Asia Catalyst

mission

Asia Catalyst works with grassroots groups from marginalized communities in East and Southeast Asia that promote the right to health. We train our partners to meet high standards of effective and democratic governance, to establish a stable foundation for future growth, and to conduct rigorous human rights research and advocacy. We aim to help our partners become leading advocates at the local, national and global levels.

Who We Are | Leadership

Charmain Mohamed | Executive Director

Charmain is a respected and experienced human rights advocate and activist, who has lived and worked in Asia for most of the past 15 years. She has worked for the UN, Human Rights Watch and the Norwegian Refugee Council, both in emergency contexts and on long-term issues, in countries such as Indonesia, East Timor, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and, most recently in Palestine. She holds a Masters in Human Rights Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and a BA (Hons.) in Southeast Asian Studies and Indonesian Language from the University of Hull. Charmain is fluent in English, Indonesian and Malay.

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Brian Bonci | Director of Finance and Operations

Brian joined Asia Catalyst in 2011. He received his BA in Political Science and Women's and Gender Studies from Pace University, where he was a Jeannette K. Watson Fellow. Brian previously worked on political campaigns and volunteered with LGBT and HIV/AIDS advocacy organizations in New York City and Cape Town, South Africa. He has also advised international exchange students in Tunisia and taught English in Central America. Brian is fluent in English and Spanish.

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Gisa Dang | Director of Capacity Building and Community Initiatives

Gisa Dang (nee Hartmann) is responsible for developing and implementing the strategic direction of the China Program. Gisa has created and conducted dozens of customized workshops for grassroots NGOs in organizational management and advocacy skills. She has led ongoing coaching of the groups we've trained to ensure integration of fundamental skills into organizational processes. Since joining Asia Catalyst in 2009, Gisa has spoken at top global events such as the International AIDS Conferences in Vienna and Washington DC, and the International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific in Bali and Busan. Gisa holds an MA in Sinology and Political Science from University of Cologne, Germany and is fluent in German, Chinese, and English.

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Shen Tingting | Director of Advocacy, Research and Policy

Shen Tingting has been a prominent HIV/AIDS and human rights advocate in Beijing, China, and has been working with marginalized communities since her college days. In 2007, Tingting co-founded the Korekata AIDS Law Center with Li Dan, and until 2012 she was the deputy director of its parent organization, Dongjen Center for Human Rights Education and Action, where she founded and managed an outreach program for sex workers in Beijing. Tingting received her MA in Social Welfare from Renmin University of China in 2009, and served as a visiting research fellow at Asia Catalyst from March -August 2012.

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Sara L.M. Davis, PhD (Meg) | Founder

Meg Davis founded Asia Catalyst in her apartment in 2006, in response to requests from grassroots HIV/AIDS activists in China for help with everything from grant proposals to press contacts to emergency assistance. Asia Catalyst's first grant supported the incubation and launch, with Li Dan and activists in Beijing, of China's first HIV/AIDS law center, the Korekata AIDS Law Center. As Meg, Li Dan and other Chinese activists worked together to create the center, they realized that an emerging generation of grassroots nonprofits in China and Southeast Asia needed user-friendly, local-language tools and resources on strategic planning, fundraising, management, and human rights documentation and advocacy skills. Under the guidance of a committed Board of Directors, the organization grew quickly, providing one-on-coaching and small-group training to dozens of organizations. In January 2013, Meg joined Asia Catalyst's Board of Directors and took up a new position as Senior Specialist, Human Rights and Equity at The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.