some 3,000 students benefitted from a youth development program through football. Among its many other initiatives, ROTA has led adult literacy trainings, youth leadership programs, and a competition for young writers in Beirut. Many teachers and students benefit from ROTA’s Knowledge Network Trainings and workshops.
Mr. Al Mannai is also a member of the INEE minimum standard group since 2010.
Mr. Fernando Zobel de Ayala
President & COO
Ayala Corporation, Philippines
Fernando Zobel de Ayala is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Ayala Corporation, one of the Philippines’ largest conglomerates with a portfolio in real estate, financial services, telecommunications, water, electronics, automotive, international investments, business process outsourcing, power generation and transport infrastructure. He is also board Chairman of Ayala Land and Manila Water Company, Vice Chairman of the executive committee of Bank of the Philippine Islands, and board member of Globe Telecom.
He is co-Chairman of Ayala Foundation, the non-profit arm of Ayala Corporation which develops projects in education, arts and culture, and the environment. He also holds positions in the following philanthropic organisations: Board member of Caritas Manila, the foundation of the Roman Catholic Church, The National Museum, The Pasig River Rehabilitation Advisory Board, Pilipinas Shell Foundation and Habitat for Humanity International. He is also the Chairman of Habitat for Humanity’s Asia Pacific Capital Campaign steering committee.
Mr. Zobel de Ayala belongs to the following business organisations : Harvard Club of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines, Philippine- Singapore Business Council and Pilipinas Shell Corporation. He is also a member of the INSEAD East Asia Council and the World Presidents’ Organisation.
Mr. Zobel holds a Liberal Arts degree from Harvard College and a Certificate in International Management from INSEAD, France.
Mr. Francis Wong
Regional Director, Asia Pacific
Alzheimer's Disease International, Singapore
Francis Wong is the Regional Director, Asia Pacific, for Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI). Based in Singapore, this regional office supports 18 member associations in the region including Greater China, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. In his role, Francis led efforts to foster collaboration amongst member associations, strengthening their capabilities, and reaching out to non-member countries.
Prior to his work with ADI, he worked with the Centre for Non-Profit Leadership. With experience in the profit sector as well, Francis also held various corporate roles in Deutsche Telekom, 3M Singapore and IBM Singapore.
Ms. Gina Dafalia
Policy and Research Manager
Walk Free Foundation, Australia
Gina Dafalia is the Policy and Research Advisor for the Walk Free Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to end modern slavery in our generation by mobilising a global activist movement, generating the highest quality research, enlisting business, and working with government to drive change in those countries and industries bearing the greatest responsibility for slavery today. To date, the Walk Free Foundation is one of the fastest growing movements in the world having mobilised over 7, 8 million supporters against modern slavery. Its flagship report is the Global Slavery Index which estimates the number of people in modern slavery country by country.
Besides advising on policy and research at the Walk Free Foundation, Gina was recently one of the lead authors of Slavery in Supply Chains: A Guide, a tool that outlines concrete steps for companies, businesses and governments who want to eliminate the risk of forced labour and slavery in their supply chains.
Prior to the Walk Free Foundation, Gina worked for over 15 years in policy and communications for the United Nations – notably UNICEF and the World Health Organisation. One of her roles at UNICEF was to support the coordination of regional communications for children and HIV in Macedonia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Serbia working alongside stakeholders in governments and civil society. Gina also spent 5 years at UNICEF in London, working with global media and managing communications for corporate partnerships. She was also advisor to the World Health Organisation supporting them to develop a strategic plan for their anti-alcohol initiative.
Gina started her career as a journalist and producer for the Greek National Television where she travelled the world investigating, documenting and raising awareness of human rights violations.
Ms. Heather Grady
Senior Fellow of Global Philanthropy
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, USA
Heather Grady is a Senior Fellow, Global Philanthropy, for the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA), a non-profit organisation that provides consultancy and management services to individuals and institutions to create effective philanthropy around the world. In this role as Senior Fellow, as an Advisor to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and a consultant to the United Nations, Heather has successfully worked to include philanthropy in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, an example of the type of collaboratives that RPA supports.
Previously, she served as Vice President, Foundation Initiatives, for the Rockefeller Foundation. As a member of the Executive Team, she helped to set the strategic direction for the Rockefeller Foundation, and managed a diverse programme team in New York, Bangkok and Nairobi. She was also the Managing Director of Realising Rights: The Ethical Globalisation Initiative, and an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University.
Securing two decades of experience, Heather managed development and humanitarian programmes for Oxfam Great Britain and Save the Children in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. She writes on philanthropy and her latest publications include the UN-commissioned paper Philanthropy as an Emerging Contributor to Development Cooperation.
Ms. Huyen Nguyen
Thriive Hanoi, Vietnam
Huyen Nguyen is Co-Manager of Thriive Hanoi, Vietnam. Thriive provides philanthropic capital to small businesses for production equipment, boosting growth and job creation. ThriiveCapital is paid forward with business-donated job training, products, and services to needy people in challenged communities. This approach increases prosperity for businesses and offers a sustainable way out of poverty for the most vulnerable by creating jobs and providing important donations. Huyen is in charge of Thriive Hanoi’s due diligence process, capacity building for Thriive businesses, and raising funds for Thriive Vietnam.
Huyen Nguyen obtained her joint Master degree of Business Administration from Troy University, USA and VNU University of Economics and Business. She has considerable experience working with Pearson Education, Asia Pacific, The World Bank in Vietnam, and the Irish Embassy. She is interested in researches on education, philanthropy, social enterprise, social innovation, and social impact.
