Staff

HQ Staff

Rupak Chattopadhyay

President and CEO

Rupak Chattopadhyay has been President and CEO of the Forum of Federations since 2011. He was previously a member of the Consultative Group on the Study of Intergovernmental Relations and Dispute Resolution Mechanisms, Inter-State Council, Government of India. In 2004/5 he was Advisor to the Chairman of the Observer Research Foundation. He is on the editorial board or the Indian Journal of Public Administration and is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Federal Studies at the University of Kent. Over the last two decades he has contributed as an expert in support of political and constitutional reforms in Ethiopia, Mexico, Myanmar, Philippines, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Yemen. He holds master’s degrees in economics and political science from the University of Ottawa and the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and did his doctoral work in political science at the University of Toronto. Rupak has authored, co-authored and edited a number of books and papers on federalism including Unity in Diversity: Learning from Each Other (Viva Books 2008), Finance and Governance of Capital Cities in Federal Systems (McGill Queens UP 2009) and Governance and Finance of Metropolitan Area in Federal Countries (Oxford UP 2013). Recently he co-authored a comparative study on Apex Level Intergovernmental relations (World Bank 2019) for submission to the Fifteenth Finance Commission of India.

Rupak Chattopadhyay

President and CEO

Rupak Chattopadhyay has been President and CEO of the Forum...

Charles Cloutier

Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Charles Cloutier has worked for various international/community development organizations such as the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, Oxfam Canada and CUSO over the past 25 years. He was also Regional Director in the Outaouais for Transcontinental Media where he was responsible for the publication of 7 weekly community newspapers. He was a founding member of the Franco Ontarian theatre La Nouvelle Scene and sits on the Board of a Credit Union. Charles is a graduate of the University of Ottawa and University of Laval where he earned his Chartered Accountant designation. He has run programs in Indonesia, Haiti and Tunisia.

Charles Cloutier

Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Charles Cloutier has worked for various international/community development organizations such...

Sheela Embounou

Vice President, Monitoring and Senior Director, MENA Women’s Leadership Program

Sheela Embounou brings to the Forum over 25 years experience in program and financial management.  She is currently the Forum’s gender focal point and oversees the Forum’s programs in Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. She formerly oversaw the Forum’s support to the Nepal Constituent Assembly. She was previously Senior Director for Finance and Operations at the Forum. Prior to joining the Forum, she worked for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Republic of Congo, Ghana and Kenya.  She graduated from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth majoring in Human Geography.

Sheela Embounou

Vice President, Monitoring and Senior Director, ME

Sheela Embounou brings to the Forum over 25 years experience...

Felix Knüpling

Vice President, Programs

Felix Knüpling joined the Forum in 2007 and worked at headquarters in Ottawa until 2013. He is currently based in Berlin, Germany, and oversees and manages the Forum projects. Also, Felix has provided expert advice on federal reform in various emerging federations, such as Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines and Sri Lanka. Prior to joining the Forum, Felix worked for the German parliament – the Bundestag – and at the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO in Brussels. Felix holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Freie Universität Berlin and a BA in International Relations from University of Kent. He has co-edited several books on federalism, among them Federalism and the Response to COVID-19 (with Rupak Chattopadhyay and others, Routledge 2021) and Reformbaustelle Bundesstaat (“Reforming German Federalism”; with Sabine Kropp and others, Springer 2020).

Felix Knüpling

Vice President, Programs

Felix Knüpling joined the Forum in 2007 and worked at...

Diana Chebenova

Senior Director

Diana Chebenova oversees and manages Forum’s policy programs and partnerships relations with Forum’s partner countries and organizations. She is also in charge of Forum’s programs in South America and internships/young professionals programs. Diana has managed Forum’s project in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, India, Spain and Russia run in a variety of policy areas, including fiscal management, education, local governance, intergovernmental relations, health care and others. She was previously Director for Research and Publications and Director for South America Programs and Partnerships. Prior to joining the Forum she worked at the Inter-American Agency for Co-operation and Development of the Organization of American States in Washington D.C. Diana holds Master’s Degree in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University and MA in Commerce from the University of Economics of Bratislava. She speaks Slovak, English, Spanish, Russian, and has working knowledge of Portuguese and French.

