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SPEAKERS (In alphabetical order)
Shahira Amin

Shahira Amin is an independent Egyptian journalist based in Cairo. She was Deputy Head of state-owned Nile TV and a senior anchor but resigned her position during the January 2011 uprising in protest at the channel's coverage of the Tahrir Square protests. Shahira was a longtime contributor to CNN's Inside Africa from 2002 - 2011 filing stories from Egypt and other North African countries. She now contributes to Index on Censorship, a UK based free expression portal and the News Hub. She has won several international awards including Sweden's Holmes of the Year Award 2011, Spain's Julio Anguita Parrado Award 2012, the American University in Cairo's Catalyst for Change Award 2011, the Global Thinkers Forum Award (Excellence in promoting gender equality) 2013.

Kelli Arena
Executive Director, Global Center for Journalism and Democracy

Kelli is the founding Executive Director of the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy (GCJD). Additionally, Arena is the first recipient of the Dan Rather Chair of Journalism. Arena came to SHSU from Washington, D.C. where she was CNN's Justice and Investigative Correspondent. She is a globally recognized, award-winning journalist with decades of experience in national and international newsrooms. Well known for her work at CNN, she is also an internationally renowned moderator, engaging some of the world's most notable and creative thinkers.

As the first recipient of the Dan Rather Chair of Journalism, Arena was hired to bring national attention to SHSU's journalism department. During her tenure, Arena has developed journalism courses and workshops, created a GCJD speaker series, and has overseen SHSU's student-run news program Channel 7 News.

Gen. Gregorio Catapang Jr
Chief of Staff, Armed Forces of the Philippines

A 1981 graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, Catapang was appointed AFP chief of staff on July 18, 2014. Prior to this he served as AFP vice chief of staff and was commanding general of the Northern Luzon Command based in Tarlac. Assigned to the Office of Civil Defense in 2009, Catapang was given recognition for his contribution to the relief operations for the survivors of Tropical Storm “Ondoy” that year. He was a member of the Reform the Armed Forces Movement that plotted the 1986 civilian-backed military revolt that brought down the Marcos dictatorship.

Jackie Chang
Product Partnerships Manager, Facebook

As a Product Partnerships Manager, Jackie Chang has spent over 7 years at Facebook working on various products including the Developer Platform. She is currently working on and focused on launching free data access to basic services including local health, employment, and news information in various countries.

Jackie graduated from UC Berkeley in 2004 with degrees in Political Science and Business.

Stacy de Jesus
Social Media Head, Rappler

This girl has been live tweeting way back when it was not yet a thing in the Philippines. Stacy is the youngest member of Rappler's Core team. A pioneer in her field, this 20-something heads the Social Media Team.

While a student, she was awarded twice at the Malacañan Palace in 2007. After earning her bachelor's degree in Mass Communication – cum laude – in 2010 from AMA University, she went on to be one of the first social media producers and project leads for GMA Network, Inc.'s social media accounts. At GMA, she was also part of the team that first handled their citizen journalism arm and digital news gathering efforts.

Bill Dorman
News Director, Hawaii Public Radio

Bill has been the News Director of Hawaii Public Radio since February 2011, where he also writes and produces the daily feature "The Asia Minute." He also writes the biweekly column "Asia Matters" for the online publication Honolulu Civil Beat. He previously worked at CNN for 21 years as a writer, producer, and reporter based at various points in Atlanta, New York, Washington DC and Tokyo. He later returned to Tokyo as Managing Editor, Asia Pacific Broadcast for Bloomberg News, responsible for bureaus in Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore and Sydney. He's covered news from more than a dozen countries, from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Vietnam. His awards include a national Emmy, and recognition from the Overseas Press Club of New York and the New York Film Festival. He has a Master's Degree in Journalism from Columbia University and a BA in English from Dartmouth College. He and his wife and former CNN colleague Noriko Namiki have lived in Hawaii since 2009.

Rick Dunham
Visiting Professor, Tsinghua University
Co-Director, Global Business Journalism Program

Mr. Dunham is a veteran Washington journalist and former president of the National Press Club. He covered the White House for Business Week magazine and the Houston Chronicle and has written about every U.S. presidential election since 1980. Before joining the faculty at Tsinghua, where he teaches multimedia journalism and U.S. media culture, Mr. Dunham was Washington bureau chief of the Houston Chronicle and creator of the popular blog “Texas on the Potomac.” He also served as Hearst Newspapers Washington bureau chief from 2009 to 2012.

From 1992 to July 2007, Mr. Dunham was a Washington correspondent for Business Week, covering issues as diverse as the federal budget, international trade and the Clinton and Bush White Houses. He also was Washington Outlook editor and a weekly columnist for

Since arriving in China, Mr. Dunham has offered regular news analysis for CCTV’s “Dialogue” program and China Radio International’s “Today” show. He has been interviewed by publications from the United States to Slovakia and Denmark.

Mr. Dunham was on the cutting edge of journalism technology and training in the U.S., serving as president of the National Press Club Journalism Institute from 2006 to 2013. He taught classes and hosted panel discussions at the institute on journalism skills, web content, social media and journalism ethics.

A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Dunham holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in history from the University of Pennsylvania. He is married to Pamela Tobey, a graphics director at the Washington Post.

Jason Enia
Political Science Professor, Sam Houston State University

Dr. Enia's research explores the ways in which political and economic institutions structure the incentives around collective action. His current projects explore the roles that political institutions play in mitigating the effects of both natural and man-made disasters.

Patricia Evangelista
Multimedia Manager, Rappler

Patricia is a writer, producer and videographer.

She has covered the refugee camps of Burma and the killing fields of Maguindanao. She was first published as a youth columnist by the Philippine Star, and then went on to write a weekly column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer's opinion section that ran for nine years. Patricia had her start in television journalism as a production assistant for ANC, the ABS-CBN News Channel. She went on to produce a number of programs and documentaries, including the groundbreaking narrative series, Storyline.

She is a fellow of the South East Asian Press Alliance, a Titus Brandsma Awardee for Emergent Journalism and was part of Devex's 2012 40 under 40. Her various television projects have been recipients of a number of local awards including the Gawad Tanglaw, the Catholic Mass Media Award, as well as three New York Festivals medals. She writes analysis for Rappler's Thought Leaders section and is a field reporter for disaster and human rights. She continues to produce political profiles as well as human interest portraits.

Joel Garcia
Server and Tools BG Lead, Microsoft Philippines
Luli Heras-de Leon
President, Ayala Foundation, Inc.
Managing Director, Ayala Corporation

Luli Heras-de Leon is a managing director of Ayala Corporation, and is concurrently president of the Ayala Foundation.

Before joining Ayala, Luli was vice president for Policy, Government, and Public Affairs at Chevron Geothermal Philippines Holdings (CGPHI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Chevron Corporation.

She started her career as a credit analyst with First City National Bank of Texas (now JP Morgan Chase and Co.), eventually becoming senior vice president of the bank’s Real Estate Division. She also served as president of the Economic Development Division of the Greater Houston Partnership, where she led inbound investment and recruitment initiatives for Houston, Texas.

Luli holds a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies from the University of British Columbia and a Master in Business Administration from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Luli is a wellness advocate, and having worked as a barista, she loves good coffee with a passion.

Mayor Leonardo Javier
Municipality of Javier, Leyte
Stuart Karle
Former COO, Reuters

Stuart is the General Counsel of North Base Media, a boutique investment firm specializing in journalism-related media and technology companies serving growth markets, especially in the developing world.

He was the Chief Operating Officer of Reuters News from 2011 through 2013, with responsibility for the news service’s operations, logistics and safety, and oversight of HR, marketing, legal, facilities and finance globally. Prior to joining Reuters, He was the general counsel for an investment company with interests in television in Eastern Europe and Russia as well as scientific publishing, and had a small media law practice focused on online publishers. He was a lawyer for Dow Jones from 1992-2008 focusing on media law issues and ultimately serving as the General Counsel of The Wall Street Journal. He began his career as a reporter for Dow Jones Newswires, and in college was the Editor in Chief and Publisher of the Columbia Daily Spectator. He has lectured at universities around the world, and has for a number of years been an Adjunct Professor teaching media law at the Columbia Journalism School.

Len Manriquez
Sheila Marcelo
Founder, Chairwoman and CEO,

Sheila founded in 2006 and today, the Company is the largest online care destination in the world with more than 11.8 million members in 16 countries. Sheila's inspiration to found came from her own life experiences. A mother sandwiched at an early age between care for two small children and ailing parents, Sheila was challenged to find quality care and knew that technology was the answer.

As has grown and scaled, Sheila has been honored with numerous accolades, including one of the "Top 10 Women Entrepreneurs" (Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit, 2009), "Entrepreneur of the Year Award for New England" (Ernst & Young, 2010), one of the "100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs" (Goldman Sachs' Builders and Innovators Summit, 2012), “The Pinnacle Award for Achievement in Entrepreneurship” (Boston Chamber of Commerce, 2014) and “Entrepreneur of the Year” (New England Venture Capital Association, 2014).

A frequent speaker on women in technology and female entrepreneurship and leadership, Sheila has spoken alongside President Obama at the White House Summit on Working Families (2014), with global political and business leaders at The World Economic Forum (2013), and to emerging female leaders at Harvard University (2013) and Northeastern University (2013).

Sheila previously was at and before serving as Entrepreneur in Residence at Matrix Partners. A Henry Crown Fellow, Marshall Memorial Fellow, and Young Global Leader for WEF, Sheila is also a Board Trustee of the Philippine Development Foundation.

Sheila graduated magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in Economics and received her M.B.A. and J.D. degrees and the Dean's Award from Harvard University.

Dondi Mapa
National Technology Officer, Microsoft Philippines
Kris Van Orsdel
Director Infrastructure & Local Government Programs, State of New York

Kris is directly involved with the rebuilding efforts in New York State. In June 2013, following the occurrence of Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and most recently Superstorm Sandy– Governor Andrew Cuomo set out to centralize recovery and rebuilding efforts in impacted areas of New York State. Establishing the Office of Storm Recovery, the Governor aimed to address communities’ most urgent needs, while also encouraging the identification of innovative and enduring solutions to strengthen the State’s infrastructure and critical systems. Kris shares his experiences in these programs.

Usec. Austere Panadero
Undersecretary of Local Government
Gov. Leopoldo Petilla
Province of Leyte

Leopoldo Dominico Petilla is currently serving his first term as governor of Leyte. He comes from the Loreto-Cari-Petilla clan, a well-entrenched political family in the province. He is the younger brother of Energy Secretary and former Leyte governor Jericho Petilla.

Ma. Regina "Ging" E. Reyes
Senior Vice President, Integrated News & Current Affairs Division
ABS-CBN Corporation

Ma. Regina Reyes is responsible for all newsgathering, content and strategic direction of the Integrated News and Current Affairs Division of ABS-CBN Corporation. She has over 20 years of solid experience as a broadcast journalist. During her leadership, all news platforms of ABS-CBN – free-to-air, UHF and cable channels, digital, mobile and social media, radio and global became integrated. Reyes also established a Futures, Standards and Practices Group that aims to ensure the accuracy, balance and fairness of ABS-CBN News content.

Reyes joined ABS-CBN in 1986 as a Production Assistant, rose from the ranks to become Executive Producer and Head Writer of the award-winning late night newscast, The World Tonight. She supervised and produced live coverage of many special events, including the 2000 Impeachment Trial of former President Estrada. She was appointed News Director in 2001.

Prior to her promotion as SVP of News & Current Affairs, Reyes was the network’s North America News Bureau Chief from 2002 to 2010. A premier news personality in the Filipino-American community, Reyes established and expanded ABS-CBN’s news operations in the US and Canada.

She covered issues on Philippine-US relations, Filipino-American community concerns and US politics, including the historic 2008 US presidential campaign and elections.

Reyes also helped in the community-building efforts of The Filipino Channel in North America. In 2007, she was named by the Filipina Women’s Network as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipino Women in the U.S.

Follow Reyes on Twitter @gingreyes and on Facebook/ging-reyes

Maria Ressa

Maria is CEO and Executive Editor of She has been a journalist in Asia for more than 25 years, most of them as CNN’s bureau chief in Manila then Jakarta. Maria was one of the founders of independent production company, Probe. For 6 years, she set strategic directions and managed more than 1,000 journalists for the largest news group in the Philippines, ABS-CBN. Her latest book, "From Bin Laden to Facebook," is part of her work as the Author-in-Residence and Senior Fellow at the International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism Research in Singapore. She was named the Southeast Asia Visiting Scholar at CORE Lab at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

Geena Rocero
Activist and Model

Born in a little alley in Manila, Philippines, Geena always had big dreams. Growing up, she knew that she was different from her childhood friends. At a young age, she told her mom that her gender assignment at birth was different.

Via a random encounter during a town fiesta at the age of fifteen, a pageant manager approached her to join a beauty contest. This opportunity led her to the world of TransWomen Beauty Pageant in the Philippines. As a young teenager, she then became one of the most prominent figures in the Trans Beauty Pageant world. Geena emigrated to San Francisco in 2001. In 2005, she moved to New York City to pursue a career in modeling and worked with Rimmel Cosmetics, Hanes, and many other fashion/beauty companies.

Through her own experience into womanhood and working as a professional model, she realized her bigger purpose in life was to share her journey and work towards justice and beauty in the transgender community.

In March 2014, Geena shared her journey into womanhood and came out as transgender at TED Conference. She also launched Gender Proud, an advocacy and awareness campaign advocating for a Global Gender Recognition Policy that would allow Transgender and gender variant people to change name and gender marker on legal documents without being force to go through surgeries, force sterilization and other de-humanizing barriers. Right now, only a handful of countries allow you to do that.

Mayor Alfred Romualdez
Tacloban, Leyte
JV Rufino
Director of Mobile, Philippine Daily Inquirer

JV handles the editorial content and business strategy for the Inquirer Group's mobile platform which comprises tablets, e-readers, smartphones, the mobile web and SMS alerts. Their recent achievements have been the Inquirer Kindle edition, the first for a Philippine news organization and the multi-platform Digital Newsstand solution for tablets and smartphones. He also handles the group's e-book unit. Several e-books have been released covering current events and lifestyle topics.

Secretary Lucille Sering
Vice Chairperson, Climate Change Commission

Secretary Lucille L. Sering is an environmental education advocate. Prior to her stint in government, she served as the College Secretary or Associate Dean of the San Sebastian College of Law. She also taught environmental law and banking and finance subjects. While in the academe, she pushed for environmental law to be a mandatory subject in law schools. While teaching, she also earned her Masteral degree in social entrepreneurship specializing on microfinance from the Asian Institute of Management.

Andrew Rosauer
Response Manager

Andrew Rosauer is currently World Vision Haiyan Response’s Response Director based in Tacloban City, Philippines. Andrew has an extensive 25-year experience in humanitarian emergencies and development work spanning different countries including Kenya, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Dominican Republic, Somalia, Kosovo and Bosnia among others. He hails from Colorado, USA. Prior to his assignment for the Haiyan Response, he was based in Nairobi, Kenya as Regional Technical Advisor for Emergencies.

Naderev "Yeb" Saño
Commissioner, Climate Change Commission

A graduate of the University of the Philippines, Saño has been a longtime environmental activist who spent more than a decade with the World Wildlife Fund. He has also managed various projects on marine protected areas and coastal resources and has worked with various local governments on environmental protection. Appointed commissioner of the Climate Change Commission in 2010, Saño is the head negotiator of the Philippines in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties every year. In an emotional speech in Poland days after Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013, Saño linked the devastation to climate change.

Renato Solidum Jr
Director, PHIVOLCS

Dr Solidum has been with Phivolcs since 1984, the agency tasked to mitigate the effects of earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. In 2010, Solidum received the Presidential Lingkod Bayan award for raising the bar of disaster risk reduction and initiating a nationwide mapping program in the Philippines. He's a recognized expert in Geochemistry, Marine Geology, Volcano and Earthquake Geology, Geologic Hazards Assessment and Awareness, and Earth Science Education. Dr Solidum holds a Master’s Degree in Geological Science from the University of Illinois and completed his PhD in Earth Science at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California in San Diego.

Romina Sta. Clara
National Protection Programme Coordinator, International Organization for Migration

Romina “Beng” D. Sta.Clara has worked with international agencies for 10 years, and with civil society for 13 years. She has 12 years of actual project cycle management including resource mobilization and donor coordination, both for institutional and private sector donors. She has 10 years of direct experience in policy and public advocacy and popular/adult education. She has been a gender focal person/gender mainstreaming and human rights specialist for a cumulative period of 10 years, both in the civil society organizations’ and international agencies’ context. She graduated with an MA in Women and Development and AB Political Science (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines (UP). She has received certifications from ILO for gender education management and participatory gender audit, and from the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Global Protection Cluster on the Guidelines on Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings. She has received the EuropeAid Best Communication Award for Asia for a submission on counter-trafficking initiative in the Philippines during her stint as Programme Officer with the European Union Delegation to the Philippines. She is currently with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Philippines as National Gender Focal Person and National Protection Programme Coordinator.

Sasa Vucinic
Co­Founder & Managing Partner, North Base Media and Founder of