Advisory Council

Advisory Council

The Women in Cities International Advisory Council advises the Board of Directors on overall programme development and planning. This council also assists the Board of Directors in identifying resources to support WICI; reviews and provides feedback on materials and proposals produced by WICI; helps to publicize and promote WICI activities, practices and knowledge; and shares relevant knowledge, practices and materials with other WICI members. All members of the Advisory Council volunteer their support and are selected by the Board of Directors for a two-year renewable term.


Shaheen Anam, Executive Director, Manosher Jonno Foundation

Shaheen Anam is the Executive Director of Manusher Jonno Foundation (MJF), a grant-making organization supporting human rights and governance work of small and large organizations all over Bangladesh. At present MJF provides direct and indirect funding and other support to 300 organizations. Before her present assignment, she worked for CARE Bangladesh from 1999 to 2002 as the coordinator for a food assistance programme, the largest such programme in the world, managing funds of US $23 million per year and a staff of over 500. She has worked in senior positions in international organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme and the UN Refugee Agency in Bangladesh and abroad.  She has also worked in the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs as the Project Director of a gender equality project. Shaheen Anam has a Master’s in Social Work from the Hunter College School of Social Work, New York and a Master’s in Psychology from Dhaka University. She has training in family and marriage counseling. Shaheen Anam is closely linked to the women’s movement in Bangladesh and is well-known as a human rights and women rights activist and a strong advocate for the rights of marginalized communities including vulnerable women, children, persons with disability, sex workers, minority population, etc.  She was a member of the group that compiled the Bangladesh National Action Plan (NAP) post Beijing. She actively promotes accountability and transparency within public and private institutions and her work revolves around building good governance and accountability in the NGO sector. She facilitated the process that successfully raised the demand for enactment of the Right to Information Act in Bangladesh.

Lori Michau, Co-Director, Raising Voices

Lori Michau is co-founder and co-director of Raising Voices, an NGO based in Kampala, Uganda working to prevent violence against women and children. Lori also coordinates the GBV Prevention Network with over 380 members in the Horn, East and Southern Africa. Prior to Raising Voices, Lori was Programme Development Coordinator at Jijenge! Women’s Centre for Sexual Health in Mwanza, Tanzania. She is author of various articles and programme tools including Mobilizing Communities to Prevent Domestic Violence: A Resource Guide for Organizations in East and Southern Africa and The SASA! Activist Kit for Preventing Violence Against Women and HIV. She received her Master’s Degree in Human Rights from Makerere University in Uganda and has been based in East Africa since 1995.


Kihyun Mun, International Project Coordinator, Seoul Foundation of Women and Family

Kihyun Mun studied German literature and English literature from Pusan National University. She also received her MA in International Area Studies, specializing in North American Area Studies. She worked for the Seoul Metropolitan Government in 2005. Since 2009, she has worked for the Seoul Foundation of Women and Family as an International Project Coordinator.


Joy N. Nyagah, Member, Safe Spaces

Joy N. Nyagah is a member of the Safe Spaces Organization in Nairobi, Kenya. The Safe Spaces Programme has built her capacity, leadership skills, and has given her the tools she needs to work towards her dream. Safe Spaces has molded her to be the person she is today; the programme has given her a ‘safe space’ and an opportunity to be herself. She has built her confidence, learned how to be a good leader and most importantly learned about her rights. She has discovered ways to overcome the challenges that affect young people who are raised in slums. Being a part of the Advisory Council, she hopes to learn a great deal, including advice on how to maximize the benefits for young women living in different cities particularly young women living in slums. She loves playing basketball.


Sara Ortiz Escalante, Gender Equity Specialist, Propia Consultores and Collectiu Punt 6

Sara Ortiz Escalante is a gender equity consultant and a researcher on women’s safety based in Barcelona, Spain. She has conducted gender audits, developed gender equity plans, and facilitated workshops on gender violence, sexual harassment prevention, and job training for survivors. Previously she worked with Las Dignas in El Salvador, community groups in rural Mexico, and with immigrant survivors in the United States. She is an active member of Col·lectiu Punt 6, a group of feminist planners, architects and activists in Barcelona that advocate for the inclusion of a gender perspective in local planning. Sara holds a Sociology degree from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, a Diploma on Gender Relations from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Erica Reade, Programme Coordinator, LOVE

Erica Reade has been the Programme Coordinator with the New York-based organization Leave Out Violence (LOVE)-US since 2011. LOVE is an organization that was founded to help reduce and eliminate violence in the lives of youth and their communities by initiating a movement of youth spokespeople who communicate a message of non-violence. It was founded in Canada in the early 90s and has since come to NY in 2003. The organization works with youth 13-18 years old, to empower them from the bottom up, using a media arts programme, leadership training, community violence prevention and school violence committees. The teens work throughout the year on writing, poetry, art, and documentary film and photography programmes. Prior to this, Ms. Reade worked with the Huairou Commission as a Senior Programme Associate on both the Land and Housing and the Governance Campaigns, focusing on her passion, women’s safety and anti-violence work. Ms. Reade completed her MA in International Affairs in 2008, with a concentration in Media and Culture, at the New School for General Studies in New York City. Before moving to New York, she completed her undergraduate degree at McGill University in her home city of Montréal Canada, in International Development Studies. She is also fluent in French. Erica is not only committed to working on international issues, but local issues as well, having organized free self-defense workshops, violence prevention seminars, and volunteering with young girls and women in after school youth programmes. Ms. Reade is also an aspiring photographer.


Kalpana Viswanath, WICI Advisory Council Chair, Jagori

Dr. Kalpana Viswanath, a researcher and activist, has been working on issues of women’s rights since the early 1990s. She was Project Director of the Gender Inclusive Cities Project, coordinated by Women in Cities International and funded by the UN Trust Fund. Dr. Viswanath has been involved with Jagori, a women’s resource centre in Delhi, since the mid 1990s and has led several action research studies around the issues of women workers, migration, urban safety and other related issues. As part of the work in safer cities in Delhi, she has worked on creating partnerships with local government and civil society stakeholders. Dr. Viswanath has also done research on urban safety in South Asia for UN Habitat/ESCAP, presented on issues of women’s safety and inclusion in cities in several forums around the world, and has delivered training on women’s safety audits. She was a Visiting Scholar at the Women’s Studies department in Emory University, Atlanta between 2004 and 2005. She has published in several journals, magazines and newspapers.


Lillian  Li-Rong Wang, Head-Professor/Director, Department of Social Work/Social Policy Research Centre, National Taiwan University

Lih-Rong (Lillian) Wang is the former head and professor of Department of Social Work at National Taiwan University, and is currently serving as the Director of Social Policy Centre at National Taiwan University since 2006. She graduated from School of Social Welfare, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), with her major research areas focusing on gender-based violence, gender and health, and gender and work. Lih-Rong Wang has published a book, Women and Social Policy, and many papers. In addition to academic work, she is active in some NGOs and in different levels of governmental agencies in Taiwan, advocating for gender equality and women’s rights.