Ms. Jane Binks
Director of Philanthropy
National Heritage Board, Singapore
Jane Binks is the Director of Philanthropy for the National Heritage Board, where she has directed the fundraising efforts of the NHB’s major institutions for the last 4 years. Previously, she served three years as the head of fundraising for the National Museum of Singapore. Prior to joining the NHB, she lived in Malaysia and France working as a consultant for one of France’s leading e-learning companies.
Jane graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz with a BA in English Literature and took her Masters in Management, Economics and Politics at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, where she specialised in environmental economics and policy.
The foundation for her professional life was laid at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the third largest of its kind in the United States. Since then, she has worked for organisations in the arts, environment and education sectors. As the Executive Director of the Tule Elk Park Project in San Francisco, California, she helped found the San Francisco Green Schoolyards Alliance, a network of schools, students, parents and civic, political, and community leaders – this organisation is now entering its 12th year.
With over 15 years experience in strategic planning, project management and capacity building, she has worked with diverse groups of stakeholders in the United States, Asia and Europe, giving her a deep understanding of the issues and challenges facing the philanthropic community.
Jane is on the Fund Committee of the Centre for Non-Profit Leadership and the Client Advisory Board of WealthX. She also works with NVPC and CASE to help support and advocate for capacity building in the non-profit sector. For 4 years she held board positions with the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Singapore Chapter.
Mr. Jeffrey Falkenstein
Vice President of Data Architecture
The Foundation Center, USA
Joining the Foundation Center’s publishing staff in 1992, Jeffrey Falkenstein now serves as Vice President of Data Architecture, managing the publications and editorial databases of the Center. Established in 1956, the Foundation Center is the global leading source of information about philanthropy, connecting communities and individuals to provide resources, data, analysis and training. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on global grant-makers and their grants, serving more than 450 funding information centers, community foundations, and educational institutions around the world. It also develops research, education and training programmes to advance knowledge of philanthropy.
A seasoned researcher, writer, editor, and taxonomist with more than 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector and 20 years of database publishing experience, Jeffrey is the principal editor of dozens of directories on philanthropy. He oversees the global data-gathering efforts supporting The Foundation Center’s Foundation Directory Online and Philanthropy In/Sight platforms. These products and services are generated from the Center’s vast custom database, including records for over 100,000 grant-making institutions and over 3 million grants to non-profits worldwide.
Ms. Jennifer Alcorn
Senior Programme Officer
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA
Jennifer Alcorn is a Senior Programme Officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading Private Donor Engagement. She leads a team that develops partnerships with private donors, philanthropists, and foundations. These collaborations accelerate the development and delivery of health and development tools that improve and save lives amongst the world’s poorest populations. Joining the Foundation in 2008, Jennifer led its work in the Middle East and developed its Private Donor Engagement model.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Jennifer served as a Director of Partnership Operations with the United Nations Foundation. In this role, Jennifer developed public-private partnerships in the bid to tackle global health, energy and climate change, water, and other issues important to the work of the United Nations.
Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and Historic Preservation from Ursuline College.
Ms. Jenny Santi
Philanthropy Advisor & Author
Saint & Partners, Singapore
Jenny Santi is a trusted philanthropy advisor to notable ultra high net worth philanthropists, celebrity activists and foundations worldwide. Through her work she helps her clients channel their wealth, power and influence towards social good. By age 28 she became the Head of UBS’s award-winning Philanthropy Services department in Southeast Asia, and within less than a year of independent practice at her consulting firm Saint & Partners, already serves clients including an Oscar-winning actress, signatories of the Buffett-Gates Giving Pledge, and several prominent foundations in the USA and Switzerland.
She has organised numerous events convening leaders in philanthropy and civil society, and led together with INSEAD the largest study on Asian family philanthropy. A former university lecturer, she is a frequent media commentator and event moderator on the topic of giving. Jenny did her MBA at INSEAD and Wharton; and graduated summa cum laude from the Ateneo de Manila University. She has attended New York University’s Heyman Center for Philanthropy & Fundraising, and is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy. She is the Regional Advisor to Asia at the (Goldie) Hawn Foundation, a Mentor at The HUB in Singapore, a Social Entrepreneur in Residence at INSEAD, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Philanthropy in Asia Summit in Singapore.
She splits her time between Singapore and New York City, and is the author of “The Giving Way to Happiness: True Stories and Science Behind the Transformative Power of Giving,” coming soon from Penguin Random House.
Mr. Jolovan Wham
Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME), Singapore
Mr Jolovan Wham is a social worker and Executive Director of the Humanitarian Organization for Migration Economics (HOME), a non-governmental organisation based in Singapore which deals with issues concerning migrant worker’s rights and welfare.
HOME runs shelters, help desks, hotlines, education, research and campaigns. After completing his undergraduate studies in Social Work at the National University of Singapore, Jolovan played a key role in the founding of the organisation and running its current programmes and initiatives.
Mr. Jose Luis Oquiñena
Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation Inc., Philippines
Jose Luis Oquiñena is the current Executive Director of Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation Inc. He pioneered the work of Gawad Kalinga (GK) with founder Tony Meloto, with the mission to end poverty for 5 Million Families by 2024. The GK Roadmap to End Poverty begins with dignity restoration and continues on to include community empowerment, access to mainstream opportunities and basic services, and eventually to character building and good citizenship. We do this not only by working closely with the poor as they journey out of poverty but by creating a bigger platform whereby we could attract more volunteers and partners from all sectors of society, thereby helping more people.
As executive director Luis led the organisation to build more than 2,000 communities in nearly every province in the country within a 10 year timeframe. He led the organisation and its volunteers in the relief and reconstruction efforts in the areas affected by disasters like the 2013 Bohol Earthquake, Zamboanga siege, and Typhoons Sendong, Pablo, Haiyan to name the recent ones. Apart from his duties as executive director of GK; he is currently directly heading GK’s Movement Building campaign, which was able to raise 1.7M volunteers from April 9 – June 12, 2014 during GK’s annual event called the Bayani Challenge.