Diana Chebenova

Senior Director

Diana Chebenova oversees and manages Forum’s policy programs and partnerships...

Shawn Houlihan

Senior Director

Shawn Houlihan has an MA in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a BA and Master of Development Economics from Dalhousie University. He spent five years in Ethiopia (1993-1998) in governance and civil service reform. He also has extensive experience in Sudan, for Canada and for the United National Development Programme. He worked as a consultant for the Canadian International Development Agency on matters of governance, capacity development and conflict management, including on the Middle East, Horn of Africa, Pan Africa and Southern Africa. Shawn is currently based in Adis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Shawn Houlihan

Senior Director

Shawn Houlihan has an MA in Public Administration from the...

John Light

Senior Director

John Light has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and expertise in communications which he oversees as part of his responsibilities at the Forum of FederationsBefore working at the Forum, John spent over a decade working in the Canadian Parliament. John served as a policy advisor to Ministers in several portfolios: Transport, Foreign Affairs and House Leader. John advised on foreign affairs, infrastructure, appointments, crown corporations and IGR around Federal/Provincial/Municipal relations. John also managed nearly a dozen election campaigns during this time. John is co-editor of the Forum’s signature publication, “The Forum of Federations Handbook of Federal Countries 2020” (Palgrave 2020) with Rupak Chattopadhyay and others.

John Light

Senior Director

John Light has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and expertise...

Phillip Gonzalez

Senior Director

Phillip Gonzalez has over 10 years’ experience and has contributed as a governance expert in support of constitutional and democratic reform in Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines.
Phillip has worked extensively across Asia with political leaders and various stakeholders on issues of multilevel governance, providing technical training in devolved and federal governance; supporting efforts towards democratic devolution. Additionally, he has also worked on governance projects in Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, India, Sri Lanka, Russia and Ukraine where he has provided technical advice and implemented projects with partners to provide options for complex policy issues and governance questions. Phillip has a Master’s degree in International Relations from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. He received his Bachelor’s degree from La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. He has previously worked at the Canadian Foundation for the Americas as well as the Australian High Commission in Ottawa. He is fluent in English and Spanish.

Phillip Gonzalez

Senior Director

Phillip Gonzalez has over 10 years’ experience and has contributed...

Donna Duffett

Senior Project Officer

Donna Duffett joined the Forum in 2015. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in History from Carleton University and has over 15 years of administrative experience. She has recently moved back to Ottawa from Qatar where she worked as an events administrator for Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)  School of the Arts for seven years. Her other experiences include working as a project administrator on the TCCCS/Iris program and working as an office administration for various consulting firms.

Donna Duffett

Senior Project Officer

Donna Duffett joined the Forum in 2015. She holds a...

Fauziah Pruner

Finance Officer

Fauziah Pruner  joined the Forum of Federations in January 2009 is responsible for corporate accounting and financial reporting. She is a Certified General Accountant and has extensive experience in both private and public sectors.

Fauziah Pruner

Finance Officer

Fauziah Pruner  joined the Forum of Federations in January 2009...

Liam Whittington

Program Manager

Liam Whittington is a researcher and analyst who has held positions for policy research organizations in Washington DC, Vienna, and the UK. He has contributed to research and development projects in a range of countries operating in a variety of different policy areas, including education, security, local governance, international development, and civil service organization, and has experience in conducting public spending reviews. Liam is a Research Fellow of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (Washington DC) and has published a number of articles on a range of international policy issues. He holds a First Class Honours degree in Medieval and Modern History from the University of Birmingham (UK), and an MA in International Relations from the University of Nottingham (UK).

Liam Whittington

Program Manager

Liam Whittington is a researcher and analyst who has held...

Driss Boutakhoust

Project Officer and Accountant

Driss Boutakhoust joined the Forum of Federations in November 2016. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting & a Master’s degree in Human resources. He has over 5 years of administration experience.

Driss Boutakhoust

Project Officer and Accountant

Driss Boutakhoust joined the Forum of Federations in November 2016....

