Airani Sasanti – Finance and Administration Officer
Born in Indonesia, Airani started working in 2008 as a content writer and journalist for the Visit Indonesian Year event. In that same year, she worked as an administrative assistant for the Kotak Hitam Forum, an independent organisation that focuses on research, workshops, and documentary film production for social change in Indonesia.
In 2015, she joined the documentary production house Banjarsari Film, where she worked as an assistant producer responsible for pre-production design and planning and as an Administration Coordinator for the film, ‘Di Kaliurang’.
As Administration and Finance Officer at EngageMedia, Airani’s role is to support the work of the Finance and Administration Coordinator, Operations Coordinator, and to provide logistical support to project managers.
Andrew Lowenthal – Co-Founder and Senior Advisor
Andrew has been working in the field of freedom of expression, open technology, and video for change for more than 20 years. His work traverses nonprofit and inter-cultural leadership, video production, network building, research, software development, social impact design, and event creation.
Andrew co-founded EngageMedia in 2005. As EngageMedia Executive Director, he has built multiple networks, overseen more than a dozen large-scale events and hundreds of workshops, and created a team of more than 30 people across nine countries.
From 2006 to 2008, he worked with the Tactical Technology Collective as their Participatory Media Project Lead, producing a series of open-source communications toolkits. Andrew was active in the global Indymedia network from 2000 to 2006.
Andrew has spoken at a wide range of events and locations, including Harvard, MIT, the Ford Foundation, the Stockholm Internet Forum, and the Singapore International Film Festival. His writing has appeared in the Oxford Journal of Human Rights Practice, the Institute of Southeast Asia Studies, the Network of Centers, and the Institute of Network Cultures. His video work has been screened at the National Gallery of Indonesia, Glasgow Center for Contemporary Art, and the Australian Center for the Moving Image.
Andrew is currently an Associate at the University of Tasmania. He was previously a Fellow at Harvard’s Film Studies Center and Berkman Center for Internet & Society, and MIT’s Open Documentary Lab. In 2015, he was a Ford Foundation JustFilms Fellow.
Md. Ashraful Haque – Digital Security Specialist
Ashraf is an information security expert based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Since 2008, he has been affiliated with different human rights networks across the world, and has worked with human rights organisations supporting digital protection for civil society groups, media organisations, journalists, bloggers, and activists. Today, he continues to support activists fighting for freedom of expression.
Ashraf graduated from Islamic University, Bangladesh, and started his digital security career volunteering with a gender and women’s rights group. He previously worked as a community manager with Safety First for Girls, and helped local activists to create a safe blogging atmosphere across Bengali cyberspace. Ashraf was also a Digital Integrity fellow with HIVOS, and had worked to localise digital security tools and resources in Bengali.
Charisse Joan Cao – Event Manager
Born in Manila, Philippines, Charisse has been working in events management for the past two decades.
Charisse began her career in events management in 2003. Among her recent projects are the 2022 presidential campaign of former Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo and the International Conference on Vaccination Programme Management for UN IOM in the Philippines.
Charisse’s expertise includes financial management, event logistics, technical set-up, and manpower deployment. During the pandemic, she expanded her knowledge of crowd control and additional health and security measures related to COVID-19. She currently holds a level 2 certification as a Safety Officer from Synerquest Management Consultancy Services Inc and she is a also a member of the Event Safety Alliance Organisation.
In her free time, Charisse loves to bake cakes and pastries. She also dabbles in photography at her leisure.
Debby Kristin – Digital Rights Program Assistant
Debby is a human rights activist from Batam, Indonesia. Before joining EngageMedia, she spent the last six years advocating for refugees’ rights in Indonesia. She holds a Master of Laws in Human Rights from Central European University in Vienna.
Debby’s undergraduate thesis on human smuggling in the country’s Rote Island led to an engagement with the West Java Province Government in Pangandaran, which had her sharing how refugees and asylum seekers are victims of transnational organised crime happening in its waters. She has also contributed to a number of national journals on human rights and irregular migration.
