Meet the Team


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 long been passionate about issues of justice and about fighting structural inequalities relating to gender, access to technology, poverty and livelihoods.



Audrey Lee (Senior Programme Manager)

Audrey has a postgraduate diploma in Communications from the University of Leicester (2006) and a LLB (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 Uprety (Programme Manager)

Shanti has a Masters in Sociology (MA) and Masters in Business Studies (MBS) from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Shanti has previously worked with South Asia Partnership International where she was involved in policy research and advocacy for women’s political rights in South Asia. Prior to joining IWRAW Asia Pacific, she worked with Plan International, Nepal where she focused on strengthening advocacy strategies and capacities of partners and coordinating global campaign on girls’ rights. Since 2013, Shanti has been working with IWRAW Asia Pacific coordinating programmes on women’s economic, social and cultural rights and women’s rights in conflict and post-conflict contexts.

Constanza Pauchulo (Programme Manager)

Constanza has a Masters in International Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Masters in Social and Political Thought from York University. She coordinates IWRAW Asia Pacific’s programmes on the impacts of corporate power, (un)sustainable development, and macroeconomics on the realisation of women’s human rights and gender equality. Prior to joining, Constanza practised as a civil litigator in Toronto, Canada, advising on complex commercial disputes and regulatory matters. Her professional and academic experience includes working with legal clinics, NGOs, academic institutions, and multilateral organisations on women’s rights, indigenous and rural community rights, labour and migrant worker rights, refugee rights, the protection and security of human rights defenders, and international justice. She speaks English, Spanish, and basic French.

Nine (Programme Manager)

Nine has a Masters (Hons) in Sociology with Gender Studies from the University of Edinburgh, and a background in the sex workers’ rights movement. She has extensive experience as a freelance editor, covering academic papers, magazines, novels, non-fiction books, and publications by NGOs. After three years of leading IWRAW Asia Pacific’s communications, she took on coordination of its programme on borders and their impact on women’s human rights. She speaks English, Spanish, French, and intermediate Malay and Portuguese.

Marisa Hutchinson (Programme Officer)

Marisa joined the IWRAW Asia Pacific team in January 2020 from the beautiful island of Barbados. She has an academic background in Chemistry and Gender and Development Studies from the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill. Marisa coordinates IWRAW Asia Pacific’s programmes on environmental justice and rights of marginalised groups of women. Prior to joining, she worked locally and regionally on gender issues affecting women, with a focus on gender-based violence survivors and their children, at-risk girls and LBQ women. She has also been involved in international advocacy with UN mechanisms, focused on combating gender-based violence and the invisibility of LBQ women.

Kavitha Devadas (Programme Officer)

With a background in participatory research and approaches, Kavitha has worked on health, gender/sexuality and climate change with grassroots movements and international humanitarian organisations. She has Master Degrees in Development Studies (IDS, University of Sussex) and in Human Rights (Ethiraj College, India), with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science (Loreto College, India). Kavitha is particularly interested in exploring storytelling as a tool for social change through art, research, and communications within the development sector.

Vashti (Programme Officer)

Vashti enjoys involving themself in transfeminist movements locally, regionally and globally for trans and gender-expansive young folx in all their diversity. Siya is finishing her MA in Women and Development at the University of the Philippines Diliman and has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of the Philippines Manila. Vashti loves to watch and participate in grassroots community theatres, improvs, stand-up comedies, drag shows, dance recitals and other forms of performing arts. They are currently coordinating IWRAW Asia Pacific’s Forging Intersectional Feminist Futures (FIFF) project and looking forward to fun, collaborative work with FIFF consortium partners.

Nadia Mohd Rasidi (Communications Officer)

Nadia has a PhD in American Studies from King’s College London where her academic interests centered on race and popular culture in a contemporary context. Prior to joining IWRAW Asia Pacific, she worked as an independent rapporteur and researcher and collaborated with local and international organisations on a wide range of projects including documentaries, activist trainings, and feminist publications.



Evelyn Loh (Administration and Finance Manager)

Evelyn received her professional qualification with Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) UK. She is a financial professional, fellow member of CIMA and a member of the Malaysia Institute of Accountants. She has broad experience of working with multinationals operating in the US, UK and Asia Pacific. She has extensive financial and managerial background in accounting, financial and tax reporting, strategic planning and budgeting, treasury and human resource and ERP implementation.

Phang Lai Yoong (Administration Officer)

Lai Yoong joined IWRAW Asia Pacific in March 2013. With a background in accounting, she worked at various positions during the previous 21 years at the Centre for Independent Journalism, the Malaysian Nature Society and a legal firm.

Zahirah Zainal (Administration and Finance Officer)

Zahirah is a graduate of LCCI and CAT (ACCA) 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.




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