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A Toxics-Free Future


Steering Committee Biographies

Rolande Djatougbe Aziaka (she/her) is Director of Media Company ECO CONSCIENCE TV and President of Association Welfare in Togo. She has more than 10 years experience on social, environmental, gender and human rights issues working as a journalist and working on civil society international engagement processes.  She holds a Professional Bachelor Degree in Journalism from Institute of Information Sciences, Communication and Arts (ISICA), University of Lome and a Business French Diploma (Relations Internationales C1) from Paris Ile-de-France CCI. Rolande is Togolese and based in Lome. She is proficient in French and English.

David Azoulay (he/him) is the director of the Environmental Health Program of the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) and managing attorney of its Geneva office. He has practiced environmental law in various capacities (from private firms to national, regional and international NGOs) for 20 years and has been active in international environmental negotiations since 2008. David grew up in France and is now based in Geneva, Switzerland. He is proficient in French, English, and Spanish and can find his way around Brazilian Portuguese.

Fernando Bejarano (he/him) is a founder of  the Pesticide Action Network (RAPAM, A.C.) in Mexico and serves as IPEN’s Regional Coordinator for our Latin America and Caribbean hub. He has more than 20 years of experience in global environmental negotiations since the beginning of the Stockholm Convention. As an undergraduate he studied sociology; he holds a Masters degree in rural development from the Agricultural Postgraduate College and a Phd in Latin American Studies from UNAM. He is based in Mexico and is bilingual Spanish-English.

María Isabel Cárcamo (she/her) is the national coordinator of the Pesticide Action Network of Uruguay since 1998 and coordinator of the World Alliance for Mercury free dentistry for Latin America since 2012. She has nearly 30 years of experience in awareness raising, training and public policy advocacy on pesticides, GMOs and toxic chemicals, and more than 20 years of experience in global environmental negotiations since the beginning of the Stockholm Convention. She has been a teacher at the University of Chile and is the author of: “Pesticides: sink artisan fishing” (2010), co-author of “Biodiversity, Erosion and Genetic Contamination of Native Corn in Latin America” (2011), and author of numerous documents, reports, and articles on the negative impacts on health and the environment by pesticides and other toxic chemicals. She is based in Uruguay and is bilingual Spanish-English.

Semia Gharbi (she/her) is an educator, with Bachelor degrees in biology and geology and a Master degree in environmental sciences. She is an environmental science and management expert, and Chairperson of Tunisia’s Association de l’Education Environnementale pour les Futures Générations (AEEFG), a nonprofit working to promote resilient education and envisioning a world where everyone lives in healthy environments without toxic chemicals. Her work has focused on ending health threats from mercury, plastics, pesticides, lead in paint, EDC’s, incineration, waste issues and all pollutants related to Stockholm, Basel, Rotterdam , Minamata Conventions as well as Agenda 2030. She lives in Tunis and speaks Arabic, French, and English.

Yuyun Ismawati (she/her) is the Senior Advisor and co-founder of Nexus for Health, Environment, and Development (Nexus3) Foundation in Indonesia. She has more than 30 years of experience working on pollution, chemicals, and health rights, advocating for better policy and regulations and showcasing best practices on the ground. Yuyun holds a Bachelors degree in Environmental Engineering from ITB, Indonesia and an MSc in Environmental Change and Management from Oxford University, UK. In 2009, she received the Goldman Environmental Prize for her work on pollution and waste. Yuyun grew up in Indonesia and then moved to the UK in 2010. She is proficient in English and Bahasa Indonesia.

Gohar Khojayan (she/her) is Communications Specialist with the Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment (AWHHE) based in Armenia. With a master’s degree, she has experience working in the national education sector, and the international and Armenian diaspora organizations. She enjoys interacting with the local communities, especially women, on the complex issues of health and environmental impacts of toxic chemicals.

Gilbert Kuepouo (he/him) is the Executive Director of Centre de Recherche et d’Education pour le Developpement (CREPD) based in Yaoundé, Cameroon. Gilbert has 18 years of experience working on chemical safety nationally and internationally. He holds a PhD. in Geosciences from Kobe University in Japan, and currently resides in Yaoundé.

