2022 EWC/EWCA International Conference In-Person Participant Profiles

Information for participants will be listed here.

If you would like to be featured on our conference participant blog page, please fill out this Google Form.


Ronny Adhikarya, Ph.D.

📍Hawaii, USA

Man with glasses in a Hawaiian print shirt, laughing.

Ronny Adhikarya is a retiree of the World Bank in Washington D.C. and United Nations/FAO in Rome. He currently gives lectures at conferences on topics, such as the challenges of digital disruption and AI-tech-based applications. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Hawaii-Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and on the EWC Executive Board.

Connect with him here on LinkedIn: Ronny Adhikarya


Mrs. Daphne Roberts bell

📍New Zealand

Woman with short, brown hair with glasses, smiling.

Daphne Roberts Bell has worked in social work, community development, and philanthropy and has served nine years on the local council, along with supporting settlement services for Hawai’i’s community. She advocates for effective action on climate change locally and nationally and encourages and supports able younger women to stand for council.

Her topics of interest: Environment and Climate, Gender Equality, and Social Issues


Mr. Jonathan Bensky

📍Washington, USA

Man smiling at the camera.

After joining the Peace Corps in Nepal, Jonathan (Jon) Bensky began his career in the U.S. Foreign Service, State & Commerce Departments, in Vancouver, Madras/Chennai, Colombo, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, New Delhi, Singapore, and Brussels. Now retired and living in Seattle, he is involved in local volunteer activities, including domestic politics and international affairs.

His topics of interest: Economics, Politics and International Relations, and Science and Technology

Connect with him here on LinkedIn: Jonathan Bensky


Mr. Arvinder S. Brara

📍India

Man wearing a suit and a red turban smiling at the camera.

Arvinder (Ari) Brara likes to spend his time writing articles and books and has a great interest in health and environment-related matters. His future interests are in health and the environment, and he would like to collaborate with the East-West Center to plan an international conference focused on environmental issues.

His topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Environment and Climate, and Leadership

Connect with him here on LinkedIn: Arvinder Brara


DR. JASWINDER BRARA

📍California, USA

Man wearing a multicolored plaid shirt and glasses, smiling.

Dr. Jaswinder (Jay) Brara has worked on poverty alleviation strategies in India, project and financial management in the U.S., and also teaches Economics in online MBA Programs. At the conference, he looks forward to building a multimedia interactive database of EWC Alumni continuing from the EWCA Southern California Impact Retreat Conference.

His topics of interest: Economics, Education and Exchange, and Politics and International Relations


Charles Chen, Ph.D., PMP, Pe

📍Hawaii, USA

As an APLP Generation 4, Charles Chen is currently teaching, researching, and publishing in the Social Science and Science Citation Indexes, the European Reference Index for the Humanities, and the Arts and Humanities Citation Index journals. In the future, he is interested in collaborating with other EWC colleagues in publishing works in more of these journals.

His topics of interest: Economics, Education and Exchange, and Environment and Climate

Connect with him here on LinkedIn: Charles Chen


Dr. gaye christoffersen

📍California, USA

Woman with short blond hair and wearing glasses, smiling at the camera.

Gaye Christoffersen is the editor of Russia in the Indo-Pacific: New Approaches to Russian Foreign Policy, Routledge (2022), and author of “Russian Thinking about CSTO Peacekeeping: Central Asia, China, and the Ukraine War,” The Asan Forum (May 2022). She is currently working on co-authoring a book titled Russia’s Turn to the East.

Her topics of interest: Environment and Climate and Politics and International Relations

Connect with her here on LinkedIn: Gaye Christoffersen


Ms. Moushumi Das Purkayastha

📍Bangladesh

Moushumi Das Purkayastha has a long professional experience in supporting the cause of marginalized women and children in the fields of education, women, and child rights through various top-level NGOs. She is now working in the field of business and continues to support small groups of young woman entrepreneurs.

Her topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Gender Equality, and Leadership

Connect with her here on LinkedIn: Moushumi Das Purkayastha


Mrs. Gulbadan Habibi

📍New Jersey, USA

Gulbadan Habibi worked for UNICEF as a Program Officer. She was instrumental in drafting committees of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. Her work focuses on protecting the rights of children, women, and refugees.


ms. najma haque

📍Bangladesh, USA

Najma Haque is a retired government officer of the Ministry of Education in Bangladesh and is now working with some EWC friends for social uplift-ment in some of the villages there. With the help of her fellow EWC colleagues, she hopes to create something more permanent. She believes young, talented Bangladeshi’s can work wonders with a little help and encouragement.

Her topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Environment and Climate, and Population


Mr. C. David Hickey

📍Florida, USA

David Hickey is now retired from the University of Florida Smathers Libraries, as an Asian Studies Bibliographer. Currently, he is continuing to pursue research and avocational interests in Chinese Studies, films, and reading. In the future, he would like to support EWC endeavors, such as hosting possible grantee visits to the University of Florida.

His topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Arts and Culture, and Travel and Tourism

Connect with him here on LinkedIn: David Hickey


Dr. Ahmad Reza Hoshmand

📍California, USA

Man in a suit smiling at the camera.

