Soon-Young Yoon - main representative

Soon-Young Yoon holds a PhD in anthropology. She has worked with UNICEF in Southeast Asia and the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia in Delhi. She is a board member of the Global Advisory Council at the Harvard AIDS Initiative and of the International Foundation for Ewha Woman’s University. She currently works as a consultant for the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative. She is ex-chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, New York

Jessica Pierson - alternate

Jessica Pierson holds an M.A. in Human Rights Studies from Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights. Her graduate thesis research explored abortion as a human right in the United States and the role of CEDAW cities in challenging the Hyde Amendment. As a graduate student, Jessica was as a Research Assistant at the Law, Rights, and Religion Project at Columbia Law School where she worked on initiating local advocacy campaigns to combat religious healthcare refusals. She currently works as the Program Administrator of the Human Rights Clinic at Columbia Law School.

Irini Sarlis - alternate

Irini Sarlis is an architect and a member of the UN Team.

Judith Gordon - alternate

Judith Gordon is a member of the UN Team in New York, Lecturer in Psychiatry Yale University.

Lyna Castillo-Javier

Lyna has a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications/Journalism from Florida International University and a Master of Arts in Religion and Religious Education from Fordham University. She co-chairs the Metro New York Chapter’s Film Subcommittee of the U.S. National Committee for UN Women. Her focus is on education, women’s role in peace and security, peace building and humanitarian affairs.

Dr. Uzma Gul

Dr. Uzma Gul is a human rights defender, global advocate for SDGs, poetess, story teller, an empath, speaker, young world leader and a healthcare professional – previously attached with World Economic Forum, WHO, ILO, The Commonwealth Youth Council and currently working with United Nations as a Youth Representative – is also a board member at International Alliance for Women. 

Galin Dechoian

Galin Dechoian is a Syrian Armenian graduate from the American University of Armenia, and is an alumna of the Crossroads Leadership Program of Harvard Business School. She has extensive experience working in leadership positions in various capacities, and has worked for the U.S. Department of State, NGO Committee on the Status of Women, as well as the United Nations. As an aspiring lawyer, Galin is a passionate advocate for domestic violence victims and has been involved in numerous projects with the International Alliance of Women.

HR (Human Rights)

Dr. Sibylle von Heydebrand - main representative

Dr. Sibylle von Heydebrand is a Swiss lawyer. She studied in Geneva and Basel (Switzerland) and received her PhD in Law (Dr. iur.) from the University of Basel. She is a proven expert on voting right and has a long experience as a lecturer. She is especially interested in women’s political participation. In 2016 she was the president of the 50 Years of Women’s Suffrage in the Canton of Basel City anniversary committee (Switzerland). She is a former member of the Jury of the «Emilie Louise Frey Award» for young female scientists. In 2020 she was appointed as financial internal auditor by the United Nations NGO Committee on the Status of Women in Geneva. She is committed to improving the position of women and girls in society and works to enhance the visibility of women’s societal involvement.

Derya Akinci Briand - alternate

Derya Akinci Briand is a lecturer teaching law and business management in a private university in Zurich, Switzerland. She is from Turkey and has been living in Switzerland since 2008. After her law studies in Northern Cyprus, she followed her career with an LL.M degree in International Business Law and European Law and a Master Degree at International Law and Comparative Law at the University of Lausanne, in Switzerland. She is still doing her PhD. She is a multicultural person and speaks several languages such as Turkish, English, French. Besides her moderate capacity in Italian and German, she is also learning Russian and Chinese. She has working experience previously in the United Nations as UNEP and ILO, where she learned well the UN system. She believes women’s rights are very important, she thinks women face difficulties worldwide.

Dr. Laoura Maria Alipranti-Maratou - alternate

Dr. Laoura  Alipranti-Maratou has a PhD in Sociology (University of Paris X -Nanterre). She is an Emeritus Research Director of the “National Centre for Social Research”/EKKE and is actually collaborating as an expert at EKKE’s “Gender Issues Research Laboratory”. She is a Visiting Professor at the Department of Psychology at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens teaching the lesson “Gender relations in contemporary society”. She has also been a Member of “EIGE-European Institute for Gender Equality” Expert Forum designated by the European Parliament (2012-2015). Laoura is Vice-President of the Board of “Greek League of Women’s Rights”.

