Staff

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Priyanthi Fernando 

Priyanthi has a Masters Degree in Mass Communications from the University of Leicester and a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. A social development and communications professional with over 30 years of experience both in Sri Lanka and overseas, she has worked in the areas of technology, infrastructure and poverty. She has worked in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Yemen, the UK and Australia and has led several organisations: the Centre for Poverty Analysis, an independent Sri Lankan think tank; the International Forum for Rural Transport and Development, a specialist global network and the Sri Lanka country programme of Intermediate Technology Development Group (now called Practical Action), the Sri Lankan arm of an international NGO. Early in her career she worked with the Lanka Mahila Samiti, a grassroots women's organisation in Sri Lanka and more recently served on the Boards of several other civil society organisations including the Women and Media Collective, Sri Lanka. Priyanthi has been passionate about issues of justice and about fighting structural inequalities relating to gender, access to technology, poverty and livelihoods.

PROGRAMME OFFICERS

Audrey Lee (Programme Manager)

Audrey has a post graduate diploma in Communications from the University of Leicester (2006) and a L.LB (Hons) from University of Nottingham (1996). Prior to joining IWRAW Asia Pacific, she worked as a project manager and (policy) researcher in the private education industry and was also a researcher at the World Enterprise Institute, a policy organ working on socio-economic issues.

Shanti Upreti (Programme Officer)

Shanti has a Masters in Sociology (2006) and Masters in Business Administration (2005) from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu. Shanti’s involvement in women’s rights began with her work with South Asia Partnership International where she was involved in policy research and advocacy work for promoting women’s participation in politics in South Asia. Prior to joining IWRAW Asia Pacific, she worked as an Advocacy Coordinator with Plan International, Nepal where she contributed in areas of developing advocacy capacities of partners and coordinating Plan’s global campaign focused on girl child.

Sanyu Awori (Programme Officer)

Sanyu has a Bachelor of Law (LLB) and a Masters in Human Rights Law (with Distinction) from the University of Nottingham. Prior to joining IWRAW AP, Sanyu has worked for the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative based in Delhi where she focused on human rights advocacy in Commonwealth countries.  Sanyu has also researched for the Human Rights Law Centre in Nottingham and done community work with asylum seekers and refugees in the UK.

Michaela Guthridge (Programme Officer)

Michaela is a gender specialist, obtaining a Master of International Development (with Distinction, 2015) from RMIT University, Australia and a Bachelor of Arts (1999) from Monash University, Australia. Within her studies she has focused both on gender in development and international human rights. Prior to working with IWRAW-AP, Michaela worked in the NGO sector on evidenced-based research and advocacy projects (using victim/survivor-centred and feminist methodologies), particularly in relation to such gender-based issues as family violence, forced marriage, human trafficking and indigenous women's rights. Michaela is simultaneously committed to voluntarily supporting women's organizations where appropriate through membership on Boards and undertaking commissioned research. All Michaela's work is founded on advancing women's voices. 

Ishita Dutta (Programme Officer)

Ishita has a Masters in Law (LL.M.) from New York University School of Law, New York and Bachelor of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Law (B.B.A. LL.B), from Symbiosis Law School, Pune. Ishita has previously worked with the Bangladesh Legal Aid & Services Trust (BLAST), Dhaka where she focused on research, documentation and advocacy on women’s rights, specifically on addressing violence against women, and protecting sexual and reproductive health rights. 

Umyra Ahmad Fikri (Junior Programme Officer)

Umyra has a Masters degree in International Law from the University of Nottingham and a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from the University of Manchester. Umyra has previously acted as an assistant advisor at the Nottingham Citizens Advice Bureau and a student advisor at Manchester’s pro-bono legal advice centre. She has also assisted in carrying out research at a local Malaysian NGO, focusing on the rights of children in detention. 

ADMIN AND FINANCE TEAM

Pook Li Ping (Administration and Finance Manager)

Li Ping is a Chartered Accountant with the New Zealand Society of Accountants. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand and a Master in Pastoral Counseling from AOIC International College, Malaysia. She started off her career with PriceWaterhouse, Christchurch, New Zealand and had since worked more than twenty years with Multi National Companies in Malaysia to head the Finance, Information Technology and Human Resource departments.

Siti Norbaya (Accounts officer)

Baya joined IWRAW Asia Pacific in February 2013. A Graduate of Accounting from Uniten, Malaysia, she worked previously in a similar position at an international school in Kuala Lumpur.

Phang Lai Yoong (Administration Officer)

Lai Yoong joined IWRAW Asia Pacific in April. With a background in accounting, she has worked at various positions for the last 21 years at the Centre for Independent Journalism, the Malaysian Nature Society and a legal firm.

Zahirah Zainal (Junior Finance and Admin Officer)

Zahirah is a graduate of LCCI from Institut Profesional Baitulmal. After graduation, she worked as Audit Assistant at Ong Boon Bah & Co Chartered Accountant and as Administrative and Finance Assistant at the Malaysian Medical Association.