KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Dr. Raul Fabella - University of the Philippines, Philippines

Raul Fabella is a Professor Emeritus at the University of the Philippines, and a National Scientist of the Philippines, the highest recognition given by the Philippine Government to a Filipino for his outstanding contributions to science and technology. Dr. Fabella is recognized for his pioneering works on novel analytic constructs which turn out to be useful for problems in economics. During his stint as Dean of UP School of Economics from 1998 to 2007, he maintained its reputation as one of the top Economics departments in Southeast Asia in very challenging circumstances.

His involvement in many policy battles such as the controversial NBN-ZTE scandal, the Looming Fiscal Crisis, tax and public expenditure policy, currency overvaluation, and Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program, to name a few, has provided strong, intellectual rigor and evidence-based perspectives. He has earned many distinctions and citations, such as the 2002 International Publication Award (The Welfare and Political Economy Dimensions of Private Versus State Enterprise), among others. He was elected Academician in 1995 in recognition of his twin research works on the Nash bargaining solution and the Olson Ratio. Upon endorsement by the National Academy of Science and Technology, he was awarded the title of National Scientist by President Benigno Aquino III on 27 July 2011.

Dr. Fabella has written several books, monographs, and journal articles on various economic topics, e.g., international trade, economic crisis, debt management, labor and employment, etc. His latest book is Capitalism and Inclusion Under Weak Institutions published by the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies.

He earned his AB Philosophy degree at the Seminario Mayor-Recoletos Baguio in 1970 (now the Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary). He then obtained his Masters Degree in Economics at UP in 1975 and his PhD in Economics at Yale University in 1982.

ADDITIONAL SPEAKERS

Basanta Adhikari - Bikalpa, an Alternative, Nepal

Basanta Adhikari is the Founding chairperson of Bikalpa-an Alternative; an organization which envisions a Nepal where rule of law is supreme and all citizens can have an equal opportunity to prosper in their own country and enjoy their rights to life, liberty and property. Prior to this, he has worked with Samriddhi-the Prosperity Foundation, leading “Gari Khana Deu” (Livable Nepal) campaign to promote the fundamental principles of rule of law, right to life and property, and Freedom to Enterprise. Mr. Adhikari also served as a volunteer for three years (1999-2002) at Youth Development Program in Biratnagar and joined Youth Initiative in 2007 where he worked with different stakeholders to educate and trained young people on the issue of civic leadership. He graduated from SungKongHoe University, Seoul, South Korea on Master’s in Inter-Asia NGOs Studies (MAINS). Besides this, Basanta is alumni of US Department of State International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) and honored as Alumni of the month by the US Embassy Nepal in October 2017. He is also an Accountapreneur for Accountability Lab Accountability Incubator program and an Asia 21 young Leader’s fellow for class of 2016.

Zubair Ahmed - AddtoGoogle Services, India

Zubair Ahmed is a young Indian entrepreneur, marketer, and a social worker who believes in Satre’s philosophy that the expression ‘I have no choice’ is misleading and freedom is absolute —only power is reserved. Zubair’s mantra is that every condition, bad or good has a freedom in it only we need a perspective to see and utilise it. This attitude led him to be a co-founder of Addtogoogle Services which has a vision to take

digital marketing to new heights in India, where millions of businessmen are working on century- old models. Thus, he is providing these businesses wings to fly freely in the world of internet.

Apart from being a marketer, Zubair has increasingly focused on inspiring youth with his social entrepreneurial mindset. He believes in “Economy of Communion” which motivates him to “live faith in the business world.” For the same, he helps the marginalised group of people so that they can help themselves. From a very young age, he has been an active volunteer at both national and international level organisations like One Way Trust, Islamic Relief UK, and Well Being Foundation. 

He is a focused, organised, dedicated, and polite person with a smiling face. Zubair started his business with zero capital while managing his time, energy and passion with his love for social work and his college education at the same time. He believes in free thinking, free markets and free movement as only they can provide wings to human thought, enhance technologies, and connect a person with his/her own potential.

Lawson Bader - Donors Trust, United States

Lawson R. Bader is president and CEO of DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund, public charities protecting the intent of donors who value limited government, free enterprise, and personal responsibility. Through their donor-advised fund, DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund have granted over $1 billion to liberty-minded groups in academia, public policy, the arts, civics, medical and scientific research, religion, and education. In addition to his foundation work, Lawson has more than 20 years of experience leading free-market research and advocacy groups, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Prior to joining the “liberty movement” he held numerous positions at SRI International, the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs, and Pierson, Semmes & Finley. He is a former weekly columnist with Human Events, and holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Wheaton College (IL) and The Johns Hopkins University. He currently serves on the boards of the Atlas Network, State Policy Network, Oakseed Ministries International, and Solers, Inc.