Sanja Jeraj - alternate

Childhood in a communist country had a diametrical impact on Sanja Jeraj: women are (supposedly) emancipated and the political system is fixed. Migration to Germany opened up new perspectives for her: fixed gender roles and free elections. With her degree in engineering, Sanja stepped into a male domain, but realized that gender-related disadvantages in professional life are the order of the day. Further life experiences in the family area have also clearly shown Sanja that her impression of emancipated women is an illusion. 
Sanja would like to contribute to making women’s situation better worldwide, regardless of age, skin color, origin, sexual orientation and physical/mental/cognitive ability. She sees equality with men as the first goal. A long-term goal is to make the whole world a little bit better.

Dr. Ernestine Ngo Melha, PhD - alternate

Dr. Ernestine NGO MELHA is founder and director and main representative to the UN of the Association d’Aide à l’Education de l’Enfant Handicapé (AAEEH), an NGO created in 1998, granted with special consultative status with the United Nations since 2013. With nearly 25 years of experience, Ernestine contributes actively and significantly to the advancement of the consideration of disability in various fields. In recent years, she has been involved in the post-2015 agenda, in cross-cutting issues related to disability such as gender and particularly in the Beijing+25 process and the generation equality forum.
She is passionate about a human rights-based approach to development and education.

Lyda Verstegen - main representative

Catherine Sophie Dimitroulias - alternate

Catherine Dimitroulias is a political scientist and jurist. Mediator of justice at the Paris Court of Appeal, Conciliator of justice at the Ministry of Justice and Commissioner at the Bank of France. She has served in policy advice, research and expertise with various public institutions, including the European Parliament, the French National Assembly, the Japanese Ministry of the Interior and the European Economic and Social Committee, and is the author of numerous research publications, notably CESE, 2008: « Fifty years of participatory democracy ». She teaches European law at universities. She is the 5th President of the Association of Women of Southern Europe (AFEM), which she has represented since its foundation, notably as spokesperson in the framework of the European constituent process for treaty reform, delegate to the Council of Europe, founding Vice-President of the Euromed France Network, spokesperson of the Beijing+25 Feminist Collective. She is former Vice-President of the Conference of INGOs, the 4th pillar of the Council of Europe and currently member of the Parisian Council of Europeans at the City of Paris. She is IAW Regional Vice President for Europe.

Charmaine Hidayatullah - alternate

Charmaine Hidayatullah was a banker by profession and is a zealous social worker, she has done master’s in law and have been a practicing lawyer for even number of years. Additionally, she has served two terms as a member of National Commission on the Status of Women. She also has an honor of being the Honorary Consul of Monaco since 2004. At present Ms. Charmaine is working as President of APWA (All Pakistan Women’s Association), her association with APWA has been over 30 years, and she has been a mission driven leader for the socio-economic development of women, she has also worked as an advocate for the destitute women by handling indigent cases on humanitarian basis. She is IAW Regional Vice President for Asia.

Ursula Nakamura

Ursula Nakamura-Stoecklin is a registered nurse and has received further education in health and administration. She has long experience in specialized health care. She was a general director of a residential home for the elderly.
She is advocating for human rights and was Co-President of the Swiss Association for Women’s Rights ADF-SVF Suisse. She is member of the IAW Commission on Health.

Gudrun Haupter

Gudrun Haupter is Convener of the IAW Commission on Health.

Rosy Weiss - main representative

Rosy Weiss is a French interpreter by education and a retired official in Austria’s Ministries for Labour, Social Affairs, Consumer Protection as well as Environment, Youth and Family, where she was responsible for international affairs. Ms. Weiss served as IAW President from 2004 to 2010 and as chairperson of the Vienna NGO Committee on the Status of Women from 2006 to 2009. She was involved in the drafting of reports of Austrian NGOs to CEDAW and the Universal Periodic Review. During Austria’s EU Presidencies she served as liaison between governments and NGOs during the negotiations at the Commission on the Status of Women in 2006 and as chair of the Regional Preparatory Conference (The Hague Forum) for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD+5). She is Member of the IAW Commission on Peace.

Shannon von Scheele - alternate

Shannon von Scheele has a Master’s in Public Affairs with concentrations in Policy Analysis and Economic Development. She has worked against human trafficking and forced prostitution for over 20 years beginning in 1996 as a volunteer for the non-profit H.I.P.S. (Helping Independent Prostitutes Survive) in Washington, DC. In 2005 she worked as a research assistant for the Ukrainian Parliamentary Development Project and conducted a comparative study of international measures to combat human trafficking for Ukrainian members of parliament. Since 2006, Shannon von Scheele has been active in the German non-profit Netzwerk gegen Menschenhandel, initially as a founding member of the board and since 2012 as Executive Director. She was a contributor to the book Der verdrängte Skandal: Menschenhandel in Deutschland and co-author of the German trafficking prevention program for schools Liebe ohne Zwang.