Reza Hoshmand is a Senior Advisor at the Global Institute of Service Leadership and former Director of General Education at Hong Kong Baptist University. In the future, he hopes to collaborate with EWC colleagues to discuss the economic development in the Asia Pacific Region.

His topics of interest: Economics, Politics and International Relations, and Leadership

Connect with him here on LinkedIn: Reza Hoshmand


Mr. Ishfaq Hussain

📍Pakistan

Ishfaq Hussain is a current video journalist. In the future, he hopes to progress and work for a renowned organization.

His topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Environment and Climate, and Media


Mrs. May Imamura-uruu

📍Hawaii, USA

Woman with short black hair, wearing a green shirt, smiling at the camera.

May Imamura is a Special Ed. Teacher from Waipahu Elementary with 35 years of experience writing curriculum for American Samoa, Western Samoa, Fiji, and Tongan culture. She is also a donor to the East-West Center and offers scholarships for current EWC students. Since retiring in 2000, she likes to spend her time traveling.


Mr. greg knudsen

📍Hawaii, USA

Man in a Hawaiian print shirt and wearing glasses, smiling.

Greg Knudsen is a former Director of Communications at the Hawaii State Department of Education, as well as a former magazine editor and Peace Corps volunteer. Now retired, he enjoys photography, traveling, and mental health support. He is also an EWC alumni and a Hawaii Chapter board member of the East-West Center Association.

His topics of interest: Politics and International Relations, Arts and Culture, and Media


dr. dayaprasad g. kulkarni

📍New York, USA

Dayaprasad Kulkarni is the founder and director at Aarogya Seva. Dr. Kulkarni is also a medical doctor, public health specialist, entrepreneur, artist, and development consultant. He would like to collaborate with his fellow EWC colleagues on addressing healthcare problems with innovative solutions, as he has initiated several health-tech solutions.

His topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Public Health, and Arts and Culture

Connect with him here on LinkedIn: Dayaprasad Kulkarni


Claire Koch Langham, Ph.D.

📍California, USA

Woman with blonde hair and dangled earrings.

Claire Langham has done field study in many different countries as a Fulbright recipient. She has 12 years of experience in the U.S. Diplomatic Service and is a former chapter leader of the EWCA Southern California Chapter. She looks forward to upcoming EWCA SoCal Chapter activities and the EWC International Conference.

Her topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Politics and International Relations, and Travel and Tourism


miss cheryl cadeline lee

📍Singapore, USA

Cheryl Lee is an environmentalist interested in community building, policy analysis, and social innovation.

Her topics of interest: Environment and Climate, Politics and International Relations, and Social Issues

Connect with her here on LinkedIn: Cheryl Cadeline Lee


Dr. Maria Chelo Manlagnit-De Venecia

📍Maryland, USA

Woman in professional attire and pearl necklace, smiling at the camera.

Maria Manlagnit’s past and current works include economic research and policy analysis in the fields of monetary & banking, development economics, women empowerment & racial equity, and housing and urban economics. She is looking forward to participating in new EWC programs, particularly in the Washington D.C. area, and furthering the mission of the EWC.

Her topics of interest: Economics


dr. ingebord kendall maranto

📍California, USA

Ingeborg Kendall Maranto is currently interested in sustaining growth and encouraging and enabling cooperation.

Her topics of interest: Economics, Leadership, and Travel and Tourism

Connect with her here: Ingeborg Kendall Maranto


Mr. Lawrence Meacham

📍Hawaii, USA

Lawrence (Larry) Meacham teaches American and World Politics in the University of Hawaii system and volunteers at the Democratic Party of Hawaii and in election campaigns. In the future, he is looking forward to constructing information and community networks for seniors, as well as mentoring students.

His topics of interest: Politics and International Relations


Prof. Linda K. menton

📍Hawaii, USA

Linda Menton is a retired professor of education at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. At the alumni conference, she hopes to catch up with her former EWC classmates.

Her topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Politics and International Relations, and Arts and Culture


Dr. Linda Miller

📍Nevada, USA

Woman wearing a blue dress and blazer is smiling at the camera.

Dr. Linda Miller is a retired educator who does re-enactments. In 2020, she provided the East-West Center a $25,000 scholarship for students. Her future interests include preserving the legacy of the USS Nevada in World War II, as well as collaborating with the EWC Art Department.


Ms. yukiko miyazato

📍Japan

Yukiko Miyazato has conducted research within the cruise industry, international trade and Education. In the future, she would like to coordinate with scientists and researchers on international networking and educator’s exchange.

Her topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Travel and Tourism, and Science and Technology


Dr. Fumiteru Nitta

📍Japan

Man in a burgundy suit is smiling at the camera.

Fumiteru Nitta is interested in intercultural interaction between Americans and Japanese and multicultural interactions among Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Americans.

His topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Arts and Culture, and Social Issues


Ms. Regina M. Ordonez

📍Philippines

Regina Ordonez is a facilitator of human and management development workshops for multiple projects. She is also a former professor at the Asian Institute of Management and DeLaSalle University in Manila. She hopes to help resolve education challenges of Filipino students and parents and address the broken values of virtual environments among its voter population due to social media.