Olakunle Adeniran

Project Officer

Olakunle Adeniran has been with the Forum of Federations since October 2016. He holds a Master’s degree in Conflict Studies from the University of Ottawa and Saint Paul University and a BSc in International Law and Diplomacy. His research focus is on gender equality and non-violent means of resolving conflict. Olakunle has academic training in Arbitration with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and Third Party Neutral training in Mediation and Facilitation with the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution. He has had volunteering opportunities with the Liberal Party of Canada and Oxfam Canada. He is also an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution.

Olakunle Adeniran

Project Officer

Olakunle Adeniran has been with the Forum of Federations since...

George Stairs

Project Officer

George Stairs has been working at the Forum of Federations since September 2016. Previously he has worked in several different government departments during his time as a student. He completed his M.A. in International Affairs: Conflict Analysis and Conflict Resolution at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs in 2016 through a Master’s Research Project on Tunisia’s democratization process post-Arab Spring. He has been known to write occasionally for the student-run website iAffairsCanada.ca, as their Associate Editor for Peace and Security. He has presented conference papers on a variety of topics and most recently had his chapter “The Amplification of the Sunni-Shia Divide through Contemporary Communications Technology: Fear and Loathing in the Modern Middle East,” in IGI Global’s Impact of Communication and the Media on Ethnic Conflict. His languages are English and French, and he speaks a little German.

George Stairs

Project Officer

George Stairs has been working at the Forum of Federations...

Elizabeth Lisa Nganwa

CORE Project Officer

Elizabeth Lisa Nganwa joined the forum in 2016. She is the project officer for the Africa desk. She also handles the Human Resources desk, program administration, and financial reporting for HQ. She graduated with HONS. Psychology and minors in Criminology and Gender Equity.

Elizabeth Lisa Nganwa

CORE Project Officer

Elizabeth Lisa Nganwa joined the forum in 2016. She is...

Laurenne Garneau

Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Advisor

Laurenne Garneau provides technical expertise in support to the Forum’s team in Myanmar. Laurenne brings decades of experience in international cooperation as a former Government of Canada’s professional. As a Canadian diplomat, she worked closely with foreign government representatives including two years in Myanmar on governance, economic development and gender equality issues; three years in the Philippines on local governance and women’s economic empowerment; and four years in Indonesia on environmental and natural resources governance in the context of decentralization. Laurenne’s experience includes more than 10 years in gender equality research, policy development and provision of technical advice. She is a member of the International Association for Feminist Economics and the Quebec-based Femmes, Politique, Démocratie. She holds a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in Economics from Université du Québec à Montréal.

Laurenne Garneau

Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Advisor

Laurenne Garneau provides technical expertise in support to the Forum’s...

Asma Zribi

Project Officer, MENA Women’s Leadership program

Asma Zribi is a Project Officer at the MENA Women’s Leadership program at the Forum of Federations. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences with a major in Criminology and a minor in Law from the University of Ottawa, Canada. She is a Member and Co-chair of Amnesty International Canada’s Corporate Accountability and Climate Justice specialized team on Energy Transition. In 2019, Asma took part in a field research project in Tunisia in which she explored government and civil society engagement in transitional justice following the country’s democratization in 2011. She is interested in the roles of public and private sectors in civil society in mitigating corruption and promoting good governance.

Asma Zribi

Project Officer, MENA Women’s Leadership program

Asma Zribi is a Project Officer at the MENA Women’s...

Soumaya Marhnouj

Communications Assistant

Soumaya Marhnouj joined the Forum of Federations as an intern in 2021 and currently works as Communications Assistant. She recently completed an Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences in Conflict Studies and Human Rights at the University of Ottawa. She has previously been employed with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada as a Professional Development Coordinator, as well as a Junior Analyst with Public Services and Procurement Canada. Soumaya is working on a research project for Youth at Risk with Human Concern International and hopes to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable. She volunteers with a variety of community organizations and can usually be found creating posters and graphics.

Soumaya Marhnouj

Communications Assistant

Soumaya Marhnouj joined the Forum of Federations as an intern...