Sixit Bhatta - Tootle, Nepal

Sixit is an entrepreneur, speaker and educator, he is the founder of the first ride sharing application in Nepal, tootle, prior to founding tootle Sixit has had a career spanning 12 years in Telecommunication and Financial Services with a major focus on technology with experiences in radio network design and engineering, Digital financial services and business development. 
Through tootle Sixit envisions creating a cutting edge technology that can enable people with ‘freedom of movement’ and also creating jobs and engaging youths with a firm belief that sharing mobility would help transform our cities and urban design.

Deependra Chaulagain - Samriddhi Foundation, Nepal

Deependra Chaulagain is the Director of Operations & Outreach at Samriddhi Foundation where he designs operational systems and oversees outreach programs. His key strengths are coordinating with parliamentarians, politicians and bureaucrats. He has successfully led numerous advocacy campaigns, debate and Leadership programs.

 He joined Samriddhi Foundation in 2007 and is also a former president of Liberal Youth of South Asia (LYSA). He also holds long experience of designing and executing several national and international programs in youth politics, entrepreneurship and leadership. As a Director of Operations and Outreach Deependra also has long experience on working with Policy makers, political leaders and non-partisan leaders in Nepal. Deependra is also Acting Managing Country Director of Global Entrepreneurship Network in Nepal. Deependra holds a post graduate degree in Political Science.

Bryan Cheang - Adam Smith Center, Singapore

Bryan Cheang is the Founder of the Adam Smith Center, Singapore’s first and only organization promoting classical liberal ideas in society, through a range of educational initiatives. Bryan is also a PhD candidate at the Department of Political Economy at King’s College London, where he researches on the political economy of development and applied economic policy in East Asia. He is the author of “Free Market Humanitarianism: a Primer”. 

Calixto Chikiamco - Foundation for Economic Freedom, Philippines 

Calixto V. Chikiamco is a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) and Internet entrepreneur, a book author, and a writer on political economy. He’s a co-author together with National Scientist Raul Fabella, Dr. Emmanuel de Dios, former Finance Undersecretary Romeo Bernardo, and the late former Socio-economic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga Jr, of the book, “Momentum: Economic Reforms for Sustaining Growth” published October 2019. He’s also the author of the book, The Way Forward: The Path to Inclusive Growth. He serves as a property rights consultant to the The Asia Foundation and is currently President and co-founder of the Foundation for Economic Freedom, an organization advocating economic and political liberty, good governance, and secure and well-defined property rights. 

Chikiamco writes a monthly column on political economy in Businessworld in his capacity as a board member of the Institute of Development and Econometric Analysis (IDEA). He’s the Founder and CEO of MRM Studios Inc., a digital musical services company, and Mobilemo Inc., a tech start-up providing a cloud-based field workforce management and field reporting solution (www.kustom360.com). He finished AB Economics summa cum laude in De La Salle University and Masters in Professional Studies in Media Administration in Syracuse University, New York.

Dhananath Fernando - Advocata Institute, Sri Lanka

Dhananath is currently the Chief Operating Officer of ‘Advocata’, an Economic Policy Think Tank in Sri Lanka, where he is a founding member. He recieved his Bachelors degree in Bio Sciences at the University of Colombo and is a graduate of Atlas Leadership Academy and ATLAS Think Tank MBA. He is one of the curators of AK Lit Fest a Tri Lingual Literary Festival in upbringing local literati. He is the host of “Public Space Sri Lanka”, a one to one weekly TV discussion with politicians on Art TV and a morning news programme namely “Wake up with Art”. Additionally, Dhananath works with ‘people in need’ by volunteering in CandleAid Lanka, a government approved humanitarian organization. He is also the 2018 winner of the Asia Think Tank Shark Tank competition and is an enthusiastic mountain climber & trekker. He completed Everest Base Camp in May of 2018 and the Chardar Trek, a frozen river along the Indian Tibetan border, in 2017.

Chad Goote - Atlas Network, United States

Chad Goote is the Vice President of Development for Atlas Network. Before joining the organization in 2019, he was Vice President of Advancement at the Foundation for Government Accountability, and under his leadership, the financial strength of the organization grew from $700,000 to $12,000,000 in under six years. 

