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IDPP Fellowship Alumni

Ms. Azeera Ariffin photo
Ms. Azeera Ariffin
Ms. Azeera Ariffin is a former senior executive for Division Amanjaya Civil Society Council at Darul Ridzuan Institute, a think tank managed by her home state of Perak, Malaysia. She obtained a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration majoring in Islamic Banking from Universiti Teknologi MARA in Malaysia. She once served Merdeka Centre, a prominent polling institution in Malaysia, as a research associate. She volunteers for causes close to her heart and her community; in particular, the disability cause inspired her to make a difference in her society. With this passion, she launched her career with the Society of the Blind in Malaysia, which has eleven branches nationwide, as the first sighted executive secretary. She contributed to setting up the Persons With Disabilities (PWDs) Working Group, an umbrella under the Human Rights Committee of the Malaysian Bar Council – an initiative comprised of persons with and without disabilities from diverse professional backgrounds to highlight issues concerning PWDs to the public, policy makers and stakeholders. One of Ms. Ariffin’s long term foci is to mainstream disability into contemporary Malaysian society. Ms. Ariffin is originally from Penang, Malaysia. Ms. Ariffin received her M.A. in International Affairs with a concentration in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) from American University's School of International Service in August 2014.
 

Mackie Calbay photo
Mackie Calbay
Mackie Calbay is the deaf advocacy program coordinator at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in Manila, Philippines. Mackie volunteers on the executive board of the Philippine Federation of the Deaf Youth Section, as well as for the Secretary-General of Phil-Sports Federation of the Deaf. In her various capacities, Mackie collects data, conducts research, ensures the accessibility of information, performs youth leadership training, networks with different individuals and works to enact policy changes. Through her work, Mackie is able to bring people together to work toward the resolution of deaf issues while promoting an accessible, barrier-free and rights-based society. As a deaf person and Filipino citizen, Mackie is able to offer first-person perspective of the issues in which she is engaged. Mackie received her M.A. in International Affairs with a concentration in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) from American University's School of International Service in December 2012.
 

John Paul "Pong" Cruz photo
Mr. John Paul "Pong" Cruz
Mr. Pong Cruz is a senior analyst with the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ICT). Mr. Cruz is the 2014-2015 recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship by the U.S. Department of State to Boalt School of Law at University of California-Berkeley. Previously, Mr. Cruz served as regional research coordinator for the IDPP for the ASEAN Region. In this capacity, he supported IDPP research initiatives, CIDP course delivery, student support services and outreach activities throughout the ASEAN region. Mr. Cruz was invited to participate in the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights’ Advanced Training Course for Trainers in the General Course on Human Rights held in December 2012 in Bangkok, Thailand through the facilitation of IDPP faculty member Dr. Sriprapha Petcharamesree. Previously, Mr. Cruz worked as a freelance policy researcher based in Pasig City, Philippines and served as a research assistant in a comparative study on urban waterfront re-development under the Institute of Water Policy at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy-National University of Singapore. Mr. Cruz also served as a moderator for online courses taken by Korean students over the course of several years. Mr. Cruz received a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. He received his M.A. in International Affairs with a concentration in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) from American University's School of International Service in August 2013. His graduate school research focused on making the currency and electoral processes in the Philippines more accessible to the disability community, particularly the visually impaired sector.

Don De Vera photo
Mr. Don G. De Vera
Mr. Don De Vera is a senior architect at Globalink Property Innovations in the Philippines. Mr. de Vera is also a professor of Architecture at Malayan Colleges Laguna, a subsidiary of Mapua Institute of Technology, his alma mater. He previously served as International Communication Officer at the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APCD), an IDPP outreach partner, where he oversaw APCD’s news and current events, ensuring that news and media content generated by APCD are fully accessible. Additionally, he currently performs universal design work for the Philippines National Housing Authority’s government housing project and works with the United Architects of the Philippines during his free time. Mr. De Vera is also an active member of the United Architects of the Philippines Accessibility Committee, and has worked with the SIKAP Foundation in designing cost-effective schools. Mr. De Vera completed his B.S. in Architecture and M.S. in Architecture Education at Mapua Institute of Technology. Mr. De Vera received his M.A. degree in International Affairs with a concentration in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) from American University's School of International Service in December 2012.