Ms. Kathy Lai
National Arts Council, Singapore
Kathy Lai leads the National Arts Council (NAC) of Singapore as its Chief Executive Officer. Her role entails spearheading the development of the arts in Singapore by building a vibrant arts sector, developing a plausible creative economy and cultivating excellence among Singapore’s arts community.
Kathy is also a Director of The Singapore Arts School Ltd, National Gallery Singapore and the Singapore Art Museum. She serves on the Economic Development Board’s Lifestyle Committee, the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Place Management Coordinating Forum, the Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth National Integration Working Group for Community, the Centre for Liveable Cities Stakeholders Steering Committee under the Ministry of National Development & the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, and the Advisory Committee of the School of Hospitality at the Republic Polytechnic.
Prior to her appointment at the NAC, Kathy served as Assistant Chief Executive Officer of International Enterprise (IE) Singapore for five years. Kathy also played a key role in monitoring trade policy developments and developing commercial outreach programmes through her role as Regional Director and Counsellor for Economics in Washington D.C.
Mr. Kok Heng Leun
Drama Box Ltd, Singapore
Kok Heng Leun is the Artistic Director of Singaporean theatre company Drama Box, and a prominent figure in both the English and Chinese-language theatres in Singapore. Thus far, he has directed over 60 plays, including Kuo Pao Kun’s Spirit Play, Forum Theatre Trick or Threat!, HERstory (Singapore Arts Festival 2011) and Drift (Singapore Season 2008).
Heng Leun strongly believes in engaging the community in his works to promote critical dialogues about the world we live in. He is one of the most important theatre practitioners in Singapore advocating applied and engaged arts. Known to be one of the most respectable Forum Theatre practitioners in Asia, he has also ventured into multi-disciplinary applied and engaged arts projects such as Project Mending Sky which deals with environmental issues and PRISM which looks at issues of governance in Singapore.
In recent years, Heng Leun has been actively advocating cultural exchanges and dialogues among artists and cultural workers in the region as well as internationally. He has also taken up teaching, curatorial and dramaturgical roles in many projects.
Heng Leun also strongly believes in the importance of research and documentation of theatre and performance. In recent years, he has initiated various projects to document and research on Chinese language theatre in Singapore, including SCENES – Singapore’s Chinese Language Theatre, a curated festival programme of theatre and exhibitions, a published anthology of contemporary Singapore Chinese language plays, and currently a publication on the history of Singapore’s Chinese language theatre.
He received the Young Artist Award from the National Arts Council of Singapore in 2000 and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Culture Award in 2003. In 2006, he was presented the Outstanding Young Person (Culture) award in recognition of his contribution to the local arts scene.
Mr. Laurence Lien
Community Foundation of Singapore
Laurence Lien is the Chairman of the Community Foundation of Singapore and Lien Foundation. He is also the Deputy Chairman of Caritas Singapore, Vice-President of the Centre for Non-Profit Leadership and Board Member of the Lien Centre for Social Innovation.
Previously, he was the Chief Executive Officer of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre and a former Nominated Member of Parliament, advocating for the social sector and civil society in Parliament.
Formerly the Director of Governance and Investment at the Ministry of Finance, Laurence served 14 years in the Singapore Administrative Service, as different positions in the Ministries of Community Development, Youth and Sports, Home Affairs and Education.
Laurence holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, a Masters in Business Administration from the National University of Singapore, and a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. In 2010, Laurence was awarded the Eisenhower Fellowship.
Ms. Lisa Genasci
The ADM Capital Foundation, Hong Kong
Lisa Genasci established The ADM Capital Foundation (ADMCF) eight years ago for the partners of a Hong Kong-based investment manager. The purpose was to create an innovative philanthropic fund for the ADM Capital partners and others who want to give effectively and securely in Asia in two areas: Children at Risk and Environmental Causes. Lisa now leads a team of 12 with a clear focus on impact, providing strategic support and funding to 22 non-profit organisations working with some of Asia’s most marginalised children and on environmental challenges facing the region.
ADMCF has guided philanthropic investments of more than US$15 million to provide more than 150,000 children with access to education, vocational training, healthcare, nutritional support, and development programmes. ADMCF also has spearheaded innovative environmental initiatives in areas as diverse as China’s water crisis, Hong Kong’s air pollution, deforestation in Indonesia and combating shark fin consumption.
Before working in the non-profit sector, Lisa reported for the Associated Press from New York and Brazil. Her articles have appeared in leading U.S. newspapers, including the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Miami Herald. Lisa holds a Bachelor’s degree with High Honours from Smith College and an LLM in Human Rights Law from Hong Kong University.
Mr. Li Wangsheng
ZeShan Foundation, Hong Kong
Mr Wangsheng Li is president of ZeShan Foundation and a Senior Synergos Fellow. Mr Li has over 20 years in the non-profit sector and has been active in capacity building for NGO development and philanthropy.
Prior to joining ZeShan, he was the associate director of the Yale-China Association and directed the Association’s China Office. He was programme manager at MetLife Foundation, the corporate philanthropy arm of America’s largest life insurer, responsible for a US$45 million funding portfolio for arts, culture and public broadcasting. He directed one of the largest public legal services programmes in New York City before that. Early in his career, Mr Li taught in universities in China and the US, and served on the editorial boards for a number of publications.