Aside from migration, Debby is also interested in the intersection of business and human rights, particularly on how trade-related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) protect the prolonged distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the Global South countries.
Demie Dangla – Video for Change Project Coordinator
Demie is an independent documentary filmmaker born in Manila, Philippines. Before shifting to film, she has worked as a journalist for both mainstream and alternative media. As a news writer for alternative media, she has written significantly on unfair labour practices among media workers and indigenous peoples’ and workers’ rights. She has also produced short documentaries for the ABS-CBN News Channel.
In 2017, she received a National Geographic Explorer grant for her documentary photography project exploring the effects of urban development and tourism on indigenous communities. In 2019, she shifted to filmmaking and started doing her own short films. In 2020, she participated in the Storytelling Development Lab of IF/THEN Southeast Asia. She is interested in creating social impact among communities through film.
Currently, she’s taking up Masters in Media Studies (Film) at the University of the Philippines.
Dylan Dellosa – Organisational Development Senior Manager
Dylan is an advocate for better stories, which he believes run the world. He has spent the last decade challenging narratives that entrench the status quo, whether in education, health, or relationships. A policy researcher by trade, he has worked to bolster evidence and garner support for landmark Philippine laws on K to 12 education and reproductive health. He continues to draw from his academic roots in the life and health sciences, and from his immersion in the diverse worlds of government, industry, academe, and development.
In addition to policy and advocacy work, Dylan mentors teams and individuals on research and learning, and on making better mistakes. He also advises startups and nonprofits on building empowered teams and running adaptive projects.
The pandemic has Dylan sheltering in his hometown at the foot of the fabled Mt. Makiling, where he gorges on feline fun, Mariah’s music, and, of course, good stories.
Faiz A. Naeem – Planning and Evaluation Specialist
Faiz is a policy researcher based in Delhi, India. He is passionate about transforming an organisation’s ability to deliver effective solutions that will have a better impact on the communities.
Faiz has collaborated with India’s top bureaucrats and has taken part in a number of impact assessment, monitoring, and evaluation studies for various national and regional government programmes. From 2017 to 2022, he worked for nonprofits, think tanks, academic institutions, and government agencies. In a recent study for a digital rights think tank, he revealed the necessity for legal-institutional reform to combat sexist hate online.
Faiz graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay with a postgraduate degree in public policy. When he is not working, Faiz enjoys watching comedy movies and a good cup of chai.
Jen Tarnate – Content and Engagement Manager
Jen is a Filipino filmmaker and photographer with 10 years of experience in directing and producing documentaries and entertainment programs for television and digital platforms in the Asia-Pacific and Europe. She holds multiple postgraduate degrees in documentary filmmaking from DocNomads at the University of Theatre and Film Arts Budapest (SZFE) in Hungary, Lusófona University in Portugal, and LUCA School of Arts in Belgium.
Jen’s work has been showcased at the Visual Documentary Project in Kyoto, Japan, and Nations in Visions, Vol. 1. in the Philippines. In 2018, she held her first solo exhibit on her long-term photography project about the local surfing community in Baler, Quezon province, the birthplace of Philippine surfing. In 2019, she was an ambassador for Edukasyon.PH and the Investing in Women initiative of the Australian government.
When not working, Jen enjoys the outdoors, cycling, surfing, and freediving.
Julie Soriano-Velasquez – Finance and Administration Manager
Julie is an eco-warrior who has spent a decade of developmental work related to the environment and good governance.
Her expertise includes financial management, procurement, travel management, financing and consultancy contracts, audit, event organization, and general administration.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy and was the Managing Editor of their university publication. As a student leader and activist, she advocated various issues, including a call for students’ rights and campus press freedom.
Julie also advocates change via environmental awareness and empowered parenting. She endeavours to empower women as catalysts of such shifts, as they play a significant role in most households.
