Meet the Team

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Claire Naylor-Trein | Executive Director

Claire brings a decade of experience cultivating young women’s leadership in Asia, along with expertise in nonprofit management, resource mobilisation, and programme design and evaluation, to Wedu. She has championed Wedu’s work since 2013 as a talent spotter and mentor and served as ED since 2021.

 

Prior to running Wedu, Claire co-founded Women LEAD Nepal, and under her leadership, the organisation grew from a pilot project to an award-winning, girl-led, multi-national organisation. Claire earned an MSc in Impact Evaluation from the University of Sussex, a BSc in Gender and International Development from Georgetown University, and is a certified executive coach and divemaster.

 

In partnership with the boards, Claire leads Wedu’s programmes, operations, and growth to usher in a world where half of all leaders are women.

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Aarati Rao | Regional Executive Director

Aarati is an intrapreneur with over 11 years of global experience in organisational leadership, education policy and impact measurement in various capacities across geographies. She has led strategic initiatives with Leadership Accelerators such as Teach for India, Global Citizen Year, and the Latin American Leadership Academy, enabling them to scale. Leadership, gender equality, and inclusion have been the overarching themes throughout her career. She has actively participated in various initiatives, such as AIESEC, Education Pioneers, Global Shapers, volunteered for the Paralympics, and served as a Climate Ambassador to Antarctica through the Leadership on the Edge program.

 

Aarati holds a master’s in International Education Policy from Harvard University, is a certified Yoga & Mindfulness instructor and an Advanced Open Water Diver. As the Regional Executive Director, she collaborates with the Executive Director and boards to successfully implement Wedu’s strategy and achieve widespread impact in closing the gender leadership gap.

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Sara Nisar | Leadership Development Programme Manager

Sara is passionate about design, culture, and education. She draws on over a decade of experience in creative expression, community engagement, and leadership development to spearhead leadership trainings at Wedu.

 

Most recently, Sara led Acumen’s leadership initiatives in Pakistan, focusing on designing learning experiences for social impact innovators. Previously, she worked with PeaceNiche/T2F and Salt Arts, promoting inclusive discourse through intellectual and cultural engagement. She has also taught courses exploring design and social entrepreneurship at the University of Karachi. Her passion for gender equality has led her to become a founding curator for the WOW – Women of the World festival in Pakistan and design an illustrated publication for young adults featuring stories of fifty exceptional women of the country.

 

Sara is an Acumen Fellow and holds a bachelor’s degree in design from the Department of Visual Studies, University of Karachi.

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Sidra Amin | Mentorship Programme Manager

Sidra brings over seven years of experience leading programmes and fostering partnerships within the startup ecosystem in Pakistan and the MENA region. Her expertise lies in the intersection of gender, technology, and social entrepreneurship. She has supported over 700 entrepreneurs across the region, facilitating growth, scale, and gender lens investment readiness. Sidra will draw on these experiences to lead and scale Wedu’s signature mentorship programmes.

 

She also co-founded Daastan, Pakistan’s self-publishing startup, which leverages technology to promote literature, publishing over 200 books in print and onboarding 3000+ writers worldwide. Sidra strongly believes that community engagement is at the centre of impact and is an active community builder, building multiple thriving communities of readers and young women writers across Pakistan.

 

Sidra is a Women’s Impact Alliance fellow and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Mechatronics Engineering from UET Peshawar.

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Naw Khine Thazin Ni Win (Dah) | Mentorship and FISA Coordinator

Dah has over four years of experience overseeing the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the programmes focusing on advancing women’s leadership.

 

As Programme Coordinator of Wedu, Dah leads mentorship and education financing programmes, supporting the individual and collective resilience of refugees from Myanmar who live in camps along the Thai-Myanmar border with mentoring, ensuring the Mentorship Programmes for women in Asia run smoothly; and helping women leaders achieve their post-secondary education goals on their own terms using Income Sharing Agreements to overcome financial barriers. Prior to joining Wedu in 2021, she worked with the under-represented ethnic minority women from Myanmar to foster their leadership growth, upgrade their soft and hard skills, and increase their awareness of social and political issues.

 

Dah also serves as an advisor at the local mentorship initiative – SheOwner Business Mentorship Programme in Myanmar to support minority women, mothers and girls from rural areas with mentoring and training. She holds a BA (Honours) in Human and Organisational Development and a minor in General Psychology from the Education University of Hong Kong.

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Juliana Shrestha | Community Engagement Coordinator

Juliana is a storyteller and facilitator, passionate about issues related to gender, education and travel. She brings rich experience of working in diverse fields related to women’s empowerment including research, communications, community engagement, entrepreneurship and management. She graduated from the University of Sheffield with MA Intercultural Communication and International Development in 2021, as a Chevening Scholar.

 

Drawing from personal experience of leadership development through travel, Juliana co-founded Duluwa Outdoors, an experiential learning curator that offers travel and outdoor experiences for Nepali womxn.

 

She joined Wedu as a Rising Star in 2020 and now leads Wedu’s Community Engagement to facilitate conversations and inspire collaborations within the community and beyond.

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Aina Eriksson | Marketing & Communications Manager

Aina Eriksson is a Filipina-Swedish communicator passionate about intercultural translation and fostering hybrid knowledge systems. She brings over seven years of experience in strategic science writing, policy engagement, youth activism and digital campaigning in the Nordics, South Africa, and the Philippines.