Mr Li is a frequent speaker on a wide range of topics including corporate citizenship, charity law, NGO and social development, knowledge management, catalytic philanthropy and innovative approaches in grant making, and strategic partnership building. Most recently he served as a Guest Editor for and a contributor to the September’14 issue of the Alliance magazine on talent management for philanthropy. Mr Li earned his BA from the Beijing Institute of Foreign Languages (now Beijing University of Foreign Studies) and obtained an MA from SUNY Stony Brook University (New York). He also pursued graduate work in non-profit management and policy analysis.
Ms. Lynda Hong
Singapore Environment Council
As Manager at the Singapore Environment Council (SEC), Lynda Hong is in charge of communications, raising environmental awareness at the grassroots level, and supporting environmental stories in Singaporean mass media.
Garnering seven years of experience as a reporter with MediaCorp, Lynda reported primarily for Channel NewsAsia, 938LIVE and TODAY, focusing on general and business news. During the height of the haze pollution in 2013, Lynda worked with organisations like the Singapore Business Federation to produce news for Singapore Business Tonight bulletins on Channel NewsAsia.
Prior to joining the SEC, Lynda studied advanced Chinese at the National Taiwan University on a two-month course. Lynda was awarded a Bachelor of Arts (Media Studies) by the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University in 2000, after completing a diploma in Mass Communications at Ngee Ann Polytechnic in 1999. Bilingual in English and Chinese, Lynda was also awarded a specialist diploma in translation from Nanjing University in 2007.
Prof. Mak Yuen Teen
NUS Business School, National University of Singapore
An Associate Professor of the National University of Singapore Business School, Professor Mak Yuen Teen has extensive experience leading philanthropic organisations. As a member of the Charity Council, he chaired the subcommittees that developed and refined the Code of Governance for Charities in Singapore. Prof Mak currently serves on the judging panel for the Charity Governance Awards and as an advisor to the Charity Council on a charity transparency index. He is also a member of the audit advisory committee of UN Women, based in New York. He has also served as Chairman and Deputy Chairman of two large healthcare charities in Singapore and has recently joined the board of a newly incorporated charity focusing on children with special needs and their families.
Prof Mak is a regular commentator on governance issues in the corporate, public and people sectors. He holds a First Class Honours and Master degrees in accounting and finance, a PhD in accounting and is a fellow of CPA Australia.
Mr. Marco Cochrane
Marco Cochrane Sculpture, Inc., USA
Marco Cochrane was born in to American artists in Venice, Italy in 1962 and raised in Northern California in the midst of the political and cultural movement of those times. As a result, Marco learned respect for oneness, balance and the imperative to make the world a better place. In particular, he identified with the female struggle with oppression and saw feminine energy and power as critical to the world’s balance. In his 20s, on a dare, he explored sculpting and discovered both his ability to capture human emotion and energy and the power of art to amplify, particularly with his monumental series, The Bliss Project.
Self-taught, for more than 20 years Marco sculpted in clay and cast in bronze, primarily women who chose their own poses…their own expressions. Then in 2007 he attended the Burning Man Festival and was inspired to take his art and his message in a new direction, he just did not yet know how. In 2009 he returned, and it was then he realised how he could enlarge his sculptures to monumental proportions while maintaining their integrity, thus magnifying their impact.
For The Bliss Project Marco chose three ¾ life-size sculptures of model Deja Solis. Bliss Dance appeared at the Festival in 2010, Truth is Beauty in 2013 and R-Evolution is currently in production. It takes two years, multiple collaborators from different disciplines, dozens of volunteers, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to bring one of these sculptures to fruition. They are true community/collaborative projects from beginning to end.
Marco believes that the time we have to solve the problems that threaten our existence on this planet is running out, and that the key to finding real lasting solutions is bringing feminine energy into balance with male energy: a global shift, already underway.
Mr. Marcos Athias Neto
Director, Innovations and Development Alliances Group
Marcos Athias Neto is a Cluster Leader for the Innovations and Development Alliances Group (IDAG) in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). He formerly served as the Global Technical Advisor for Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Risk Reduction as well as the Regional Development Officer for the Northeast U.S. at ChildFund International.
Marcos also spent 17 years working with CARE International, in positions such as Director of Partnerships and Special Initiatives and Climate Change and Sustainable Livelihoods. Gaining extensive experience building partnerships with individuals and communities at CARE International, Marcos focused his work on climate change collaborations as well as strategic plan development in establishing CARE’s presence in Brazil. He became CARE Brazil’s first National Director, working to build the organisation’s fledging management structure, including its first Board of Directors, first programmes and communications strategy, and articulating its strategic vision. From 2006 to 2008, Marcos served as Programme Director in CARE Central America, directly overseeing a portfolio of $25 million and 250 staff.
Marcos is a lawyer by training, with a LLM in Law and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London.
Ms. Melissa Kwee
National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, Singapore
Melissa Kwee is the third Chief Executive Officer of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC). As the spokesperson for a wide range of causes, she has been involved in mobilising resources and people to aid in community development. She has assumed roles as the Chairman of Halogen Foundation, a youth leadership organisation and President of UN Women Singapore (formerly known as Unifem Singapore), where she tackled trafficking issues and initiated various community campaigns to engage and empower youth as advocates.
She received the Singapore Youth Award in 2007 and Asean Youth Award 2008 for her leadership and service. To help teenage girls on probation reintegrate into society, she set up Beautiful People, a programme of Beyond Social Services, which pairs mentors with teenage girls to offer guidance, life skills, and friendship.
Upon returning to Singapore, she started Project Access — a values-based leadership education initiative to inspire and equip girls and young women to be role models for positive change.
Her career has spanned the public, private and community sectors as anthropologist, researcher, educational programme designer, social innovator and most recently as a catalyst in the private sector. She has served on the ITE Board of Governors, Board of Crest Secondary School and Prison Fellowship International.