Deanna Senko

Communications Assistant

Deanna Senko is a student in International Development and Globalization with a concentration in Gender Studies at the University of Ottawa. Deanna has worked in communications and social media marketing in political campaigns as well as in the tourism and hospitality industry, prior to her work at the Forum of Federations. Deanna is fluent in English and French and is involved in community outreach activities in her spare time.

Deanna Senko

Communications Assistant

Deanna Senko is a student in International Development and Globalization...

Brazil Office

Constantino Cronemberger Mendes

Country Director, Brazil

Constantino Cronemberger Mendes is an economist specialized in public sector economy. He holds a doctorate in Economics from the University of Brasilia (UnB), Brazil. Constantino is a researcher at the Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) where the Forum Office is housed. He is the coordinator of the Federative Development Studies and general-coordinator of the IPEA’s Interdepartmental Working Group for the same subject. He has taught college classes in Brazil and performed as visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley, USA. Constantino has published articles, chapters and books on federal governance, such as regional development policies, long-term territorial planning, public spending and local delivery of public services. His recent studies have recently been awarded the first place in a contest held by the Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management.

Constantino Cronemberger Mendes

Country Director, Brazil

Constantino Cronemberger Mendes is an economist specialized in public sector...

Ethiopia Office

Maeregu Habtemariam Kazentet

Regional Director, East Africa Region

Maeregu Habtemariam Kazentet studied agriculture at a diploma level and has a BA in Economics (Hons) from India and MA in International Development Planning and Management from Germany. He has served the government of Ethiopia from the lowest structure (Wereda) up to key positions at federal government level for more than 15 years. He was a State Minister of the Ministry of Federal Affairs where one of his main responsibilities was strengthening the federal system of government and managing conflicts within the nation. Maeregu was actively involved in organizing the 5th International Conference on Federalism in Ethiopia in 2010.

Maeregu Habtemariam Kazentet

Regional Director, East Africa Region

Maeregu Habtemariam Kazentet studied agriculture at a diploma level and...

Dassa Bulcha

Senior Program Director, Ethiopia Country Office

Dassa Bulcha is a constitutional lawyer and governance expert who also has extensive experience in areas of program management and policy analysis. He has played leading roles in the development and implementation of different democratic governance programs in Ethiopia.

Mr. Dassa Bulcha was a former Judge of the Oromia State Supreme Court, Ethiopia, where he served as its President for two years (2018-2020). He co-founded the Oromia Legal Training and Research Institute and served as its first Director (for four years). He was actively involved in the design process and led the implementation of the Comprehensive Justice Reform Program in Ethiopia, between 2005 and 2010. Mr. Bulcha served as Program Director at the Forum of Federations’ Ethiopia Office (2010-2011). From 2012 -2018 he worked as Senior Governance Program Analyst at UNDP Ethiopia.

Mr. Bulcha has a Master of Laws (LLM) in Comparative Constitutional Law from Alabama University (USA) and LLM in International Law from Addis Ababa University as well as a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.

Dassa Bulcha

Senior Program Director, Ethiopia Country Office

Dassa Bulcha is a constitutional lawyer and governance expert who...

Aynekulu Desta

Director of Finance and Admin

Aynekulu Desta holds MBA in finance and BA in accounting. He has been working as Finance Director, Finance and Systems Manager and Financial Controller in Save the Children, OXFAM GB and Technoserve Inc., respectively. He is member of the Ethiopian Professional Accountants and Auditors Association and has previously served this association as member of the Board. He has taken various trainings in internal control, auditing, financial management, project management, grant management, procurement, corruption prevention and many accounting soft wares. He also has excellent experience in working with government offices, NGOs and Civil Society partners. Further, he has been travelling to many countries for training and support services and thus he has long experience of working with different social set ups and different cultures.

Aynekulu Desta

Director of Finance and Admin

Aynekulu Desta holds MBA in finance and BA in accounting....

Yakob Bekele

Senior Program Manager

Yakob Bekele holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Federalism. Before joining the Forum, he worked for various government institutions including the Secretariat of the House of Federation (HOF) and the former Ministry of Federal Affairs of the FDRE. He has more than 12 years of experience in the areas of intergovernmental relations (IGR) and intergovernmental fiscal transfers (IGFT). While he was at the Secretariat of the HOF he played a leading role in initiating and coordinating the development of new IGR and IGFT laws.