Katerina Francisco – Editorial Coordinator
Katerina is a Filipino writer with a passion for creating social impact through multimedia storytelling. Before joining EngageMedia, she provided communications and fundraising support for US nonprofits, helping them tell better stories to sustain and scale their work. Katerina was also a journalist for Philippine news website Rappler, where she explored multimedia storytelling and research strategies in her roles as newscast writer, reporter, desk editor, and research head. Her work has covered a variety of topics, including politics and governance, human rights, and urban development.
Katerina holds a master’s degree in Development Studies from the University of Melbourne through an Australia Awards scholarship and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Ateneo de Manila University. Outside of work, she enjoys going through her never-ending list of new hobbies.
Khairil Zhafri – Digital Rights and Technology Manager
Khairil is a doer-maker from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, who is passionate about building communities and connecting ideas using tech and design.
He studied accounting, auditing, and finance at Lancaster University, and had stints in journalism and financial services during his years of trying to figure things out. Prior to joining EngageMedia, Khairil worked with start-up businesses and not-for-profit organisations on product development, digital transformation, strategic communication, and capacity building, amongst other things.
Khairil is a pop culture fiend and news media junkie who appreciates the good stuff and is not afraid of the bad stuff.
King Catoy – Video Manager
King is an independent documentary filmmaker and alternative media practitioner from the Philippines. His roots in activism started as a student leader in the University of the Philippines Los Baños, where he took up Development Communication. He studied 16 mm film documentary production at the Mowelfund Film Institute and co-founded the film collective Southern Tagalog Exposure in 2001.
In 2009, as the executive director of Mayday Multimedia, a video collective focusing on workers’ issues, he produced Ka Bel, a docu-drama about renowned labour leader Crispin Beltran. He became the multimedia director of the non-profit media group PinoyMedia Center, Inc. in 2012. During this time, he initiated the documentary series entitled Eskinita: Ang Alternatibong Ruta.
He was part of the founding secretariat of AlterMidya Network, a national network of independent and grassroots-based media outfits in the Philippines. He produced various short documentaries and led the technical direction of Altermidya’s multimedia program from 2016 to 2019.
Currently, King is completing an online program on Film and TV Industry Essentials from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Maria Karienova – Digital Rights Manager (Indonesia)
Maria has lived in Medan, Bali, Jakarta, Bandung, and London. However, she considers comfort food as her ultimate home. In the past five years, she has actively engaged in communications and development work, specialising in public outreach, community development, and inclusivity strategies. Among the projects, Maria has managed involved the cultivation of entrepreneurial knowledge and networks for young people in East Indonesia, organisational positioning to scale impact, and data preparedness in times of disaster. During her time with the United Nations Development Programme in Indonesia, she also supported the establishment of its Innovative Financing Lab, one of many platforms that will aid the fulfilment of UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Maria holds a postgraduate degree in Development Studies from SOAS University of London. Aside from international development, Maria is also concerned about the decolonisation of the mind and the politics of feminism in the Global South.
Meg Soriano – Executive Support Coordinator
Meg has lived in Manila, Philippines and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Prior to joining EngageMedia, she was the communications director of EduKonek, a citizen-led initiative that aims to provide mobile phones and data to Filipino public school students embarking on distance and blended learning. She used to work as a civil servant in the Philippines for almost 10 years in various capacities.
Meg graduated from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology.
Phet Sayo – Executive Director
Phet brings decades of experience in information, communications, and technology for development, and Internet governance. Prior to joining EngageMedia, he served 15 years as a Senior Program Officer at the International Development Research Center (IDRC). At the IDRC, his portfolio included work on access to connectivity, access to knowledge, digital rights and the right to privacy, field building for communications policy, platformisation and the future of work, and Artificial Intelligence for development.
While based in Asia, his scope included Africa and Latin America, also. Prior to his post with the IDRC, he led ICT for development initiatives as a programme specialist with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), including work on fostering the Free and Open Source movement in the Asia-Pacific.