She holds a degree in anthropology from Harvard College and received a Fulbright Scholarship to study ethnic-based community leadership in Nepal. She most recently acted as Chairman of the investment firm for Capella Singapore and Vice President, Human Capital, at Pontiac Land Group.
Mrs. Mildred Tan
National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, Singapore
Mildred is Head of Advisory Services at Ernst & Young Advisory Pte Ltd with over 25 years of business advisory experience.
She has extensive experience in business advisory including organisational development and restructuring work. She has led client engagements in the areas of strategic visioning and organisational restructuring, performance management systems, human resources, and strategic and development initiatives. She has been key in designing many change interventions including communications, workshops and leadership development programmes.
Active in community work, Mildred is the Chairperson of the Businesses for Families Council and PSD International Advisory Panel (Prime Minister’s Office). She is also a council member of the Singapore Cancer Society and sits on the Boards of Esplanade Co Ltd, Media Development Authority of Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism (Ministry of Education). Mildred was conferred Justice of the Peace in 2008 and was awarded the PBM (a public service medal) in 2007. She was nominated Member of Parliament in Singapore from 2009 to 2011.
Mildred is a graduate member of the British Psychology Society. She completed her postgraduate M.Ed at Sheffield University and her HR Executive Program at Cornell University.
Ms. Mrinalini Venkatachalam
Programme Manager - Public Awareness and Youth Initiatives
Singapore Committee for UN Women
As a Programme Manager at the Singapore Committee for UN Women, Mrinalini Venkatachalam coordinates and executes all Public Awareness activities and Youth Initiatives. She leads efforts to generate awareness amongst the youth and public in Singapore on often neglected women’s issues, such as the many roles of women in society, respect for migrant women in the house, the incidence of violence against women, trafficking of women and children, and other issues that affect us all, in an environment where they can so easily be forgot due to the affluence Singapore enjoys.
Mrinalini has more than nine years of experience in the non-profit sector. Prior to her appointment at the Singapore Committee for UN Women, she has contributed by creating communications to generate awareness on mental health and improve the lives of the mentally ill through capacity building and sustainable livelihoods. She was also involved in initiatives that advocate accessibility and equal rights for people with disabilities through public interfaces and sign language training, generate awareness on Solid Waste Management through radio programmes, and awareness camps at local schools and slums in India.
Ms. Naina Subberwal Batra
Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, Singapore
Naina is currently CEO of the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network. The AVPN is a non-profit membership association established in December 2011 and comprises organisations interested in or currently practising venture philanthropy in Asia. The association is a unique funders network that looks at increasing the flow of financial, human and intellectual capital to the social sector. AVPN’s diverse membership currently counts 168+ members from 27 countries, from a wide range of sectors, including social investment, private equity, engaged grant-making foundations, advisory firms, academia and private banks.
Prior to joining AVPN, Naina was a member of the senior leadership team of a purpose driven unit of The Monitor Group, a leading global strategy consulting firm, aimed at catalysing markets for social change. Her experience prior to Monitor encompassed various human resource roles ranging from working with Citibank in Mumbai, to working in KPMG’s consulting practice in Dubai. She has also worked as an HR consultant with Resource Management Technologies, a startup providing HR advice to a wide range of companies.
Naina was also partner and Co-Founder of Group Fifty Private Ltd, curating contemporary Indian art with a view to provide a medium for upcoming and established Indian artists to showcase their work directly to a large and diverse audience
Naina has a master’s degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University where she graduated at the top of her class. She also holds a bachelors’ degree in Economics and International Relations from Mount Holyoke College, Massachusetts, USA and a General Course Diploma in economics from The London School of Economics.
Naina lives in Singapore with her husband and two children. She believes strongly in giving back to society and has been a longstanding volunteer with Ummeed, an organization focused on children with developmental disabilities.
Mr. Parminder Singh
Managing Director, Southeast Asia & India
Twitter Asia Pacific, Singapore
Parry is responsible for building Twitter’s business in countries experiencing dramatic user growth. He is also driving the next stage of revenue growth in the Middle East, and exploring commercial opportunity for Twitter in India. Before joining Twitter, Parry spent six years with at Google in India and Singapore. Most recently, he served as Managing Director, APAC for Google’s display business, where he was responsible for driving the growth of the Google Display Network in the region. Earlier, he worked at IBM India, including as head of marketing for hardware division and as head of sales and marketing.
Parry is a physics graduate from Delhi University and holds an M.B.A. in marketing from University Business School in Chandigarh. He is @parrysingh on Twitter.
Ms. Poesy Liang
Artist & Founder
Helping Angels, Malaysia
Poesy Liang is a Taiwanese-Malaysian multi-disciplinary artist, design entrepreneur and award winning humanitarian. She suffered from spinal tumours since 17 years old and overcame paralyses twice, as a walking miracle.
Her main calling brought her to found Helping Angels 善行天使, a global Facebook movement of compassion that activates random acts of kindness since 2007. Poesy also shaved her head at the 64th Cannes Film Festival for Bald Empathy Movement causing a domino effect in several countries. Currently she illustrates a short animation film in Singapore and composes its soundtrack, while she prepares for upcoming art shows and exhibitions.
Ms. Prapti Upadhyay
Consultant - Philanthropy
Lien Centre for Social Innovation, Singapore
As a consultant at the Lien Centre for Social Innovation, Prapti Upadhyay Anand led a 2-year research study on philanthropy culminating in the “Levers for Change: Philanthropy in select SE Asian Countries” report.
With experience in strategic philanthropy, community development and non-profit management, Prapti previously consulted with the SingHealth Foundation, where she developed a grant monitoring and evaluation framework for the foundation. Prapti also served at The California Endowment, where she was responsible for disbursing and managing an annual grants portfolio of approximately USD10 million, designed to improve community health and related health and human services in the Northern California area.