Yakob Bekele

Senior Program Manager

Yakob Bekele holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a...

Emebet Ayelign

M and E Specialist

Emebet Ayelign holds MA in Management of Vocational Education at AAU, MA in Sociology at IGNOU and BA in Business Education from AAU. She joined FoF in November2017.She has 15 years of experience as Finance and Admin Officer for Action aid Ethiopia, Program officer at Pro- Pride, MEAL officer at Hiwot Ethiopia and Pact Ethiopia, MEAL coordinator at Save the Children International. And teaching of Business courses and research methodology in Government and Private University and colleges.
She has 10 years of experience working in M and E field and having ample experience in doing research, project planning, and program coordination, coordination of monitoring and evaluation tasks, data management and report writing and data quality audit (DQA) of different thematic areas such as Education, Child protection, HIV/AIDS, Governance, Livelihood, ARH/RH and NRH funded by different donors.

Emebet Ayelign

M and E Specialist

Emebet Ayelign holds MA in Management of Vocational Education at...

Sosena Mualtu

Gender Specialist

Sosena Mualtu joined FoF in November 2018. She holds an MA in Gender Studies from Addis Ababa University, a BSc in Geography from Bahir Dar University and a BSc in Health Education and Promotion from Jimma University. She has more than ten years of experience in the field of gender, education and livelihoods. She also has extensive knowledge and experience on gender mainstreaming in agriculture, health, education, and livelihood promotion activities. Prior to the Forum of Federations, she had worked as Gender and Social Behavioral Change and Communication (SBCC) Advisor for Population Services International (PSI), as Gender Assistant Advisor at the Institute of International Education-CNFA and Gender Advisor at CARE Ethiopia. Before these she also worked as Program Officer at World Learning Ethiopia and Project Officer at the Organization for Women in self-Employment. Currently, she is a volunteer board member of Young Women Christian Association (YWCA).
Her expertise is basically centered on coordination, project management, technical assistance, capacity building, gender analysis, reporting, monitoring and evaluation of gender-related programs/ projects.

Sosena Mualtu

Gender Specialist

Sosena Mualtu joined FoF in November 2018. She holds an...

Medhanit Teklu Dibaba

Administration and Financial Officer

Medhanit Teklu Dibaba has BA in Computer Science and Information Technology from Adama University and is currently studying her MA in Business Administration at St. Mary’s University. Medhanit has more than five years’ experience in Ethiopis College as an assistant Dean, as Printing and Production Department Head, as Marketing and Communication Department Head and associate Registrar. Prior to that had worked as an assistant CEO in Cheetah Consulting Architects PLC. She joined the Forum’s Ethiopia Office in June 2016 as Administration Assistance, and assists in planning and organizing activities of the Office.

Medhanit Teklu Dibaba

Administration and Financial Officer

Medhanit Teklu Dibaba has BA in Computer Science and Information...

Endale Girma

Facilitator

Endale Girma has a Diploma in Auto-mechanics and close to ten years of work experience. He renders safe and timely transportation services and assists with logistical tasks at the Forum’s Ethiopia Country Office.

Endale Girma

Facilitator

Endale Girma has a Diploma in Auto-mechanics and close to...

Fikirte Debebe Cherentet

Office Assistant

Fikirte Debebe Cherentet provides cleaning and clerical support to ensure efficiency and effectiveness within the Forum’s Ethiopia Country Office.

Fikirte Debebe Cherentet

Office Assistant

Fikirte Debebe Cherentet provides cleaning and clerical support to ensure...

Hayat Jemal

Intern

Hayat Jemal is a graduate from Addis Ababa University, School of Law. As an associate at The People’s Accolade Law Magazine, she has good experience in developing story content ideas, publicity strategies, sourcing for materials, monitor news-gathering operations. Her career goal is to work in the academic’s area as an educator. Now, she is assisting Forum Ethiopia as a Communication Intern.

Hayat Jemal

Intern

Hayat Jemal is a graduate from Addis Ababa University, School...

