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Welcoming FORUM-ASIA new Executive Director – Mary Aileen Diez-Bacalso

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Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development is thrilled to announce the appointment of Mary Aileen Diez-Bacalso as its new Executive Director. Aileen, a highly respected human rights advocate, brings a wealth of experience in NGO management and a steadfast dedication to promoting justice and equality.

Join us in extending a warm welcome to Aileen as she takes the helm of FORUM-ASIA. Together, we will forge ahead in our tireless pursuit of advancing and safeguarding human rights not only in Asia but also beyond its borders.

Let us delve into the remarkable journey of Mary Aileen Diez-Bacalso. Throughout her career, she has played a pivotal role in leading human rights organizations in the Philippines and on an international scale. Aileen possesses extensive expertise in NGO management, project coordination, fundraising, report writing, project planning, monitoring and evaluation, advocacy, public speaking, technical writing, and literary pursuits. Aileen is best known for her work on enforced disappearances and has highlighted the issue in the Philippines, the rest of Asia and the rest of the world. She has received several human rights awards at home and abroad, including the Emilio F. Mignone International Human Rights Prize conferred by the Government of Argentina and the Franco-German Ministerial Prize for Human Rights and Rule of Law.

Aileen graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Arts, Major in Mass Communication from St. Theresa’s College, Cebu City.  She finished her Master’s Degree in Philippine Studies major in Foreign Relations at the Asian Center of the University of the Philippines. She currently serves as the president of the International Coalition Against Enforced Disappearances (ICAED) and is a senior lecturer at the Asian Center of the University of the Philippines.

Reflecting on her new role at FORUM-ASIA, Aileen expressed her gratitude and shared her aspirations: “Being selected as the new Executive Director of FORUM-ASIA is both a great honour and a huge challenge for me. I am happy to be part of a team of able and committed human rights defenders responding to the imperative of promoting and protecting human rights in a region where democratic space is shrinking, and human rights are grossly and systematically violated. With our collective competence, commitment and heart for victims of human rights violations, we shall overcome!

The appointment of Mary Aileen Bacalso marks an important chapter for FORUM-ASIA as it continues to work towards a future where human rights are universally respected and upheld. With Aileen’s leadership and the organisation’s combined efforts, we can look forward to making significant strides in pursuing justice, equality, and human dignity throughout Asia and beyond.