Chad started his career in Washington, DC in public affairs, where he worked in strategy development, grassroots management, coalition building, and strategic communications for Fortune 500 corporations and trade organizations. He spent years working on behalf of children and families as an advocate for school choice and used his expertise to elect legislators who prioritized educational innovation and competition. One of those visionary legislators was Michigan Representative Justin Amash, whose successful congressional campaign Chad managed in 2010.  

Chad holds a B.S. in Political Science from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. From their home base in Orlando, Florida, Chad, his wife Mardy, and their two adorable children travel, learn, and discover the beauty and wonder of the world. The Goote family also works together as advocates against human trafficking, and they open their home as host parents to children in need.  

Anthea Haryoko - Center for Indonesian Policy Studies, Indonesia

Anthea is the Head of External Relations at the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies. She oversees strategy and implementation of communicating CIPS' advocacy messages to policy makers and key stakeholders. In addition, she works to expand and ensure a strong supporter base for CIPS. Anthea holds 9 years experience in the field of communications and was previously a PR consultant at Maverick, supporting blue-chip companies in communications and media outreach. She holds a BA in Communications from Monash University Malaysia.

Wolfgang Heinze - Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Philippines

Wolfgang Heinze is the Head of Country for the Friedrich Naumann Foundation - Philippine Office. Previously he worked in the FNF Bangkok office for FNF activities in Myanmar and Malaysia before joining FNF headquarters in Potsdam as Desk Officer for Southeast and East Asia in 2012. He's been working for foundation for fourteen years. He took his Master's degree in Philosophy at the University of Passau.

Rainer Heufers - Center for Indonesian Policy Studies, Indonesia

Rainer Heufers is the Executive Director of the Center for Indonesian Policy Studies in Jakarta, Indonesia. Being strictly non-partisan and not-for-profit, CIPS suggests policies that are based on the belief that only civil, political, and economic freedom allows Indonesia to prosper. Heufers is also the founder and Managing Director of Siap Solutions Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based training and consulting firm. As a Senior Fellow of the Atlas Network, he designed the first Atlas Think Tank MBA in 2008 and has since conducted these annual flagship-trainings of the Atlas Network where think tank leaders from around the world develop individual business plans for their organizations.  

Isabelle Hirs-Schaller - Rising Tide Foundation, Switzerland

Isabelle is responsible for the Freedom in Practice grant program of the Rising Tide Foundation. She holds a Master’s degree in international Affairs and Governance at the University of St.Gallen and has a passion for working together with organizations around the world to solve the problems our societies are facing through innovative private sector solutions. Isabelle has worked on the ground for different NGOs in Argentina, India and South Africa. At the beginning of her career she held a position with the United Nations in Geneva. Before joining Rising Tide, Isabelle worked in management consulting, supporting public and private organizations in the fields of sustainability and corporate responsibility management. In her last position she headed the sustainability services practice of KPMG Switzerland. Isabelle is an advisory board member of the Swiss fintech start-up YOVA, specialized in impact investing.

Dr. Najmul Hossain - Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Bangladesh

Dr. Najmul Hossain is the Country Representative of Friedrich Naumann Stiftung (FNF) in Bangladesh. Mr. Hossain is an economist with over 30 years of experience in teaching, research, and management. Before joining FNF, Mr. Hossain worked for USAID/Bangladesh, The Asia Foundation, Harvard Institute for International Development and taught at Southeastern Louisiana University and Millikin University in the United States. He has to his credit over three dozen publications in refereed journals. Mr. Hossain loves traveling, meeting people from different background and culture, and is an active tennis player. His utopian dream is one nation in the world with no man-made political boundaries, cohabiting in peace, harmony and prosperity. Mr. Hossain, a Phi Beta Kappa member, received his Ph.D. in Economics from Virginia Tech and his bachelor’s from the University of Delaware in the United States.

George Katigbak - Foundation for Economic Freedom, Philippines

Attorney George Katigbak is a lawyer and a licensed environmental planner. Currently he is a Senior Policy Consultant of the Foundation for Economic Freedom and has worked as consultant at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for more than 13 years in the field of land administration and environmental legislation. As an environmental planner, Attorney Katigbak has been engaged in the development of land use, housing, environment and land management policies. He also worked as consultant with various housing, land administration and land management projects of The Asia Foundation, the Foundation for Economic Freedom, USAID, DFAT (AusAID), World Bank, LGI Consultants, GIZ and UNDP among others. He is also currently a lecturer on land and property laws, surveying laws and ethics at the University of the Philippines Department of Geodetic Engineering.