Her topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Media, and Leadership


Dr. Rebecca S. Ovitt

📍Hawaii, USA

Rebecca Ovitt conducts support group classes for divorced, widowed and separated individuals. In the future, she will continue her work in the same field- reaching out to broken-hearted people.


Her topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Leadership, and Social Issues


Dr. shafiqur Rahman

📍South Carolina, USA

Man in a striped shirt and white suit, wearing glasses, is smiling at the camera.

Shafiqur Rahman is a Bangladesh TV Producer, Mass Media Professor and Chairman at Mississippi Alcorn State & South Carolina State Universities. In the future, he hopes to collaborate with his EWC colleagues on media management, press freedom, social media cyber security, and other similar topics.

His topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Politics and International Relations, and Media


mr. ronald Richmond

📍Australia

Man at the beach, wearing sunglasses.

Ronald (Ron) Richmond is a former Fiji grantee and geologist. He started the EWC Soccer Team and is a Hawaii Rugby Union Representative. In Fiji, he was the Director for Mineral Development and founder of the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission. He is also a member of the Scientific Review Board. He is now retired and interested in climate change-related topics.

His topics of interest: Environment and Climate, Leadership, and Science and Technology

Connect with him here: ronrichmond88@gmail.com


Ms. Cerell rivera

📍California, USA

Woman with long brown hair and wearing a green turtleneck is smiling at the camera.

With a unique focus on business strategy and operations, Cerell Rivera has developed new business models and managed global programs in a variety of industries, including Fortune 100 enterprises, start-ups, and nonprofits. She is passionate about creating opportunities for people to achieve their full potential- personally, professionally, and economically.

Her topics of interest: Economics, Education and Exchange, and Social Issues

Connect with her here on LinkedIn: Cerell Terese Rivera


Ms. Cindy yoshiko shirata

📍Japan

Woman with short hair, wearing a white blazer is smiling at the camera.

Cindy Yoshiko Shirata is the former Secretary-General of the Science Council of Asia in 2010 and 2011. In 2005 she helped organized the EWC Tokyo Conference. In the future, she hopes to collaborate with EWC colleagues to discuss the East-West Center’s Leadership Program from a Japan Management point of view.

Her topics of interest: Economics, Environment and Climate, and Gender Equality

Connect with her here on LinkedIn: Cindy Yoshiko Shirata


mr. mohammad sadiq sohail

📍Pakistan

Mohammad Sohail has held positions as a director of a research institute, a university lecturer, a socio-political advisor, and a security analyst. His areas of interest are political economy and economic security in South Asia, international relations, policy studies, security studies, women’s rights, and human rights.

His topics of interest: Politics and International Relations, Leadership, and Social Issues


mr. david stilwell

📍Hawaii, USA

David Stilwell has served 35 years in the US Air Force, including as the Defense Attache to the People’s Republic of China, and transitioned to the State Department as Assistant Secretary for East Asia and the Pacific. He would like to collaborate on improving K-12 education and working to get news outlets back to reporting news and information.

His topics of interest: Politics and International Relations and Media

Connect with him here on LinkedIn: David Stilwell


Ms. sri liana suryo-atmojo

📍Canada

Sri Liana Suryo-Atmojo’s enduring interests have been in anthropology and teaching languages, especially English as a second language to immigrants to Canada. She plans to continue nurturing her interests in anthropology, languages and history.

Her topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Gender Equality, and Social Issues


mr. richard tillotson

📍Hawaii, USA

Since retiring from a career in advertising, Richard Tillotson has published two novels, produced a play, and written several (unproduced) screenplays. He has also written newspaper columns on climate change. In the future, he hopes to collaborate with EWC colleagues to discuss more creative writing and the future United States elections.

His topics of interest: Environment and Climate, Arts and Culture, and Media


Mr. takashi Tsuchiya

📍Japan

Takashi (Taka) Tsuchiya is a former CLI grantee and used to assist Japanese companies’ overseas business with Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). Though he is now retired from his full-time job, Tsuchiya is a Japanese Licensed Guide Interpreter and may facilitate interchange of visitors to Japan.

His topics of interest: Politics and International Relations and Travel and Tourism


representative gene ward, ph.d.

📍Hawaii, USA

Man in suit with striped yellow and black tie, smiling at the camera.

Since leaving the East-West Center, Representative Gene Ward served 12 terms in the Hawaii House of Representatives. He now serves on the EWC Board of Governors and helps to make the East-West Center into the best thought leadership and cross-cultural instrument for better relationships in the world.

His topics of interest: Economics, Politics and International Relations, and Leadership


mr. michael s. zdanovich

📍Virginia, USA

Michael Zdanovich currently teaches English for Academic Purposes at George Mason University, Korea. He wishes to discover more about the history of the Japanese and Korean people in the Pacific islands and has interests in the archaeological record of the Pacific islands.

His topics of interest: Education and Exchange and Politics and International Relations

Connect with him here on LinkedIn: Michael Zdanovich

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