She has worked with community organisations, think tanks, and in academia on diverse issues including public health, sustainable community development, women’s empowerment and economic development. She holds a Masters in Communication Management from the Annenberg School at The University of Southern California, as well as a Master’s in Sociology from Tribhuvan University, Nepal.
Dr. Ramaswamy Akhileswaran
HCA Hospice Care, Singapore
Dr R Akhileswaran has specialised in Radiation Oncology and Palliative Medicine. After treating cancer patients for 16 years as a Radiation Oncologist, he switched to Palliative Medicine 13 years ago. He joined HCA Hospice Care in 2001 as its Medical Director and became its CEO and Medical Director in 2007. HCA Hospice Care runs Singapore’s largest home hospice service and takes care of 850-900 patients with life limiting illnesses and their family caregivers at any given time in their own homes. It also runs two day hospice centres for patients who are stable and able to spend the day outside of their own homes.
Dr Akhileswaran is also involved in teaching medical students, doctors and specialists, nurses and psychosocial staff. He has spoken in local and international conferences and published his work in international journals.
He is current Chairman of the Singapore Hospice Council (SHC) and is involved in increasing the awareness of hospice and palliative care in the community. SHC is also involved in implementing the National Guidelines for Palliative Care in tertiary hospitals, community hospitals, nursing homes and community services.
Ms. Ramya Nageswaran
BridgeAble and Focus India Forum Giving Circle, Singapore
11 years ago, Ramya Nageswaran founded Focus India Forum in Singapore, a giving circle that raises funds and awareness for charities in India. In 2013, she also co-founded BridgeAble, an organisation that connects various stakeholders in the social sector through philanthropy, volunteerism and active community engagement. Ramya is an associate Counselor with Wings Counselling Center.
With her in-depth knowledge of and passion for the development sector, she was also acknowledged when she was selected as one of the top five nominees for the SONY-IWA woman of the year award 2014.
Ramya is a lawyer from India who has worked in the U.S, Zurich and Singapore. She is also an author who has published over 35 short stories in Tamil, co-authored a book in English and a book in Tamil. Her stories have received several recognitions: most notably, the Golden Point Award in 2003 and from the National Arts Council, Singapore, in 2011.
Mr. Rob John
Visiting Senior Fellow
Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy, NUS Business School, Singapore
Rob is a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy, NUS Business School, Singapore and an independent consultant specialising in entrepreneurial social finance and social entrepreneurship.
Following a career spanning 15 years in international development, Rob directed an Oxford-based venture philanthropy fund, which had earlier seed-funded many successful non-profits, including Oxfam and Action Aid.
He was founding executive director of the European Venture Philanthropy Association and contributed to research on venture philanthropy in Europe as a fellow at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Said Business School in Oxford. In 2010 he co-founded the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN), based in Singapore, to build a community of venture philanthropy funds serving Asia’s social entrepreneurs.
He is currently a global advisor to Social Ventures Hong Kong and an advisory board member of The Conference Board. His current research interests include innovation in Asian philanthropy; including giving circles, impact angel investing and how new models of philanthropy influence corporate giving.
Rob is based in Cambridge and Singapore.
Ms. Sandhya Chellapilla
Senior Manager - Partnership Development
Sandya Chellapilla is the Senior Manager of Partnership Development at ActionAid India, responsible for developing partnerships with multilateral/bilateral institutions and companies to increase the impact of
ActionAid’s work. ActionAid India works with the most marginalised communities in the country, working on issues of land and livelihoods, urban poor issues, women and child rights, social justice for the marginalised, and building solidarity with organiations in the global South.
Currently, she is working on addressing forced labour in six states of the country, including tackling forced child labour trafficking. Sandhya brings previous experience of working on such projects since 2005 with industries such as the garment manufacturing sector to this team.
Prior to joining the international development sector, Sandhya worked with market research companies including Kantar and Nielsen. Her main areas of interest include trafficking for forced labour, clean supply chains and the role that companies could have in preventing forced labour and trafficking. Sandhya is a graduate of the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai.
Mr. Stefan Nachuk
Rockefeller Foundation, Thailand
Stefan has over twenty years of experience in international development programme design and management, strategic planning, and team leadership in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Senegal. His areas of technical expertise include poverty reduction, social protection, institutional analysis, health, health systems, governance, climate resilience, micro-finance, and capacity building.
As a member of the Rockefeller Foundation, Stefan is responsible for strategic planning and daily management for key elements of a $115 million initiative addressing global health systems, and plays a role in monitoring and supporting the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network.
Stefan has designed and managed a portfolio of health programmes at the Rockefeller Foundation, and have conceptualised and built two significant facilities: the Center for Health Market Innovations (CHMI), a facility to identify and analyse health innovations globally, and the Joint Learning Network for Universal Health Coverage (JLN), a nine country South-South technical learning network that the World Bank wants to absorb as a new means of fostering knowledge and innovation for Universal Health Coverage. In addition, he has played a key role in establishing the first dedicated donor group focused on non-state health actors: Harnessing Non-State Actors for Better Health for the Poor (HANSHEP).
Prior to this, Stefan was a Senior Poverty Specialist with the World Bank in Indonesia, and was responsible for poverty/governance issues within the World Bank’s interdisciplinary Poverty Team of six senior analysts.
Stefan has a B.S. in Labor Relations for Cornell University, and an M.A. in International Development from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Ms. Susan Sy
Executive Director, Philanthropy & Values-based Investing, South Asia
UBS AG, Singapore
Ms. Suzy Hutomo
The Body Shop, Indonesia
Suzy Hutomo is CEO of The Body Shop Indonesia.