Larina Khodjabagyan - Vector of Reform Expert Council & Center for Economy Development, Uzbekistan

Currently, Larina is Executive Director of the Vector of Reform Expert Council, which is engaged in scientific, analytical and expert activities to support economic reforms in Uzbekistan. Despite the fact that Vector of Reform is a young project, people in our country already know about it. Our experts try to evaluate all the important processes that occur in the country. We want to help the government build a new, economically developed and free state. Larina has experience in both entrepreneurial activity and in social projects. She supports the ideas of equality and freedom, also inclusion theme is close for her. She is happy to attend Atlas Network courses. Larina is confident that active citizens of her country can change it for the better.

Simon Lee - AdvB Public Affairs Consulting, Hong Kong

Simon advises private enterprise on communication strategies.  Simon believes it is best for the governments to leave businesses alone, and vice versa.

In the past sixteen years, Simon has been promoting libertarians' values and perspective through his newspaper columns and media appearances.  Simon is also working on his new book "On Crisis" which will be coming out in June 2019.

Dindo Manhit - Stratbase Group, Philippines

Prof. Victor Andres “Dindo” C. Manhit is the Founder and Managing Director of the Stratbase Group and President and CEO of its policy think-tank, the Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute. Stratbase specializes in promoting high profile public policy campaign. It has extensive experience in the complexities of the Philippine policy-making process and maintain excellent relations and diverse networks in all branches of the Philippine Government.

He was a former Chair and recently retired Associate Professor of the Political Science Department of De La Salle University - Manila. He held positions in government as Undersecretary for External Affairs and Special Concerns of the Department of Education and as Deputy Secretary for Administration and Financial Services of the Philippine Senate, and was Chief Staff of the late Senate President Edgardo Angara and senior policy research adviser in key Senate committees.

With his extensive experience, he helps clients understand the interplay between business and government, and the impact of legislative, regulatory, and electoral outcomes on their business strategies, and provides top-level strategic analysis and thought leadership on global issues in the Philippines. 

He specializes in Strategic Studies and Management, Legislative Research, and Public Policy Analysis. His research interest and field of specialization had led him to pursue active involvement in legislation, bureaucratic work, and civil society advocacy.

He regularly contributes articles to the Philippines’ leading newspapers, Philippine Daily Inquirer and BusinessWorld.

Dinh Tuan Minh - Market Solutions Research Center for Social and Economic Issues, Vietnam

Dinh Tuan Minh is the founder and the research director of Market Solutions Research Center for Social and Economic Issues (MASSEI) in Vietnam. He also served as a senior researcher consulting on macroeconomic policy for the Economic Commission of the National Assembly, the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Industry and Trade. He is the founder and chairman of F-Group Vietnam - a non-government organization promoting the development of market economy in Vietnam. He has published some books on Vietnam’s market economy such as Marketization of public-service provisions in Vietnam (2018), From commanding state to a development state (2016), Assessment of the development of Vietnam market economy (2015). He has translated some classic works of Ludwig von Mises (Liberalism in the Classical Tradition, Interventionism: An Economic Analysis), Fredrich von Hayek (Economic Freedom and Representative Government, Individualism and Economic Order, The Counter Revolution of Science, The Road to Serdom), Milton Friedman (Capitalism and Freedom), Henry Hazlitt (Economics in one Lesson), etc. into Vietnamese. He and F-Group’s members has also translated some Tom Palmer’s edited books such as Why Liberty, Peace, Love and Liberty, After the Welfare State, Self-Control or State Control? You Decide. Mr. Minh received Master’s degree from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok, Thailand and attended the PhD program in Economics at UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, Netherlands.

Barun Mitra - Independent Analyst and Activist, India

Barun Mitra is an independent thinker and writer, who is always exploring ways to translate ideals of liberty into possible actions by generating political capital for those values. Trained as an engineer, he believes that the strength of citizenship lies in being able to engage actively on public issues, without being an expert. Early in 2019, he had taken the initiative to draft a Farmers Manifesto for Freedom and is currently working with a network of farmers at the grassroots.

