Co-founder & Chief Empowerment Officer
Mario brings innovation and experience in leadership development and social entrepreneurship. He is a former Senior Advisor for Energy Investments for Greenpeace and a former Senior Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Advisory as well as Acumen Fellow. Previously he worked on the post-disaster relief effort after the earthquake on January 2010 in Haiti and trade promotion from small medium enterprises working in China. He holds a Master in Economics and Management from University La Sapienza and a MSc in Development Management, from the LSE. He has been studying and working in Italy, Finland, Ireland, United Kingdom, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Haiti, India, United States, Cambodia and Thailand.
Regional Executive Director
Irum brings 20 years of experience in risk management, social-enterprise, and impact measurement to Wedu. Prior to joining Wedu, Irum worked as Director of Impact and Analytics at PayActiv, a Silicon Valley based fintech start-up that delivers financial wellness for minimum wage workers in the US. Irum is an actively engaged with the B-Corp and Conscious Capitalism movement, and an ardent advocate of sustainable business practices. She has also served as a mentor for TechWomen and an on-going member of the Techwomen community in Silicon Valley. Previously, Irum had co-founded a micro heath-insurance social enterprise that introduced an employer-sponsored health insurance model for contract and domestic workers in developing economies. Irum has an MBA from the Lahore University of Management Sciences and has spent her formative career in investment banking and enterprise risk management in the US and Pakistan.
Jhakraphan (Timmy) has been involved in the development of administration and operation management for multiple companies in Thailand in coordination with international entities and personnel. With experiences and connections in building and growing companies in Thailand, he designs, implements and facilitates Wedu’s ongoing administrative, accounting and support operations. Timmy holds an MSc in Computer and Engineering Management and a BBA in International Business Management from Assumption University.
Director, Strategic Partnerships and Programmes
Elizabeth is responsible for developing and scaling Wedu’s leadership development program and impact evaluation systems. Previously, Elizabeth worked as the Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist for the VVLead Fellowship Program at Vital Voices Global Partnership, an international NGO that provides leadership and technical training to women leaders around the globe. Elizabeth received her Master’s degree in International Economic Affairs from the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University in Washington, DC and has conducted and published research on global women’s leadership networks as well as women’s artisanal sectors in Rwanda and Colombia.
Regional Partnership Manager
Tchissole brings experience in talent management, training and career development. In the last 11 years, she successfully collaborated in corporate HR in one of the world’s leading oil and gas companies, and later worked as an external consultant to the sector. She strongly believes social entrepreneurship is the key to solving most social issues and is particularly enthusiastic about advancing women’s and girl’s equality agenda. Tchissole is a true global citizen, having lived from a young age in China, Angola, England, Dubai and Malaysia. She has a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance Management and HR from University of Leicester and holds a B.A in Sociology from University of Gloucestershire.
Shaan Suhas Kumar
Outreach and Community Coordinator
Shaan hails from Bhopal – central India, and is passionate about working on education, gender and environmental issues. A graduate in media studies, she started her career as a part of the prestigious Teach For India Fellowship where she served as a teacher and mentor to children from underserved communities. She then worked in roles encompassing leadership development training, communications and freelanced with organisations in the field of eEnvironment on various projects. She was the representative of India for Miss Earth in 2017 and has also worked with/served as an ambassador for international organisations like WWF, Climate Reality, Climate Tracker and the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary.
FISA Operations Coordinator
Suzana, a Rising Star since 2015, from Chittagong, Bangladesh. With a Bachelors degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics with a minor in Development Studies from the Asian University for Women. She specialises in International Relations and Gender Studies and has lead several projects, campaigns, and events on national and international levels to advocate for women’s empowerment, gender equality and sustainable development goals. In her role as FISA Operations Coordinator, she will be advancing Asia’s first FISA fund and supporting continued partnerships for Investments in Education.
FISA Operations Manager
Lokesh has always been passionate about education and is a strong believer that it is pivotal to sustainable development. He holds a BSc in Business Management from Imperial College London and brings seven years of experience in the fields of education, franchising, operations and training. In his previous role as an Area Manager at Kumon UK, Lokesh managed franchisees who ran their own Maths & English study centres, enabling them to grow their businesses whilst developing children’s potential. At Wedu he’s leading efforts to build strategic regional partnerships and growing Investments in Education by developing Asia’s first FISA fund. Besides Bangkok, Lokesh also calls Madrid, London and Mumbai home.
Programme Coordinator (Cambodia)
Saren is an advocate for girls’ education and women empowerment. She has spoken about the issue in various international platforms such as the UN headquarters in NY, Asia Society Texas Center in Texas and a round-table event in NY where she shared the stages with the First Lady of Japan, Akie Abe and the former First Lady of the UK, Cherie Blair. Saren has led Dare and Dream, a project which provides mentorship and leadership programmes to support girls’ education in Cambodia. Previously, she worked as a research consultant for UNICEF, General Assembly of Cambodia, BBC Media Action, Family Health International (Fhi 360), and Nuppun Institute for Economic Research. She obtained her Bachelor degree from Asian University for Women, Bangladesh in Asian Studies and holds dual masters degrees from Brandeis University, America in International Development and Conflict Resolution.
Saren will bring experience from leading Dare and Dream and her research and networking expertise to support the expansion of Wedu in Cambodia.
Chit Aein Thu
Chit is an advocate for education, youth empowerment and gender equality. Chit earned her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and her graduate diploma in Systems Analysis from the National University of Singapore. Chit is now in Myanmar promoting education through technological means. She also volunteers as a speaker to the youth in Myanmar who may seek motivational life advice or counsel. Carrying the same passion over to Wedu, Chit strives to empower women and provide mentorship to young individuals everywhere so that they can make a difference in their communities.
Nalindra Annalia Pelekai
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Nalindra has extensive experience working with government, non-government and international organisations, and managing projects and programs that support the development of ASEAN youth and community. Passionate in transforming ideas into action, she creatively built up her portfolio and exposure in global development with innovative, solution-based approaches. She is also a digital media enthusiast and is excited to create communication strategies and content that motivate positive behaviour and social change. She believes that everyone has a role in shaping the world and is committed to connecting people in collaborative opportunities to be the avenues of change.
Qistina’s passion lies in social change, youth and women empowerment. She has extensive experience working across multiple sectors including government, consulting and think tanks on development issues. Among them include, having conducted research on social movements in Malaysia and Thailand, Malaysia’s Role in South-South Cooperation and assisted in a study to develop women’s economic empowerment indicators. She previously worked on an ASEAN youth initiative that involved regional workshops and summits in Southeast Asia, bringing her skills in project management, intercultural relations and public outreach to Wedu’s programming. She recently obtained her Master’s Degree from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex.