APCOM Engagement at Sydney WorldPride 2023

By February 13, 2023 February 26th, 2023 Advocacy, Regional

Bios of the Speakers in Alphabetical order

Alexander Teh (he/him)
President – Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council Inc.

Alexander is AGMC President and a multi-disciplined professional with over 20 years of experience and a proven track record of sustained delivery on critical communities’ projects across programs of work; whilst delivering communities orientated results. 

He has experiences in business, change management and communications, advising best solution practices, effectively managing sensitive stakeholders, satisfying legal and compliance regulatory requirements.

Ambassador Chantelle Wong (she/her)
U.S. Director, Asian Development Bank (ADB)  

Ambassador Chantale Yok-Min Wong is the United States Executive Director. Before her appointment, she was the Senior Vice President at AmidaTechnology Solutions. She was appointed by President Obama to serve as Vice President for Administration and Finance, and Chief Financial Officer at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). Prior to MCC, she was the budget director of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  

She has also held leadership positions at the Office of Management and Budget, Departments of Treasury and Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency. She joined ADB in 1999 as an Environment Specialist and was subsequently appointed by President Bill Clintonas U.S. Alternate Director.  

She holds a Master in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. She has another Master in Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on water and waste water management. She earned her undergraduate degree in civil and structural engineering from the University of Hawaii.

Amir Mukambetov (he/they)
Chair, Kyrgyz Indigo

Amir is a Human Rights Defender, Feminist, Queer Muslim and LGBT+ activist from Kyrgyzstan. Before becoming the Chair of the Board at Kyrgyz Indigo he served the LGBT+ organization as Head of the Community Empowerment Department for about a decade.  

Amir is one of the foremost queer activists in Kyrgyzstan and an expert on gender, sexuality, human rights, religion and HIV prevention in the Central Asian region. During his activism, he has contributed significantly to increasing the visibility of the queer community, building the LGBT+ movement and enhancing the capacity of the LGBT+ community in the country.  

Amir proud graduate of SOAS University of London with MA Degree in Gender Studies. Before that, he obtained an undergraduate degree from Kyrgyz Kuwait University, with BA Degree in Journalism.  

Bryan Choong (he/him)
Regional Advisory Group Chair, APCOM

Bryan Choong spent more than 15 years working on human rights and community health issues for the LGBTQ+ communities in Singapore. Bryan is the Chairperson of Oogachaga, Singapore’s most established LGBTQ+ organisation that specialises in LGBTQ+ psychosocial health. He is also one of six Singapore gay men who filed legal challenges to decriminalise homosexuality in Singapore. Singapore finally repealed its anti-homosexual laws in November 2022.   

Regionally, Bryan serves as the Chair of Regional Advisory Group at APCOM, a Bangkok-based network that works to improve the health and rights of LGBTQ+ across Asia and the Pacific.   

In recognition of his LGBTQ+ community work, Bryan received a Chevening scholarship from the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2017. He has a Master in Public Health from the University of Edinburgh and a Master in Counselling from the University of South Australia.

Charlene Liu (she/her)
Co-Founder, ShanghaiPRIDE China

Charlene Liu was born in Malaysia and has lived in the US, Singapore, and China. She is an engineer, community leader, social change advocate, and diversity and inclusion expert. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BSc in Electrical Engineering and has 20+ years of working experience in different areas of the Semiconductor & Electronics industry, ranging from design, engineering, manufacturing, project management to sales and marketing.  

She has experience with events, corporate innovation, and management consulting at PwC and was the Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging APAC at Arcadis.  

Charlene has 17 years of community leadership, commercial event management, and Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) advocacy experience. In 2009, she co-founded ShanghaiPRIDE, an annual festival run entirely by volunteers that promotes LGBT+ inclusion, in 2014 Q-Events, an event management company, in 2016 Ladies Who Tech, a social impact community for women in STEM, and in 2019, D&I Consulting DNIC, a consultancy which helps corporations build a more inclusive culture. Recently, she was elected as an Executive Board Member, Women Representative of ILGA Asia. Charlene is now embarking on a full-time journey managing these platforms.  

In 2014, she and team ShanghaiPRIDE were awarded Shanghai Hero by Time Out Shanghai, and in 2018, Best Event Organizer in East China by Huodongxing.

Dr Judy Tang (she/her)
Board Advisor of ANTRA

Judy has a doctorate in neuropsychology and is a practicing Clinical Neuropsychologist. Judy is a strong advocate for multiculturalism and LGBTIQA+ communities with expertise in psychology, ageing, research, and mental health. With extensive relationships across government and community groups, Judy has volunteered for more than 10 years to promote and advocate for multiculturalism and equality for migrants. 

She is a former President of the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council, a national body that advocates for the rights of multicultural and multifaith LGBTQIA+ people and communities. Judy is a current Board Director for the Victorian Pride Centre, and is one of Victoria’s 12 Multicultural Commissioners at the Victorian Multicultural Commission.

Judy is also currently a Board Advisor of ANTRA – Australia & New Zealand Tongzhi Rainbow Alliance, a grassroots not for profit advocating for the Queer Chinese in Australia. 

Henry Koh (they/them)
Executive Director, ILGA Asia

Henry Koh (they/them) is the current Executive Director of ILGA Asia. Prior to joining ILGA Asia, Henry served as a human rights specialist with regional human rights organizations and the United Nations. They had extensive experience engaging in UN advocacy to advance SOGIESC rights, access to healthcare for vulnerable groups, freedoms of expression, assembly and association.

Henry is also the co-founder of Beyond Borders Malaysia, focusing on refugees’ rights, Assistant Secretary-general of PROHAM (Society for the Promotion of Human Rights), and the Malaysian MSM Representative for the UN Global Fund’s Country Coordinating Mechanism (2019–2022). They initially joined ILGA Asia as the Research Officer from March to July 2021, and was part of ILGA Asia’s UN Human Rights Mechanisms trainers from 2017 to 2019.  

Henry holds a Masters of Law (LL.M.) in International Human Rights Law, Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) (University of London), and a Postgraduate Diploma in International Arbitration.  

Hiker Chiu (he/her)
Executive Director, Intersex Asia  

Hiker Chiu is a pioneer of the intersex human rights movement in the Asian region from Taiwan who founded OII-Chinese, the first human rights advocacy organization and information platform for Chinese-speaking intersex people since 2008. Hiker Chiu was the first intersex person to come out in Taiwan publicly, initiating the “Global Free Hugs with Intersex Movement” in 2010.  Since 2013, Hiker has devoted themselves to building intersex connections in Asia and founded the Intersex Asia community on Facebook, which was the foundation of Intersex Asia.  

Hiker was also the first intersex person elected as co-chair of ILGA Asia in 2015. In 2018, the intersex community selected Hiker to be the first Co-chair of Intersex Asia – the first and only regional network of intersex organizations in Asia.  Currently, Hiker serves as the Chair and Executive Director for Intersex Asia. 

Jannat Ali (she/her)
Executive Director, T-Track, Pakistan

Jannat Ali is an MBA Gold Medalist Transgender Artivist (Artist + Activist) and the Executive Director of Community Based Organization Track-T. She is a TEDx motivational speaker, World Economic Forum Member, Global Trainer, and Change Mentor who have. Her work includes community’s capacity development, sensitization of civil society and institutions, advocacy, and trans healthcare. She is the founder of the Trans Pride March in Pakistan and has contributed immensely to the Legislations for the Protection of Trans Rights. Currently, she is hosting a show “Journey with Jannat”. Recently serving as first Transgender Lecturer in Punjab at UMT (University of Management and Technology). She has made representation in more than 37 countries through her performance, motivational speaker, Panelist, trainer, Ambassador and as Co-Chair of Human Rights and Diversity – InterPride. She is also Global Advisory Board Member at Dignity Network Canada.

Jean Chong (she/they)
Executive Director, ASEAN LBQ Network

Jean Chong has been an LGBTQ activist for more than 20 years.  She is the Executive Director and founder of the ASEAN Feminist LBQ Network (11 countries in South East Asia) based in Bangkok, Thailand. Jean also leads and co-founded Sayoni, a queer feminist organization in Singapore that organizes community events, conducts research, and advocates for equality, well-being, and dignity to improve the lives of LBTQ people.  

Her activism began as a volunteer with Safehaven, a gay Christian support network, eventually becoming their first female vice chairperson. Jean went on to become a founding member of an inclusive church, Free (First Realize Everyone is Equal) Community Church, and served as their first chairperson. Expanding her activism into local advocacy, she became a part of the core team of People Like Us in Singapore.  

Jean is the Asia advisor for the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and the current Chairperson and founding member of the ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, a regional network of Southeast Asian LGBTIQ groups lobbying for the inclusion of LGBTIQ rights in the ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism. In her past roles, she has worked for OutRight Action International as their China Program Coordinator. Jean holds a Masters of Human Rights and Democratization from the University of Sydney (EU scholarship).   She is the winner of the AWARE Champion for Gender Equality and Justice Award 2018 in Singapore and the APCOM Community Hero Award for the Asia Pacific region in 2018.

Jessica Stern (she/her/they/them/he/him)
Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons, U.S. Department of State

Appointed by President Biden, Jessica Stern serves as the Special Envoy to Advance the Human Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI+) Persons. Special Envoy Stern leads U.S. efforts to protect LGBTQI+ persons globally from violence and discrimination.

Prior to joining the Department of State, Stern led Outright International, a global LGBTQI+ human rights organization, as its Executive Director for ten years. At Outright, Stern helped the organization secure observer status at the United Nations, release human rights reports annually, build the world’s largest COVID LGBTQI+ grant-making program, and quintupled the budget.  Before Outright, Stern was a researcher and advocate at Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the Center for Constitutional Rights. 

Stern has a long history of multilateral engagement.  Stern was a founding member of the UN LGBTI Core Group and of its secretariat.  Stern successfully campaigned for the first UN General Assembly resolution to include gender identity and for successive Human Rights Council resolutions on sexual orientation and gender identity, leading to the establishment of the Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. Stern provided the first LGBTQI+ rights expert testimony in a UN Security Council Arria.  Stern has frequently served as an advisor to UN mechanisms, including as a founding member of the UNWomen LGBTI Reference Group. 

Stern is a published author, is frequently cited in the media, and is the recipient of numerous honors, including from Crain’s New York Business, Gay City News, and the Metropolitan Community Church.  As an adjunct associate professor, Special Envoy Stern taught the first LGBTQI+ rights course at Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs.  Special Envoy Stern has lived in Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Uruguay.  

Joe Wong (he/him)
Executive Director, APTN

Joe Wong is a Singaporean living in Bangkok. He oversees the institution and programme development of the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) and manages partnerships with stakeholders.

Joe’s work includes supporting and strengthening trans-led movement through a community-led funding project to support grassroots, national trans groups run by and for trans people and regional programmes by coordinating trans advocacy efforts with its national partners and other international trans bodies.

His expertise is in community mobilisation, advocacy, programming and organisation development.

Lord Nick Herbert (he/him)

UK’s Special Envoy on LGBT rights

Nick Herbert (Lord Herbert of South Downs) is the UK Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on LGBT+ Rights.  He is a longstanding advocate for LGBT+ rights, having been one of the leading voices for equal marriage when he was an elected MP in the House of Commons and the founding chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global LGBT+ Rights.  He is also the founder and chair of the Global Equality Caucus.

Midnight (he/him)
Executive Director, APCOM

Based in Bangkok, Midnight has been the Executive Director of APCOM since 2011, working in multi-sectoral partnerships with governments, donors, the United Nations, development partners and most importantly the community and civil society organisations working on advancing SOGIESC rights, and alleviating HIV in Asia Pacific region. 

Midnight is a member of various advisory committees, including the global IDAHOT committee, Advisory Committee member of Global Philanthropy Project’s Report on Government and Philanthropic Support for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,Transgender, and Intersex Communities, international advisory group of Dignity Network, World Health Organisation Global PrEP Coalition and Guidelines Development Group for HIV Testing Services, and ASHM’s Regional Advisory Group member leading on Key Populations of the Taskforce on BBVs, Sexual Health and COVID-19. He is also on the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board representing Asia and the Pacific as part of the NGO Delegation.  

Midnight obtained his Masters in Globalisation and Development from SOAS University of London.

Naomi Fontanos (she/her)
Executive Director, Gender and Development Advocates (GANDA) Filipinas, the Philippines

Naomi Fontanos graduated from the University of the Philippines Diliman. She is a long-time advocate of the Filipino transgender, lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex, and queer (TLGBIQ) community and an advocate of feminism. In 2008, she became the first trans co-coordinator of Task Force Pride (TFP) Philippines, the official organizing network of the annual Metro Manila Pride March. She was part of the International Advisory Group of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) in reviewing the 7th Standards of Care (SOC), international clinical protocols for safe transitioning for trans people and part of the external peer review team of the World Health Organization (WHO) for its consolidated guidelines on HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care for key populations in 2014. In 2015, she became the first trans Filipina to be a fellow of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) of the United States State Department on Preventing and Responding to Bias-Motivated Violence Against the LGBT Community.  

She is a co-founder and current Executive Director of Gender and Development Advocates (GANDA) Filipinas, a TLGBIQ human rights organization primarily focused on the issues, needs, and concerns of the trans community in the Philippines and beyond. In 2018, she was named a fellow of the Internet Freedom Festival (IFF) held at Valencia, Spain in March 2018. In 2020, she was named as one of GoMagazine’s “100 Women We Love” and in 2021 was awarded as one of Quezon City’s Iconic Women. She was also named as one of the Faces of Exchange of the IVLP in 2021.  

Ryan V. Silverio (they)
Executive Director, ASEAN SOGIE Caucus

Ryan V. Silverio is a genderqueer activist. With more than 20 years’ experience in human rights activism, they have performed leadership roles such as being the current Executive Director of ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, as a member of the Board of Trustees of Philippine Human Rights Information Center (PhilRights), and as a regional advisory committee member of different international LGBTQI+ programs.  

In 2021, Ryan co-organized the Southeast Asian Queer Cultural Festival (SEAQCF), an online festival for cultural activism and reclaiming queer cultural identities in the ASEAN region. Ryan has published research and learning modules on topics such as on youth participation in governance, child rights, and on queer activism.   

Ryan is passionate about creating spaces for unheard voices within social movements. They graduated with a Master of Arts in Human Rights degree obtained from Mahidol University.  

Victor Madrigal-Borloz (he/him)
UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, United Nations

Victor Madrigal-Borloz was appointed as UN Independent Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity in late 2017. His initial three-year term started on 1 January 2018. He is the second Independent Expert to serve in this capacity. A Costa Rican jurist, Mr. Madrigal-Borloz is a senior visiting researcher at Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program, in residence at Harvard Law School from July 2019 to December 2023.   

You can also find a longer version on the mandate’s webpage 

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