He was the founder and director of Liberty Institute, an independent think tank in New Delhi, from 1996 to 2016. Liberty Institute had received the Templeton Prize for social entrepreneurship in 2003. In 2011, the Empowering India, an initiative to inform and encourage active citizenship, was recognised with the Manthan Award for innovative use of ICT in South Asia in the category of governance. Between 2010 and 2016, he worked with ARCH Vahini to help develop a web platform to help poor forest dwelling communities claim their land and resource rights.

His commentaries have been published and been invited to speak across the world on a wide range of issues from economics to environment, trade and technology, land and property rights to intellectual property. He has received the Sir Anthony Fisher Award in 2001, the Liberty Torch in 2001, and the Julian Simon Award in 2005, for his writings and advocacy of freedom.

Prashant Narang - Centre for Civil Society, India

Prashant Narang is Associate Director- Research, Centre for Civil Society. His most significant contributions at Centre for Civil Society include Ease of Doing Business reforms recommendations and the Street Vendor Compliance Index. He also secured a favourable judgment from the Supreme Court of India leading to the implementation of the Street Vendor law in Rajasthan. Apart from the Right to Education Act and the Street Vendors Act, his current interest areas are the Rule of Law and the constitutional right to carry on business and trade in India.

Dr. Tom G. Palmer - Atlas Network, United States

Dr. Tom G. Palmer is the executive vice president for international programs at Atlas Network and is responsible for establishing operating programs in 14 languages and managing programs for a worldwide network of think tanks. On Nov. 10, 2016, Dr. Tom G. Palmer was named the George M. Yeager Chair for Advancing Liberty at Atlas Network. He is also a senior fellow at Cato Institute and director of Cato University. Before joining Cato, he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. He frequently lectures in North America, Europe, Eurasia, Africa, Latin America, India, China and throughout Asia, as well as the Middle East on political science, public choice, civil society, and the moral, legal, and historical foundations of individual rights. He has published reviews and articles on politics and morality in scholarly journals such as the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Ethics, Critical Review, and Constitutional Political Economy, as well as in publications such as Slate, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Die Welt, Caixing, Al Hayat, the Washington Post, and The Spectator of London. He is the author of Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice (expanded edition 2014), and the editor of The Morality of Capitalism (2011), After the Welfare State (2012), Why Liberty (2013), Peace, Love & Liberty (2014), and Self-Control or State Control? You Decide (2016). Palmer received his B.A. in liberal arts from St. Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland, his M.A. in philosophy from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and his doctorate in politics from Oxford University.

Simon Paterno - Foundation for Economic Freedom, Philippines

Simon R. Paterno is currently Founder and Chairman of ZQR Corporation, a fintech startup aimed at improving interactions between banks and their clients.  He is a former Managing Director of J.P. Morgan (1984-2002) and Credit Suisse (2004-2012), a former President of the Development Bank of the Philippines (2002-2004), and a former Executive VP of Bank of the Philippine Islands (2014-2019).  He graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1980, with an AB, Honors Program in Economics, cum laude, and from Stanford University in 1984, with an MBA.

Bhakti Patil - Centre for Civil Society, India

Bhakti Patil is Manager,  Development and Strategy at the Centre for Civil Society (CCS), India's foremost libertarian think tank based in New Delhi. She manages fundraising and grants administration at the organisation.  Prior to joining CCS, she worked as Executive Fundraising and Communications with Sshrishti, a non-profit in New Delhi, managing institutional fundraising, documentation and communication. She holds an M.Phil and a Master’s in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her undergraduate training has been in Anthropology and Sociology at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.  Her own research engages with the core categories of Gandhian thought, particularly the ideas of Swaraj and Ahimsa, and the radical affirmation of human freedoms that they contain.

Casey Pifer - Atlas Network, United States

Casey Pifer is the Director of Institute Relations at Atlas Network. She manages the grants and awards programs of Atlas Network, including the prestigious Templeton Freedom Award. Originally from West Virginia, Casey joined Atlas Network in 2014 on the events team and has since transitioned to become the institute relations director. She grew up in West Virginia and graduated from West Virginia University with a bachelor's degree in economics and political science.

Anuki Premachandra - Advocata Institute, Sri Lanka

Anuki Premachandra is the Communications Manager at the Advocata Institute, an independent policy think tank in Sri Lanka. She comes from a background of public policy and is committed towards improving economic freedom for women in Sri Lanka. She studied International Relations at the University of London and prior to joining Advocata, she was working at the World Bank in Sri Lanka as a part of their communications team. She is also a writer and Instagram Curator at a leading lifestyle website, PULSE Sri Lanka.
 