India Office

Vikas Kumar

Program Manager, India

Vikas Kumar holds a Masters degree from Jamia Millia Islamia in Political Science, a Post Graduate Diploma in Conflict Transformation and Peace building from Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi. His primary skill and experience lies in research. Mr Kumar had regularly visited remotest villages of five different states of India to conduct survey and implement projects while working for Digital Empowerment Foundation and Association for Democratic Reforms. Mr. Kumar’s has been writing independently on issues related to Health, Education, Human Rights and Sustainable Rural Development in India. Previously, Mr. Kumar has worked as researcher with University Of Delhi to assess the importance of Rajya Sabha in Indian parliamentary system.

Vikas Kumar

Program Manager, India

Vikas Kumar holds a Masters degree from Jamia Millia Islamia...

Ravi Dhingra

Country Director, India

Ravi Dhingra AS (Retd), Former Chief Secretary, Himachal Pradesh. Appointed as an Independent Director, SJVN. He was also a Senior Consultant with National Disaster Management Authority, National Security Council Secretariat and Srikrishna Committee on Andhra Pradesh. Joined Indian Administrative Service in 1972 and has worked in the State & Central Governments in important positions like Chief Secretary-HP, Chairman- HP Electricity Board and Secretary, Govt India, Ministry of Home Affairs, Inter State Council Secretariat. Former Board Member of the Forum of Federations, Canada & Chairman of the Strategic Council of the Forum .The Council represents 9 member countries. Has done pioneering work as the First Managing Director of H.P. Civil Supplies Corporation. Set up the Corporation. Was also Executive Director, Industrial Development Corporation.

Ravi Dhingra

Country Director, India

Ravi Dhingra AS (Retd), Former Chief Secretary, Himachal Pradesh. Appointed...

Jordan Office

Tala Khrais

Country Director, Haneen is Project and RBM Officer

Tala Khrais joined the Forum of Federations in January 2020. Over the past 15 years, she worked in coordination, management, and technical assistance of European funded projects/programs implemented in public sector of Jordan, including ministries of Agriculture, Political and Parliamentary Affairs, and Planning and International Cooperation, University of Jordan and Royal Scientific Society. Prior to joining the Forum, she worked for three years as an expert for the LOGOReP (Local Government Resilience Programme)-funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, contributing to the capacity building of Jordanian municipalities, and its local and municipal councils in many areas including: local governance, local economic development, citizen participation, gender mainstreaming, and scenario planning.

Tala holds M.Sc. in Agriculture and Environmental Sciences from McGill University, and she happens to be interested in strengthening the role of women in rural and agricultural areas, and in resilience to climate change. She recently published a paper on “Promotion of the Practice of Rainwater Harvesting at the House Hold Level Among Women in the Bedouin Community of Jordan, (2018)”, a CIHEAM-Union for Mediterranean co-publication, ufmsecretariat.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/watchletter.

She also pursued academic training in European political studies at College of Europe (Belgium) and in local governance and local economic development at the Hague Academy for local governance (the Netherlands), and recently presented a conference paper on “Decentralisation and Local Governance for Fostering Peace and Social Solidarity – Case Study of Jordan and Yemen” at the Varieties of Peace Asia Conference, Jakarta (2019).

Tala Khrais

Country Director, Haneen is Project and RBM Office

Tala Khrais joined the Forum of Federations in January 2020....

Haneen Mraiyan

Project and RBM Officer

Haneen Mraiyan holds a M.A. Graduate in Democratic Governance, Democracy and Human Rights in the MENA (EIUC). She has been working in the humanitarian sector, specifically with refugees, since 2014 with international organizations. She is highly passionate about Women’s Rights in the MENA region.

Haneen Mraiyan

Project and RBM Officer

Haneen Mraiyan holds a M.A. Graduate in Democratic Governance, Democracy...

Stephanie Alramadneh

Officer-Finance and Administration

Stephanie Alramadneh joined the Forum in October 2020 as a Finance and Administration Officer. She holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Reading. Previously, she worked at Collateral Repair Project, a grassroots nonprofit organization that supports and empowers urban refugees in Amman, Jordan. This experience created a passion for her to work with organizations that empower and support individuals around the Middle East.