Erica van Engel

Erica van Engel is the founder of Belief in Business, a boutique agency that helps female executives and entrepreneurs to build a conscious (personal) brand while growing their social impact, income, and influence. Erica is a champion for female social entrepreneurs and she loves to discuss how they are making a powerful contribution to sustainable development. She’s an advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in general and female leadership in particular.  She encourages women to strive for leading positions because society will only thrive to the fullest when women have a seat at the table where decisions and policies are made. To empower other women as conscious leaders, she draws on her extensive entrepreneurial and leadership background. Erica was a board member of the Chamber of Commerce in her region for 10 years. She holds several supervisory and advisory board positions. 

Souad Houssein

Souad Houssein (France-Djibouti) conducts various programs and activities within the framework of the International Organization of Francophonie (OIF). These contribute to the development of cinematography from southern countries for the benefit of 37 countries from Africa, the Maghreb, the Middle East, South-East Asia and the Caribbean. She has twenty years of experience in the field of French-speaking cinema in the South. During her career, she has established fruitful partnerships with the Venice, Dubai, Durban, and New York Festivals, and initiated in 2011 a pan-African fund project for African cinema and audiovisual which had aroused a lot of interest. of African countries as well as the support of UNESCO and the African Union. Souade holds a master’s degree in global communication and a diploma in international relations. She previously held several positions including that of coordinator of meetings at the authorities department at the OIF (Summits, Ministerial Conferences, Permanent Councils of Francophonie and Economic and Political Commission). In Djibouti, she was coordinator of a functional literacy program in French within the Union of Djiboutian Women (UNFD), funded by UNICEF.

Monique Bouaziz

French Vice President of Association des femmes de l’Europe Méridionale, member of the French Coordination of the European Women’s Lobby and ‘Dialogue between Cultures’ among other Committees.

Danielle Levy

Danielle Levy is a teacher by education and has served as the translator for IAW of documents from English into French for the past two triennia.

Renée Gérard

Renée Gérard is a French citizen who worked for the United Nations on long-term assignments in different countries of Africa and Asia and also on short consultancies for UNFPA and the World Bank in Rwanda Congo. Having been granted a Fulbright scholarship she was able to study at Columbia University and spent three years in New York. Life shaped her as a citizen of the world. As a member of multidisciplinary teams (dominantly male), she became a specialist in education and community development. Her advocacy for gender-sensitive measures called attention to the need to develop specific programmes for women in development. Upon retirement she got involved as an activist  in different women’s associations : in the French association where she was the coordinator for international relations, in the French Coordination for the European Women’s Lobby, in the European Women’s Lobby where she was an administrator and cooperated closely with IAW branch in France  until she finally joined IAW as a member. In recognition of her achievements  for women’s rights the French Government decorated her with Légion d’honneur and the University Women of Europe gave her the Jans Gremmée Award. She is also a defender of environment, adept at  sustainable development and belongs to Platform launched by the French  Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Women’s associations to advise on gender and climate change

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization)

Dr. Valeria Mangani - main representative

Valeria Mangani is an Italian best-selling author in Nutrition and Women’s Consciousness sectors. She published 10 books for the “Nature&Health” series, by Tecniche Nuove editor in Milan.  She also taught the “Quality of Life” master class for postgraduate students in  Occupational Medicine at La Sapienza University of Rome. She founded and directs  INNOV8 IN ITALY FUND, an incubator fostering Sustainable Fashion with innovation technologies such as block chain, luxury up-cycling, crispr and brand digitalization; with the mission to create a more sustainable planet, hence disrupting the old polluting systems for the sake of human well-being.

Jessika Kehl-Lauff - alternate

Introduced at the IAW Congress 1996 in New Delhi as the new main representative to Geneva, Jessika Kehl-Lauff (jkl) built up an IAW-team in Geneva serving Human Rights, ILO, UNCTAD, WTO and ECE. She was twice a board member of the Conference of NGOs (CONGO), a vice-president of the NGO Committee on Human Rights and a friend of the CSW Geneva till 2010.  She organized IAW meetings in 2009 in Heiden/CH and 2014 in Sion/CH. In 2015 she became IAW representative to the international institutions in Rome.

Filomena Cusano - alternate

Delfina Panfili - youth representative