Dr. Sarath Rajapatirana - Advocata Institute, Sri Lanka

Dr. Sarath Rajapatirana was the Economic Adviser to His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka (2015-2019). Before that, he was a regular staff member of the World Bank (1975-1999) in which role he led World Bank missions to three continents. He was the Director and the main author of the 1987 World Development Report on Trade and Industrialisation, Director of the Macroeconomic Comparative Study of Developing Countries, Division Chief for Trade and Industry for Latin America and the Caribbean and Economic Adviser in the Latin America Technical Department and a Member of the Editorial Board of the World Bank Economic Review. He was a consultant to the World Trade Organization, International Trade Centre in Geneva, USAID and to the International Cooperative Alliance in Latin America. He was a Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (1999-2006) and an External Examiner for PhD. students at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He has given seminars at Stanford University, Harvard University, University of California at Los Angeles, George Washington University and Simon Fraser University, among others. He is the author and co-author of six books and fifty-five papers in refereed publications. He is the Academic Chair of the Advocata Institute. He speaks Sinhala, English, Indonesian, Spanish and Malay.

Carl Revillo - Kellogg Company, Philippines

Carl has more than 20 years experience at Procter and Gamble Company in various roles in supply chains, manufacturing, quality assurance, technical services, cost innovation, program management, regulatory affairs and food/product safety. His assignments covered different and diverse product categories in the company from laundry and cleaning to beauty and food. During the course of Carl's career, he's worked and resided in the following countries: Philippines, Japan, USA, anx Singapore. He moved to the Kellogg Company in June 2012 as part of its Pringles acquisition. 

Casey Russell - New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union, New Zealand

Casey is the Engagement Coordinator at the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union, where she contributes to fundraising and campaign teams, organises events and manages incoming correspondence. She is in her final year of study towards a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Public Policy at Victoria University of Wellington. Casey was a finalist in the John Blundell Elevator Pitch Competition at the 2019 Liberty Forum. She is passionate about exposing government waste and ensuring a transparent and accountable government.

Ali Salman - IDEAS and Islam & Liberty Network, Malaysia

Mr. Ali Salman is CEO of Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), a leading independent think tank of Malaysia. Mr. Salman is also Director of Islam and Liberty Network, a global platform for researchers and academics working on Islam and freedom. Earlier, Mr. Salman founded Policy Research Institute of Market Economy (PRIME), an economic policy think tank in Pakistan in 2013. Mr. Salman’s diverse career spans more than 20 years in the government, private sector, international development, think tanks, and universities. He is recipient of Fulbright Scholarship, Royal Netherlands Fellowship and Charles Wallace Fellowship and holds master degrees in Economics, Public Policy and Business Administration. He writes op-eds for various newspapers in Pakistan and Malaysia.

Dr. Parth Shah - Centre for Civil Society, India

Dr. Parth J. Shah is the Founder of the Centre for Civil Society (CCS), India's foremost market-liberal think tank that advances social change through public policy. Parth also serves as Director at the Indian School of Public Policy. His research and advocacy work addresses economic freedom, choice and competition in education, a property rights approach to the environment and new public management. He holds a PhD in Economics and has taught at the University of Michigan, at JNU, New Delhi, and MS University, Vadodara. As the President at the CCS, for over two decades, Parth has worked to further market-solutions to India's educational crisis and enduring poverty. He has steered the Centre's flagship School Choice Campaign, including India's first school voucher pilot, and championed livelihood freedom and the rights of marginal entrepreneurs in India.  Some of his authored and edited works include Liberalism in India, Morality of Markets,  Law, Liberty, and Livelihood, and School Vouchers: Direct Benefit Transfers in Education.

Akash Shrestha - Samriddhi Foundation, Nepal

Akash Shrestha is Research Manager at Samriddhi Foundation. He also engages with the politicians, policy-makers, bureaucrats and sectorial experts of Samriddhi’s research areas as part of Samriddhi’s advocacy efforts. He contributes to building networks with key stakeholders and identifying new research areas. His concentration is also on promoting ideas of liberty through media platforms via different public consumption materials.

He studied Political Economy at the University of Hong Kong. He was a finalist in the Think Tank Shark Tank Competition held in Malaysia in 2016 and was the winner of the John Blundell Elevator Pitch Competition in Ney York in 2017. He has authored (and co-authored) a number of policy papers and articles dissecting Nepalese economic policies.