In 1992, she and her husband acquired a license from The Body Shop, a global body care brand from UK founded by Anita Roddick, who was also very much concerned about gender and environmental issues. Suzy Hutomo believes that business should be concerned with far more beyond mere profit. Business is but a link in the chain of planet, people and profit.
Suzy believes when the environment is damaged, no business will be able to survive. This understanding led this mother of three to call upon the society and its business practitioners to care for the planet and social environment.
Suzy is a climate presenter with Al Gore’s The Climate Reality Project since 2011. She is the Chair of KEHATI – the Indonesia Biodiversity Foundation and is on the Board of Greenpeace South East Asia. Her commitment for environment is implemented by hands-on involvement in various NGOs.
Mr. Tao Ze
China Foundation Centre
As the Co-founder and Vice President of the China Foundation Center (CFC), Tao Ze is in charge of organisational operations and external relations that focus on coordinating the information of around 4,000 Chinese foundations and overseas partners. He also leads CFC’s local and regional efforts to manage China Foundation Transparency Index, an influential tool that rates all domestic foundations based on information disclosure. His expertise centers on non-profit management and electronics & business administration. Prior to his leadership at CFC, Tao Ze was the Vice President of NPP, China’s first venture philanthropy fund initiated by McKinsey, Ogilvy, and Deloitte, and worked in Brazil as the project manager of Ashoka Foundation.
Tao Ze has completed a certificate programme in Global Entrepreneurial Leadership at Stanford University, and Philanthropic Leadership at Harvard University. He received a master’s degree from Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, and a Bachelor’s from Zhejiang University. Tao Ze currently sits on the board of Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support (WINGS) and is the Senior Fellow of Synergos Institute.
Ms. Tara Dermott
Technical Project Leader
International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Thailand
Tara Dermott is the Technical Project Leader for an exciting new initiative at the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. Until recently, Dermott was a member of the senior management team at MTV EXIT, the world’s largest behavior change communication campaign to end human trafficking, positively impacting millions of people across Asia. Dermott has more than ten years of experience in the international development sector, acquired primarily in Southeast Asia and with an emphasis on the prevention of human trafficking and exploitation. She has worked with a variety of non-government organisations against Trafficking-in-Persons, including South East Asia Investigations into Social and Humanitarian Activities (SISHA); The Asia Foundation; Polaris Project and World Education.
Mr. Tariq Cheema
World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists, USA
Tariq Cheema is a renowned social innovator and philanthropist who has devoted his life to making world a peaceful, equitable, and sustainable place for all. He is the founder of the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists, a global network of affluent individuals, foundations and socially conscious corporations dedicated to advance effective and accountable giving. He received his M.D. from the University of Istanbul, earned a Certificate of Advanced Study in Philanthropy at Loyola University Chicago, and was awarded fellowships by the Rockefeller Foundation’s prestigious Next Generation Leadership Programme, the Bellagio Initiative, the Salzburg Global Seminar, the Madinah Institute of Leadership and Entrepreneurship, and the New Westminster College. He holds expertise in the domains of impact philanthropy and investing, strategic corporate giving, value innovation, and crisis management. Dr. Cheema ranks among the 500 most influential Muslims impacting the world today.
Serving in senior non-profit management posts since 2005, Dr. Cheema has extensive experience of working with world leaders, grant-makers, and corporate executives. He offers advice to HNW individuals and policymakers on social investment, speaks at high-level forums, and sits on multiple boards. In addition to his philanthropic endeavors, he is the principal shareholder of Southeast Business Group (SBG), a multinational social enterprise dedicated to promote trade between the emerging economies.
Over the past two decades, he has contributed to the development of numerous successful social initiatives such as Global Donors Forum, Doctors Worldwide; Diversity Forums; US National Network for Diaspora Giving; Academy of Philanthropy; Indo-Pak Peace Network; and Muslim Science, Technology, Innovation initiative aiming to develop a “Knowledge Ecosystem” for economic and social benefit in OIC member countries. He also is a member of the Committee of 100 of Lingshan World Philanthropy Forum of China and the former Executive Director of Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA).
Mr. Todd Stevens
Executive Director, Global Initiatives
Wildlife Conservation Society, USA
Todd Stevens is the Executive Director of Global Initiatives at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a global conservation non-governmental organisation that saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. Todd is in charge of WCS’s work on four global initiatives that link conservation science and solutions to on-the-ground implementation across WCS field programmes in 55 countries: Climate Change, Conservation and the Quality of Human Life, Ecosystems Services, and Business and Conservation. Such programmes include the Conservation Enterprise Development Fund (CEDF), which supports conservation-friendly enterprises in the market, benefiting both people and wildlife.
Previously, Todd was a Project Leader at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), specialising in non-profit management and strategy development for global charities. He had also worked in the investment banking and private equity sectors.
Todd holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Virginia and a PhD in History from Princeton University, where he also taught for two years. He studied and worked in China for two years as an undergraduate and graduate student.
Ms. Trina Liang-Lin
Singapore Committee for UN Women
Trina Liang is the president of the Singapore Committee for UN Women, a self-funded Singapore-based organisation aimed at supporting local, regional and global programmes that provide women and young girls with access to leadership development, economic independence and a life free of violence and abuse. Recent innovative campaigns launched include Girls2Pioneers, aimed at providing young girls across Singapore with the tools to access careers in the male dominated fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and Project Inspire, a multi-award-winning initiative that presents 18-35-year-olds worldwide with an opportunity to win a US$25,000 grant to assist an existing organisation which supports women and girls in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East or Africa.