Phet brings vast stakeholder engagement experience, including engagements with national level policy- and decision-makers, researchers, and advocates for social justice in the networked society.
Born in the Lao PDR, Phet immigrated to Canada in the late 70s. He is a Canadian national.
Phet holds a BA in Economics, from the University of Carolina, in Chapel Hill. He is currently undertaking a Master of Arts – Interdisciplinary Studies, at the Athabasca University.
Pradipa P. Rasidi – Digital Rights Program Officer (Indonesia)
Born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia, Pradipa is a digital and political anthropologist, always curious about technology and how people live with and through them. He received both his master’s degree in anthropology and bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Indonesia.
Pradipa’s interest in tinkering with tools and technology has led him to work in a variety of sectors: as a developer/designer in tech startups, as a digital media specialist in Parliament and with non-government organisations, and as an assistant researcher on digital anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. He also gained valuable experience from working with the youth group Youth Proactive to foster human rights and political participation during the divisive 2017 Jakarta elections.
Pradipa has written on rumours, political culture, and online propaganda. His works have been published by the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore and Inside Indonesia.
In his quiet moments, Pradipa can be found with either food, video games, or the viola.
Red Tani – Program and Advocacy Director
Red has advocated critical thinking, evidence-based legislation, religious freedom, and other human rights since 2009 when he founded Filipino Freethinkers. Their advocacy has been featured in Philippine and international media, receiving awards such as the Globe Tatt award and the Rappler Do More award.
His advocacy continues as a representative in the RH Law national implementation team, as a founding member of Philippine Safe Abortion Advocacy Network, and as part of various organizations working on sexual and reproductive health and rights, feminism and gender equality, and freedom of speech and religion.
Passionate about the power of stories and storytelling for advocacy, he shares fiction-based techniques for writing, speaking, and presenting in lectures and workshops around the Philippines.
He joins EngageMedia to develop ethical alternatives to mainstream social media, empowering advocates to tell impactful stories through video.
Rezwanul Islam – Communications and Outreach Coordinator
Rezwan has extensive experience in the field of citizen and social media. For more than 15 years, he has been writing for local and international citizen media sites and blogs. He is a longtime contributor to Global Voices, an international non-profit citizen media organization and leads its newsroom for South Asia. He previously worked as a member of the jury for the Deutsche Welle Best of The Blogs (BOBS) Awards and also worked for Al Jazeera Plus as a node editor for South Asia.
As a freelance researcher, translator, and consultant, he has contributed to different advocacy and human rights projects over the years. He has experience in developing communications strategies and campaigns for non-profits. In Bangladesh, his work experience includes serving as a consultant for the United Nations Development Programme in different projects, especially for Citizen’s Voice (Nagorik Kontho), a citizen journalism portal.
He has lived in several cities in the Asia Pacific region, such as Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Canberra, in the past decade.
Ria Anna Dimapilis-Vicente – Human Resources Manager
Ria brings with her 15 years of solid experience in corporate and strategic events, project management, and stakeholder engagement from international non-government organizations. She is also passionate about building teams with distinct expertise and diverse cultural backgrounds, as well as diplomatic protocol.
Born and raised in Laguna, she received her undergraduate degree (BS Agribusiness Management) and graduate school units (MM-Business Management) from the University of the Philippines at Los Banos (UPLB). Currently, she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Affairs with a concentration on Strategic Planning and Public Policy from the same university.
Ria loves to spend quality time with her family and looks forward to travelling again.
Sara Pacia – Communications and Engagement Manager
Sara is a Filipino journalist and multimedia storyteller at heart, passionate about utilising and appropriating today’s digital technologies for the empowerment of the public and the improvement of media and data literacy. After obtaining her journalism degree from the University of the Philippines, she worked as a Digital Content Editor for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, before receiving her master’s degree in Media and Communications (Data and Society) from the London School of Economics and Political Science as a recipient of the UK Chevening Scholarship.