Akash holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science. Prior to joining Samriddhi in 2013, he was a founding member of Youth for Nepal.

Nikita Singla - Bureau of Research on Industry and Economic Fundamentals, India

Nikita is Associate Director at Bureau of Research on Industry and Economic Fundamentals (BRIEF) - New Delhi based research and policy think tank. She also works with the World Bank Group’s South Asia Regional Integration unit (previously in Washington DC and now in New Delhi). She has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Studies under the President of Azerbaijan based in Baku, and has worked with the French Agency for Development (AFD) in Sri Lanka. In just a few years,  Nikita has moved across countries (including Azerbaijan, France, Sri Lanka and the US) before coming back to India. Her specialization and passion lie in international trade and regional cooperation in South Asia with a focus on bilateral relationship between India and Pakistan. She has recently authored a book titled 'Unilateral Decisions Bilateral Losses' focusing on the face-off between India and Pakistan in 2019.  Nikita is also a solo backpacker by choice, a yoga instructor by training, and a blogger by passion. She has traveled solo across more than 40 countries. She is an Engineer from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and studied International Economic Policy from Sciences Po Paris. 

Robin Sitoula - Samriddhi Foundation, Nepal

Robin Sitoula is a start-up enthusiast, a business strategist and a coach. He has established business and not-for profit ventures in Nepal and has advised quite a few beyond Nepal.

He is the founder and executive director of Samriddhi Foundation, a think- tank focused on market oriented economic policy reform in Nepal (www.samriddhi.org). In the past two decades, he has initiated and institutionalized a number of programs, non-profit ventures and profit oriented companies that promote entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nepal.

His business expertise include Strategy, start up, talent search and capacity building, business system & management structure development, and governance. Towards the non-profit side, his expertise include designing and implementing grassroots campaigns, local fundraising, organization management, leadership development, fostering start-ups, and strategic orientation.

He holds graduate degrees in Investments & Financial Management (MBA) and Political Science (MA) from Tribhuwan University in Nepal.

Austin Skiera - Atlas Network, United States

AJ first joined Atlas Network in 2016. He attended the University of Miami (FL) with a semester abroad at Charles University in Prague and where he graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in history and political science. In his role as associate director of marketing and communications, he helps to craft and facilitate Atlas Network's content strategy across email, web, print, video, and social media platforms. He is managing Atlas Network’s photojournalism and film project for its Doing Development Differently initiative, which features real stories of individuals who are the downstream beneficiaries of free-market reforms successfully championed by Atlas Network’s most effective partners in Latin America, Asia, and Europe. He is a graduate of three professional development programs with the Charles Koch Institute and a recipient of the Illinois State Society Scholarship for his time working for Congressman Randy Hultgren (IL-14). Originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, he currently resides in Arlington, Virginia.

Vale Sloane - Atlas Network, United States

Vale Sloane joined Atlas Network in 2016 on the Institute Relations team. In his current role Vale manages relationships with Atlas Network’s global network of partners and directs various grants and awards programs. He also participated in the Charles Koch Institute's Koch Associate Program in 2016-2017. Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Vale attended the University of Sydney where he received his Bachelor's of International and Global Studies (2013) and Bachelor's of Laws (2015). He worked in Australian politics throughout college and after graduation, including on local and national election campaigns between 2009-2015. Vale has also worked in the private sector as Business Development Manager at an eLearning company prior to joining Atlas Network. He lives in Washington DC, and enjoys reading, traveling, and watching Netflix.

Dr. Andreas Stoffers - Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Vietnam

Prof. Dr. Andreas Stoffers studied political science and economics with a focus on International Relations at University of the Federal German Armed Forces in Munich/Germany. In 1996, he completed his PhD on German – Thai relations. Andreas has 18 years of practical management experience as banker in Germany and Southeast Asia. In 2014, Andreas became Professor of Business Administration and International Management at SDI Munich International University of Allied Sciences. Moreover, he is Visiting Professor at University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and at Vietnamese-German University in Binh Duong/Vietnam. Since September 2019, Andreas is on leave in order to work in Hanoi as Country Director Vietnam for Friedrich-Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