Stephanie Alramadneh

Officer-Finance and Administration

Stephanie Alramadneh joined the Forum in October 2020 as a...

Morocco Office

Hayat Lahbaili

Country Director, Morocco

Hayat Lahbaili is a doctoral student in Public Finances and public law. She is a former civil servant of the Ministry of Home Affairs and has over 24 years of experience in the field of social development, economy, country planning and urban affairs.  Hayat is an activist of the Democratic Movement and Feminist Movement and a national coordinator in NGO’s working on gender-sensitive budget in Morocco.

Hayat Lahbaili

Country Director, Morocco

Hayat Lahbaili is a doctoral student in Public Finances and...

Younes EL Allaoui

Project and RBM Officer

Younes EL Allaoui joined the Forum in January 2017. He holds a master’s degree in fiscal, financial and accounting engineering. Since 2014, he has built project management experience in various fields, as well as budgetary and financial monitoring. M. El Allaoui is also a member of the “Fight Against Drugs Association” (RDR Fez) in Fez.

Younes EL Allaoui

Project and RBM Officer

Younes EL Allaoui joined the Forum in January 2017. He...

Fatima-Zohra Bouazzaoui

Assistante de projet-Chargée de partenariats

Lauréate de l’Ecole Nationale de Commerce et de gestion, elle a intégré le programme du Forum des Fédérations, en tant que stagiaire-mentorée auprès d’une Directrice Provinciale de l’Education Nationale en 2018, juste après avoir décroché son master en commerce. Depuis, eIle a acquis une expérience de 3ans en coordination et en élaboration de rapports, et détient une maîtrise en compétences analytiques, rédactionnelles et de négoces.

Mme Bouazzaoui s’intéresse aux questions de l’Etat de droit et de la démocratie et a participé à l’observation des élections en 2015, par la méthode d’échantillon aléatoire représentatif, mise en place par le Conseil National des Droits de l’Homme(CNDH) et le National Democratic Institute (NDI).

Fatima-Zohra Bouazzaoui

Assistante de projet-Chargée de partenariats

Lauréate de l’Ecole Nationale de Commerce et de gestion, elle...

Nepal Office

Sagar Manandhar

Program Manager-Consultant

Sagar Manandhar manages the Forum’s Nepal’s country office. He holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration and is currently completing a Masters in Economics and a Bachelor in Law from the Tribhuvan University in Nepal. Before coming to the Forum, Sagar was in investment banking and credit administration in Nepal.

Sagar Manandhar

Program Manager-Consultant

Sagar Manandhar manages the Forum’s Nepal’s country office. He holds...

Philippines Office

Azairah Mortel

Program Assistant

Azairah Mortel holds a degree in Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Major in Legal Management (BSBA-LM) and a postgraduate degree as a Juris Doctor (J.D.). She was a public servant who served as a Chairman of the Sangguniang Kabataan or youth council, the governing body of the youth assembly of a village or a district in the Philippines. During her studies as BSBA-LM, she was an Associate Vice President of Finance of the Alliance of Legal Management Associations of the Philippines. She also served her training with the Committee on Food Security of the House of Representatives. As a Juris Doctor, she had her internship with the Department of Justice and a private law office. After her tenure as a public servant, her passion for public service did not end and she has conducted various donation drives for the needy.

Azairah Mortel

Program Assistant

Azairah Mortel holds a degree in Bachelor of Science in...

Erwin Bulang

Program Assistant

Erwin Bulang holds a Bachelor’s Degree on Philosophy from the University of the Philippines and is currently taking up Juris Doctor degree at the San Sebastian College Recoletos – College of Law in Manila. He previously worked in the Department of National Defense as a Defense Research Analyst from 2017 until 2019. He became a Project Development Officer for the Center for Federalism and Constitutional Reform under the Department of the Interior and Local Government on 2019 until 2020. From there, he campaigned for fundamental reforms and surgical amendments to the present Philippine Constitution. He is now a Research Assistant for the Forum and is closely working with the Philippine government to promote the better practice of decentralized governance in the area of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in the Philippines.