Among her previous works are the Inquirer Kill List, a database on the fatalities of the Philippine drug war; Pinas to Paris, a multimedia report on climate change adaptation in the Philippines; and Mojo-Manual.org, a mobile journalism manual for journalists. She has also served as a consultant and a resource speaker for academic and civic organizations in the Philippines.
Stephanie Soares — Organisational Development Officer
Stephanie hails from the lush and tranquil island of Bermuda and she has ventured far and wide across the globe to satisfy her wanderlust. Prior to working with EngageMedia, Stephanie has dabbled in multiple sectors, as a customer service advocate, events facilitator, English language tutor, and radio jockey, where she learned new tricks and skills along the way.
Originally a Psychology student, Stephanie shifted her sights and career path into the realm of international studies and political science. She graduated from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in Manila, the Philippines with a degree in Consular and Diplomatic affairs. In April 2020, she completed an extensive research paper analysing the extent of the influence the Filipino LGBTQIA+ community holds on the policymaking process. Apart from her work experiences, Stephanie was a volunteer for Unang Hakbang Foundation.
Vino Lucero – Digital Rights Project Manager
Vino is a journalist based in Manila. He received his degree in Journalism from the University of the Philippines Diliman in 2015. Before joining EngageMedia, he contributed to investigative reports and data stories for the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) for more than four years. His writings earned him a finalist spot in the 2017 and 2019 Free Press Awards’ “Newcomer of the Year” category, making him the first Asian journalist to achieve such a feat.
Vino volunteers his free time to organize youth empowerment events related to civic participation and freedom of information (FOI). In 2019, he was recognized as the FOI Youth Advocate of the Decade during the FOI New Generation Awards for his years of advocating for citizens’ right to information as a student leader, as a journalist, and as a leading figure in Philippine youth organizations.
Yawee Butrkrawee – Digital Rights Manager (Mekong)
Born and based in Bangkok, Thailand, Yawee Butrkrawee has over seven years of experience working in and with government, international nonprofits, media, and think tanks. His work experience includes grant management and program coordination and implementation.
Over the years, Yawee has also contributed to a number of development and human rights projects through advocacy and evidence-based research on issues related to freedom of expression. His areas of expertise include internet freedoms, digital rights, media freedoms, and anti-fake news laws in Southeast Asia.
Yawee holds a master’s degree in development studies from SOAS, University of London.
Anthony Mariadason, CA – Accountant
Anthony is a dedicated chartered accountant and finance professional with diverse experience, founded on solid technical grounding in chartered accountancy and strengthened by senior financial roles and assignments across a range of industries. With a commercial and strategic, as well as a not-for-profit focus, he possesses skills in partnering with stakeholders to develop practical financial and management accounting systems to assist with operational decision-making and to support long-term sustainable growth and accounting improvements for clients.
Part of the management of Go Consulting and Accounting, a professional and management accounting practice in Melbourne, he develops and maintains a client base of small to medium businesses, including a telecom services provider, registered training organisations, several startups in the technology space, importers, and a variety of small businesses. He brings over two decades of experience as an accountant to assist EngageMedia’s projects.
Languages: English, Tamil
Egbert Wits – Research and Program Senior Manager
Egbert has been active in the field of international development in Indonesia for over 12 years. Specializing in training design and facilitation, community empowerment, and strengthening the capacities of local organizations.
He has successfully managed a large 3.5-year project (Creative Communities) aimed at increasing the quality of representation at the village level for PNPM (Indonesia’s National Community Development Program), steering and training a team of over 50 facilitators, regional coordinators, and researchers in 8 different provinces of Indonesia.
Recently, he has been designing and facilitating various training programs and doing consultancies for EngageMedia (video for change and impact measurement), the Dutch Water Authorities (sanitation and health), Butterfly Works (human-centred design), OXFAM (youth empowerment), and Kindernothilfe (impact-orientated project planning and monitoring).