Ms. Usha Menon
Usha Menon Management Consultancy (Asia), Singapore
As Executive Chairman of the Usha Menon Management Consultancy, Usha Menon is an experienced consultant working exclusively with the social-purpose sector across Asia. She has been advising, training, and inspiring non-profit leaders and philanthropists for more than 27 years, helping to improve their business performance in areas of leadership, management, fundraising and philanthropy. Her clients include national, regional and international organisations, including charities, foundations, associations, social enterprises, think-tanks, educational and health institutions, UN agencies, and governmental departments.
Prior to establishing her consultancy in 2009, Usha has held leadership positions at the National Council of Social Service’s Community Chest in Singapore and Habitat for Humanity International–Asia Pacific. She also serves on the organising committee of various capability-building events and awards across Asia and on Boards of charities. She previously volunteered as the Chair of the International Board of The Resource Alliance.
Usha has co-authored and curated the Asian section of the book on Global Fundraising, and a chapter on Indian Diaspora for ‘Revealing Indian Philanthropy.’ Her blog Asian Insights is well-followed by non-profit leaders globally. She also authored ‘Social Media for The People Sector,’ an online publication in collaboration with the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), Singapore.
Ms. Veronica Colondam
Founder & CEO
YCAB Foundation, Indonesia
Veronica Colondam is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of YCAB Foundation, an organisation that aims to provide hope and opportunity to underprivileged youth through educational provisions, capacity building and welfare creation. To date, YCAB has impacted the lives of more than 2.5million youth and is aspired to reach ten million by 2020.
Veronica has also pioneered the socially responsible investment programme in Indonesia that allows social investors to invest with a near-market rate return and a five-year pay-back period. The investment is made through YCAB Co-operative that runs the conditional micro-finance where education is made the pre-condition to the loan. To date, YCAB Co-operatives has disbursed more than 120,000 loans thus increasing clients’ income from the average of U$1.8 to U$3 per day following a two year intervention and bringing thousands of school dropouts back into education.
Through her leadership, YCAB ranks 74 out of 100 in the Global Journal’s Top World NGOs (2013). YCAB Foundation is also one of the few NGOs in Asia to receive the UN-ECOSOC Special Consultative Status, and achieving ISO certification for quality assurance.
Veronica serves as a member of the international board of INSEAD Social Entrepreneur Global Council and Microsoft Youth Council, and she actively participates in the WEF’s Young Global Leaders alumni network. She is the youngest recipient of the UN-Vienna Civil Society Award (2001), named Asian of the Year by Channel News Asia (2009), Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year (2011) and Schwab Social Entrepreneur of 2012 and Forbes 48 Asian Philanthropists (2014).
Veronica holds an undergraduate degree in mass communications and earned her MSc from Imperial College and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Diseases. She also studied social entrepreneurship at INSEAD, Global Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School and Impact Investment at Oxford Said Business School.
Lives in Jakarta with her husband, together they have three teens.
Mr. Von Hernandez
Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Philippines
Von Hernandez is the Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia (GPSEA). Previously, he served as Campaigns Director for the organisation, leading the group’s campaigns in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines on a number of issues including climate change, forests, sustainable agriculture and toxics pollution.
An environmental activist for more than 20 years, Von initiated a number of campaigns in the Philippines including the approval of landmark laws such as the Ecological Waste Management Act and the Clean Air Act. He also spearheaded campaigns to rehabilitate the Pasig River as well as efforts to clean up toxic sites in former US military bases in the country. He founded various environmental coalitions at the national and international levels including the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA), Waste Not Asia, Lakbay Kalikasan, the Ecowaste coalition, and the Sagip Pasig Movement.
In 2003, Von was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for his work which led to the first national ban on waste incineration. In 2007, he was also included in Time Magazine’s Heroes for the Environment. Von graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of the Philippines and recently completed his Master in Public Management degree at the National University of Singapore.
Mrs. Watanan Petersik
Lien Centre for Social Innovation, Singapore
Watanan Petersik has been in the finance industry for over 30 years. During her banking career, she held senior management positions in research and banking for a series of European and American banking firms in Bangkok and Hong Kong. Since then Watanan has been a Senior Advisor for TPG Capital, a private equity firm. She currently sits on the Board of CIMB Thai Bank and CIMB Group in Malaysia.
Watanan is a Senior Moderator for the Aspen Institute, active with the Aspen Global Leadership Network in South Africa and the U.S. She is also on the Board of the Lien Centre for Social Innovation at Singapore Management University, and is a member of the Ashoka Support Network in Asia. Watanan was on the Finance Committee for the working group of the National Masterplan for Social Enterprises in Thailand in 2010.
Ms. Zhang Tingjun
Co-Founder & Director
The Chain Reaction Project
Zhang Tingjun is the Co-Founder and Director of The Chain Reaction Project (TCRP), a nonprofit organization based in Singapore that uses adventure as a platform to raise funds, human capital and public awareness for critical social issues. Started in 2009 by Tingjun and three other women, TCRP has grown exponentially in the past four years into an international movement of team-based volunteerism, civic engagement and community development.
Having been trained for 10+ years as an elite national-level athlete, Tingjun’s unique background led her to contemplate the possibility of using sports as a medium to make a greater impact on society. By tapping into a growing culture of athleticism and exploration, TCRP has created a platform that harnesses such energy into doing good.
In addition, Tingjun serves as a Council Member in the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA), engaging policy makers, academics and government leaders in dialogue on issues related to humanitarian work, youth engagement, and cross-sector collaboration. She is a frequent contributor and moderator at forums, roundtables and discussions with global participants for organizations such as UN Women, Philanthropy in Asia, and the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre.
Tingjun is a former National Netball player for Singapore, competing in international events such as the Commonwealth Games, World Championships and Asian Games. She was trained as a broadcast journalist and news producer with Channel NewsAsia, a leading cable news network in Southeast Asia. She holds a B.A. degree in Psychology.