Eugeniy Lobanov (he/him) is a Belarusian environmentalist with more than 20 years of experience working in the areas of environmental health issues, sustainable lifestyle, chemicals safety, and waste management on the national and international levels. Currently, he is a head of Chemicals and Waste program in the Aplinkosaugos Sprendimų Centras (ASC) in Lithuania, as well as Hazardous Substances Working Area Leader in the Coalition Clean Baltic (Sweden). He is a biologist by education from the Belarus State University. Eugeniy also actively participates in the Christian environmental movement. He speaks Belarusian, English, and Russian.

Aileen Lucero (she/her) is an environmental activist, trainor, campaigner, policy lobbyist, and a prominent figure in the environmental movement in the Philippines as the National Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition (EWC). She has almost fifteen years of experience working with local and national public interest organizations and environmental activists in support of promoting zero waste and toxics-free communities in the Philippines. She is known to lead by example, inspiring colleagues with her unwavering passion and dedication to her job. Aileen is based in Metro Manila, Philippines and speaks Filipino and English.

Griffins Ochieng (he/him) is the Co-Founder and the Executive Director and Programme Coordinator of the Centre for Environment Justice and Development (CEJAD), a public interest non-governmental organization working on chemicals and waste management in Kenya. He is also a former Co-chair of the NGOs major group at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). He also serves as Co-chair of the IPEN Toxic Plastic Working Group. Griffins holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science from Kenyatta University. He speaks English and Swahili.

Stanley Okwara (he/him) is a research associate with Centre for Earth Works (CFEW) with over 7 years of experience in Environmental Activism with a strong background in Education and Data Analysis. He serves as IPEN’s Youth Caucus Co-chair  as well as Africa’s Regional Focal Point with the Chemical and Waste Youth Platform (CWYP). Stanley holds a bachelor’s degree in Technology Education. He is dedicated to combating issues of chemicals and plastic waste and believes young people are pivotal in achieving a world free of harm from chemicals and waste. He lives in Nigeria and is proficient in English, Igbo and Hausa.

Jindřich Petrlík (he/him) is a Program Director of the Arnika Toxics and Waste Programme and an IPEN expert on dioxin and POPs waste. He has worked in the environmental movement in the Czech Republic since 1979, starting with nature conservation and moving to broader environment protection efforts. He has more than thirty years of experience in the field of waste incineration and dioxin, and he also pushed for the first law on protecting the ozone layer in the CEE region and has experience with Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers. Jindrich joined IPEN in 1999 and has coordinated work on dioxins and POPs wastes since 2001. He has an MS degree in physical geography from Masaryk University, Brno. Jindrich grew up in Northern Bohemia, in the region damaged by surface brown coal mining and moved to Prague later on where Arnika has headquarters. He is proficient in Czech, English, and Russian.

Olga Speranskaya (she/her) is a Co-Director of Health and Environment Justice Support (HEJSupport) and senior advisor to IPEN and Eco-Accord, where she has more than 20 years of experience working on chemicals, health and justice to advance international and regional chemical and waste policies. She was an IPEN Co-Chair for eight years and in 2009, she received the Goldman Environmental Prize for her work to identify and eliminate the Soviet legacy of toxic chemicals in the environment. She has an MS in physics from Moscow State University and a PhD in geophysics from the Water Institute of the Russian Academy of Science. Olga grew up in Moscow, Russia and is proficient in Russian and English, and she is also learning French and Spanish in her spare time.

Sherika Whitelocke-Ballingsingh (she/her) is Poison Information Coordinator for The Caribbean Poison Information Network. She has worked as a Public Health Specialist since 2005, working in toxic exposures for more than 10 years. Sherika holds a BSc in Environmental Health Science, UTech, Jamaica, a Master in Public Health International, University of Leeds, a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Toxicology, Cardiff University, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Education and Training, VTDI.  In 2022 she was named a Chevening Scholar, UK Alumni Global Award Finalist. She has over 15 years of professional experience in project management and more than 4 years in international negotiations. Sherika is based in Jamaica and speaks English as well as some Spanish and Hindi.