Dr. Lyall Swim - Atlas Network, United States

Dr. Lyall Swim is the Chief Operating Officer at Atlas Network. In his role, Lyall leads the organization’s team and systems development as Atlas Network continues to grow in size, reach, and impact. For the past 17 years, he has engaged with more than 20,000 adult learners in dozens of organizations around the world. His focus has been to build increased leadership and operational capacity and enable organizations to successfully navigate various forms of change. He is a sought after speaker on ethics, leadership, innovation adoption, and education innovation. As the director of operations for Sutherland Institute, Lyall helped lead a redesign of the organization that enabled the Institute to better leverage the strengths of each staff member and increase the profile and influence of the Institute in Utah. Lyall holds a Doctorate of Education with an emphasis in organization leadership from Pepperdine University. He also holds a bachelor’s in communications and an M.B.A. from Brigham Young University. His research and writing on leadership, ethics, education reform, adult learning, and innovation adoption have been published in a range of peer-reviewed journals and various local and national outlets. Above all, Lyall enjoys spending quality time with his wife and three teenage children.

Erwin Tiamson - Foundation for Economic Freedom, Philippines

Attorney Erwin L. Tiamson is a lawyer and a former Bureau Director of the Land Management Bureau (LMB). He is a graduate of UP Diliman (AB History) and San Beda College of Law.

He worked as policy consultant in various land administration projects of the World Bank, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the Asia Foundation (TAF), the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF), USAid, AusAID, among others. His advocacy is focus on property rights to land and had worked for the enactment of Republic Act No. 10023 (Residential Free Patent Act) and Republic Act No. 11232 (Agricultural Free Patent Reform Act).

Attorney Tiamson also teaches land and property laws in Arellano Law School and the University of the Philippines Geodetic Engineering Department. He is a partner in Pulido & Tiamson Law Office where he is in charge of its lands and natural resources law practice.

Suraj Vaidya - Vaidya’s Organisation of Industries and Trading House, Nepal

Mr. Suraj Vaidya is the President of Vaidya's Organization of Industries and Trading Houses (VOITH), and the National Coordinator appointed by the Government of Nepal for Visit Nepal Year 2020 campaign. He is also the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Philippines and the Advisor to the Prime Minister’s Economic Council.

He is an entrepreneur, graduate of MBA from George Mason University, business leader and a passionate advocate for economic growth and reform in Nepal. Mr. Vaidya runs industries in Nepal based on agriculture, construction, education and trading sector as the President of VOITH, which was established in 1967. In the agricultural sector, his major industries are built around tea, flora, poultry, feed, etc. In these agricultural sectors, his companies’ works have been recognized for their community development approach while creating economic value.

Besides being an active member of the business community and leading change by setting examples of growth, Mr. Vaidya has been a promoter of economic growth and an avid advocate for dealing with Nepal’s most critical development constraints. According to him, "Economy should speak louder than politics.” He is the Immediate Past President of SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry (March 2016 - March 2018) as well as the Former President of the Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Tarun Vats - Atlas Network, United States

Tarun joined the Atlas Network team in June 2016 and currently serves as Associate Director, Training. He grew up in India and graduated from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, India, with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. His previous work experiences includes being the senior associate for development and strategy at Center for Civil Society; a Smith Fellowship and internship with Atlas Network; president at Make a Difference; and Bid Management Engineer at Schneider Electric. He loves travelling, playing with his dogs, and talking with people about measuring social impacts.

Matt Warner - Atlas Network, United States

Matt Warner is president of Atlas Network. Under the direction of the CEO, he is responsible for strategy, programming, and personnel management. Matt also leads the development of a research agenda to further demonstrate the invaluable role of think tanks in achieving freedom around the world. Matt is the editor of Poverty and Freedom: Case Studies on Global Economic Development and coined the term "the outsider's dilemma" to describe the challenge of helping low-income countries develop without inadvertently and perversely getting in the way of their most viable paths to prosperity. Matt writes, speaks, and consults internationally on the topics of economics, institution building, nonprofit management, measurement, and impact philanthropy. His work has appeared in Cato Journal, Forbes, The Hill, Harvard's Education Next, Real Clear Markets, Foundation for Economic Education, EconTalk, and Washington Times, among others. Prior to joining Atlas Network in 2010, Matt served in various policy leadership positions at nonprofit think tanks with a focus on energy, education, and property rights. Matt has a master's degree in economics from George Mason University and is certified by Georgetown University in organizational development consulting. He is also a 2019-2020 Penn Kemble Fellow with the National Endowment for Democracy, a member of American Enterprise Institute's Leadership Network and a recipient of America's Future Foundation's 2019 Buckley Award.

Matt and his wife Chrissy, an attorney, live in Vienna, Virginia with their four children.