Raphael Domingo photo
Mr. Raphael Domingo
Mr. Raphael Domingo is the coordinator of education access for the deaf at the Center for Education Access and Development (CEAD), where he works closely with the CEAD director to develop support services for the deaf in a culinary arts diploma course offered by the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institute Management at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in Manila, Philippines. Mr. Domingo is the co-founder of the Philippine Federation of the Deaf. He holds several positions at non-governmental organizations locally and abroad and at government agencies, where he has taken on several different roles in the fields of advocacy, education, sign language, human rights, organizational development and research. As a current consultant to three national organizations of the deaf - Philippine Federation of the Deaf, Philippine Federation of the Deaf-Youth Section and Deaf Rainbow Philippines - he has been an active and experienced leader locally and internationally since 1995. He completed a bachelor’s degree in Applied Deaf Studies and its track in Multimedia Arts at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde. Mr. Domingo received his M.A. degree in International Affairs with a concentration in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) from American University's School of International Service in December 2012.
 

Mr. Khy Huy (photo)
Mr. Khy Huy
Mr. Khy Huy serves as regional research coordinator for the IDPP. He also holds the position of senior advocacy officer at World Vision Cambodia. Formerly, Mr. Khy served as a senior program officer for the Cambodian Disabled People’s Organization (CDPO). When he began work at CDPO, Mr. Huy was assigned to help implement the AGENDA project, which was sub-granted to CDPO and aimed to improve access to electoral processes for persons with disabilities. Mr. Huy was invited to share his experiences with AGENDA during the 2012 IDPP Annual Meeting to incoming CIDP master's students. Mr. Huy is originally from Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Under a Fulbright Scholarship, he graduated from American University’s Washington College of Law with a master’s of Law in International Legal Studies in 2010. Previously, he volunteered at the War Crimes Research Office and interned at the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. He received his M.A. degree in International Affairs with a concentration in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) from American University's School of International Service in December 2013.
 

Della Leonor photo
Ms. Della Leonor
Ms. Della Leonor serves as a program associate at the IDPP for the ASEAN Region, where she assists with outreach efforts, academic program planning, and research. Ms. Leonor is also a member of the board of directors of the World Association for Persons with Disabilities; president of the Persons with Disabilities Roxas City Chapter; and intellectual disability regional representative for the National Anti-Poverty Commission of the Office of the President of the Philippines. In July 2012, Ms. Leonor was elected secretary of the First Regional Congress of Persons with Disabilities in the Philippines.  Previously, Ms. Leonor worked at Sky-Study Online English as an overseas manager and online tutor, where she helped to provide more jobs for persons with disabilities in the information and communications technology sector. She completed her B.A. in Commerce at Colegio De La Purisma Concepcion in the Philippines, and resides in Roxas City, Capiz, Philippines. She received her M.A. degree in International Affairs with a concentration in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) from American University's School of International Service in December 2012.
 

Mr. AJ Nanayakkara (photo)
Mr. Ajantha "AJ" Nanayakkara
Mr. AJ Nanayakkara is the founder and executive director of the Global Abilities Foundation (GAF), a nonprofit organization working to help persons with disabilities reintegrate into their communities. GAF is currently developing a comprehensive community-based reintegration program for individuals with spinal cord injuries in Sri Lanka that includes accessible transportation, vocational skills, life skills and mentoring. Mr. Nanayakkara has a decade of experience developing inclusive recreation programs, mentoring persons with disabilities and teaching courses in physical therapy, occupational therapy and therapeutic recreation. He is also an avid wheelchair athlete who participates in SCUBA diving, wheelchair racing and other recreational pursuits. Mr. Nanayakkara won a gold medal as part of Team USA Wheelchair Rugby at the 2005 World Wheelchair and Amputee Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He received his M.A. degree in International Affairs with a concentration in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) from American University's School of International Service in December 2013.
 

Ma. Eloisa Zepeda photo
Ms. Ma. Eloisa C. Zepeda
Ms. Eloisa Zepeda serves as a program associate at the IDPP for the ASEAN region. She also serves as the executive director of Kasama Sa Kalusugan for Tuberculosis patients under the Tropical Disease Foundation. She contributes to the advocacy efforts of Women with Disability–National Capital Region, and was appointed to represent Blind Women for Accessibility on a national scale. Appointed by the chairman of NOVA Foundation, she spearheaded the Blind Committee while performing medical missions for children with disabilities. In 2012, with support from the IDPP, Ms. Zepeda performed an internship within the Disability and Rehabilitation Team of the World Health Organization. Ms. Zepeda is also an active member of the Philippine Blind Union. She works as a part-time webmaster for the Computer Imaging Institute. Ms. Zepeda also works as a corporate planning consultant to the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone, promoting the inclusion of accessibility laws and other disability policies in support of universal design. Ms. Zepeda is from Manila, Philippines. She completed her B.S. in Architecture at Mapua Institute of Technology and received her M.A. degree in International Affairs with a concentration in Comparative and International Disability Policy (CIDP) from American University's School of International Service in December 2012.