Erwin Bulang

Program Assistant

Erwin Bulang holds a Bachelor’s Degree on Philosophy from the...

Tunisia Office

Leila Haououi-Khouni

Regional Director, MENA

Leila Haououi-Khouni is assistant Professor of Environmental and Macro Economics at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion, Universite de Tunis (ISG). She holds a Masters degree in Economic Sciences from the University of Tunis. Her doctoral work on « Les déterminants du choix d’un régime de change dans les pays émergents » was done at the Université Lumière, Lyon2 and co-directed by J. P ALLEGRET (Lyon2) and Mr AYADI (Université de Tunis). Leila is a member of a team piloting a partnership project “Responsible entrepreneurship” between the German Cooperation (GIZ) and the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (ISG). She worked with the United Nations Volunteer Program in Africa.

Leila Haououi-Khouni

Regional Director, MENA

Leila Haououi-Khouni is assistant Professor of Environmental and Macro Economics...

Ikram Mechlaoui

Project Manager - Tunisia

Ikram Mechlaoui graduated from the Faculty of Letters, Arts and Humanities of Manouba where she obtained her BA Degree in English Language, Literature and Civilization and where she started a Master’s Degree in Linguistics later. During her studies, Ikram has had various experiences in Teaching, Patent Translation and Design and Sale Services. In 2013, she was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship and was placed at State University of New York in Cobleskill as a Teacher, Cultural Ambassador and Student. Following this enriching international experience she had at SUNY Cobleskill, Ikram was back to her country Tunisia to choose a career in socio-economic development with international organizations. Prior to her joining the Forum of Federations as a Project Support, she has worked with INJAZ Tunisia, member of Junior Achievement Worldwide (JAW) as a Program Manager and Education for Employment Tunisia, member of Education of Employment MENA as a Program Manager as well working on both organizations on Entrepreneurship and Soft Skills Programs for future entrepreneurs.

Ikram Mechlaoui

Project Manager - Tunisia

Ikram Mechlaoui graduated from the Faculty of Letters, Arts and...

Inès Dhifallah

Project and RBM Officer

Inès Dhifallah graduated with a Master in Business Administration, Ines Dhifallah has developed an experience in the management of development projects in Tunisia. She began her career as a temporary worker at the French Embassy in Tunisia and later joined IACE (Institut Arabe des Chefs d’entreprises), a business think-tank working to improve the business climate and promote the private sector in Tunisia, through international cooperation projects, developing its expertise in project management, communication, advocacy and public relations. She has been coordinator of the National Business Agenda, a project aimed at establishing and organizing public-private dialogue. In this context, she contributed to the establishment of the first platform for the resolution of administrative blockages for the benefit of business leaders. She also has experience in communication and media through her experience as a senior reporter in Le Manager, one of the most prestigious business magazines in Tunisia.

Inès Dhifallah

Project and RBM Officer

Inès Dhifallah graduated with a Master in Business Administration, Ines...

Wafa Seddik

Project Assistant

Wafa Seddik is a graduate of the Higher School of Commerce of Tunis and holder of a Research Master in Banking, Finance and International Trade which she obtained in 2017. She started her career as a project coordinator in a company whose activities are in the aeronautical field. She joined the Forum in 2020.

Wafa Seddik

Project Assistant

Wafa Seddik is a graduate of the Higher School of...

Yemen Office

Muaamar Batawil

Senior Advisor, Yemen

Muaamar Batawil is the Forum’s Senior Advisor for Yemen. In 2012-2014, he was the Forum’s local program officer to help implement the project “Supporting the National Dialogue Conference and the Consolidation of Democracy in Yemen”, funded by the Government of Canada. Subsequently, Muammar worked as a political specialist for two years in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Sana’a office. He was also a staffer in the office of the former Yemeni Prime Minister for more than a year. Muaamar is originally from Hadramout, Yemen, and received a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in political science and international relations from St. Cloud State University, Minnesota. He is currently completing his Master degree in public policies at University of Regina, Canada. Muaamar is fluent in Arabic and English.

Muaamar Batawil

Senior Advisor, Yemen

Muaamar Batawil is the Forum’s Senior Advisor for Yemen. In...