 

Interweaving her background in law (LLB) and development communication (MA) she applies an intersectional approach to her work, carefully considering local conceptualizations and multiple realities when crafting strategies for community work. Her career highlights include lobbying for seed freedom in Cape Town, crafting a digital campaign brought to COP26 on the role of artists in climate action, and coordinating the United Nations One Planet Network on Sustainable Lifestyles and Education.

 

She leads strategic communication initiatives to elevate Wedu’s impact and mobilise gender equity advocates in closing the gender leadership.

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Jo Badong | Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Jo is a digital marketer with over five years of experience supporting social impact organisations navigate the digital world so they can maximize their real-world impact. She specializes in designing integrated marketing campaigns, conducting marketing research, and running paid media campaigns.

 

Jo is an activist and a firm believer in the power of digital and the arts to bring inclusive change. Some of her notable work include digitizing Filipino artists’ works during the COVID-19 lockdown and volunteering as an art literacy instructor for displaced indigenous children. She has been recognized for her contributions through competitive fellowship programmes such as the inaugural UNESCO Creative Economy cohort by the University of London and UnionAid’s Mindanao Young Leaders Programme implemented by the Victory University of Wellington, New Zealand.

 

At Wedu, Jo leads overall brand communications strategy and champions Wedu’s work through public relations, media production, and digital fundraising efforts. 

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Babita Karmacharya | Finance & Admin Officer

Babita brings over four years of experience specialising in international development finance in Nepal, along with a firm belief that once equal opportunities are provided to women, every sector will start experiencing incomparable growth and development. Babita holds a BBA in Management from Pokhara University and an MBA in Finance from Purbanchal University. She leads Wedu’s accounting and finance functions and oversees global operations.

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Bidhya Maharjan | Marketing and Communications Associate

Bidhya brings over five years of experience in building and nurturing audiences online through uniquely tailored social media campaigns and media products, including podcasts. She is a firm believer in listening to your listeners, and her work utilizes social media as a venue for impactful real-life and virtual conversations. Bidhya carries on these skills at Wedu, amplifying our social media presence and inspiring people to take action towards closing the gender leadership gap.

 

Bidhya is completing her Master’s Degree in English Literature at Tribhuvan University, Nepal. She has researched and written extensively about entrepreneurship and media policies. Additionally, her ongoing research examines the ways Nepali women travellers navigate evolving gender norms. She also serves as the Vice President at Women LEAD Nepal, a feminist NGO that provides young women with knowledge, resources and skills to become leaders.

Hồ Thị Kim Hằng ( Ho Thi Kim Hang-Vietnam)
Thi Kim Hang Ho | Leadership Programme Intern

Kim is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Global Economics with a Minor in Business Intelligence at Sunmoon University, Korea, with the Global Korea Scholarship 2020. She has extensive experience in Private Equity Investment Research, data analytics, and project management. As a Manager at VietAbroader, a nonprofit organisation empowering Vietnamese youths, she spearheaded initiatives to guide students in their career paths, organised online events, and expanded study abroad opportunities. Additionally,  the ‘Folktale – Một ít chuyện con nít’, which she is the co-founder of,  has published more than four thousand gender-equal fairy tales in Vietnam. Beyond her professional accomplishments, Kim  is deeply committed to leadership and community development.

As a Rising Star and Leadership Programme Intern at Wedu, she supports in managing and organising programme data, administrative processes, and ensuring the overall success of the programmes.

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Zahra Nur Aliya | Leadership Programme Intern

Zahra is a researcher and community organiser with over three years of experience in gender equality with civil society organisations across Southeast Asia. She started Girl Up in her campus and now serves as Research and Advocacy Lead for Girl Up Southeast Asia. A passionate advocate of human rights, elimination of violence against women human rights defenders, and FemTech, she has managed several sharing programmes regarding intersectional feminism and social justice practices for over 300 young feminist activists. She is committed to learning, speaking, writing, and taking actions in order to create a world that is safe for women and marginalised people. She continues her passion for gender equality by supporting Wedu’s leadership programmes, including mentorship for women leaders in Asia at Wedu. 

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Lieu Cam Tu | Leadership Programme Intern

Jenny graduated from Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam with a Bachelor Degree of International Relations, which gave her a comprehensive view of the intersection of international affairs with gender equality and sustainable development. Her motivation for making change in her community, Jenny joined Wedu to further expand her knowledge on supporting women’s leadership and make Wedu’s work more widely known. Jenny has previously worked with the United Nations, gaining experience in project management and communications. Jenny aspires to make a career in social impact. With Jenny on board, Wedu’s community engagement team will facilitate conversations and inspire collaborations with Wedu’s leadership community and beyond.

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Sanjima Jugjali Pun | Marketing and Communications Intern

Sanjima Jugjali Pun is an undergraduate Media Studies student at Kathmandu University. She has over two years of experience in communications and marketing with youth-led and women-centred organisations, like AIESEC and Women LEAD Nepal. More recently, she created social media collaterals, including podcast covers and short-form videos for feminist media start-up Boju Bajai as its Communication Assistant. She hopes to utilise her graphic design skills and knowledge of various social media platforms to elevate Wedu’s communications.

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Naw Laura Htway | Mentorship for Refugees Intern

Laura is a Rising Star and Mentor at Wedu and has been a part of our leadership community since 2020. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from the Asian University for Women, with a minor in Gender Studies. Driven by her lived experience as a refugee, Laura is deeply dedicated to positively transforming migrant and refugee communities.

 

At Wedu, Laura supports operations for our programme, Mentorship for Resilience and Leadership in Refugees, in partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC). She also facilitates community engagement with refugees based in camps along the Thai-Myanmar border.