Staff

A picture of the Foundation team. From left: Sylvia Cadena, Omar Ansari, David Dawson, Helen Arnold, Raj Singh, Ellisha Heppner, Cathlene Corcoran, Swati Ghai, Ann Kerrison-Liu and Indika Perera.
Members of the Foundation team in December 2023

Rajnesh Singh

Chief Executive Officer

Rajnesh (Raj) Singh joined the APNIC Foundation in December 2023. He is a technology industry thought leader and former serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in the Asia-Pacific and beyond.

He has played founding and leading roles in several technology and private equity investment firms with significant experience in business management and strategy development, spanning diverse industries such as telecommunications, power infrastructure, agriculture, and real estate. 

Raj has an intimate understanding of the nuances of the Asia-Pacific with lived experiences in the region. He has worked extensively with governments, academia, civil society, and the private sector and has served on several Advisory Boards. He has been part of Expert Working Groups for regional and international organisations on infrastructure, policy, regulatory reform, and development issues.

His Internet community leadership roles include Chair of the Asia-Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF), Founding Chair of ICANN’s Asia Pacific Regional At-Large Organisation (APRALO), and he was the Regional Vice President for Asia-Pacific at the Internet Society (ISOC) and established its Singapore-based subsidiary.

At the APNIC Foundation he builds partnerships and advocates for the technologies, policies and best practices that contribute to a global, open, stable and secure Internet that is affordable and accessible to the entire Asia Pacific community.

An image of Foundation Head of Programs and Partnerships Sylvia Cadena, in black and white, on a green background.

Sylvia Cadena

Head of Programs and Partnerships

After ten years managing the Information Society Innovation Fund (ISIF Asia) at APNIC, Sylvia was appointed Head of Programs at the APNIC Foundation in December 2016. As Head of Programs and Partnerships, Sylvia works on the management, design and implementation of collaborative programs and projects to expand APNIC Foundation activities in the region including the ISIF Asia program, one of the region’s most established Internet development programs, as well as the Seed Alliance, which supported innovative Internet development across the global south.

Over her 25 years of experience in Internet Development in Latin America and Asia Pacific, Sylvia’s work has focused on the strategic use of the Internet for development with an emphasis on capacity building and infrastructure deployment. Since her early years as a UN Volunteer, she has worked across the multistakeholder spectrum of organizations with technical, training and advisory roles, mainly about information systems, access provision and innovation coordinating projects and team across the global south.

She has served in many selection committees and working groups focused such as the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group of the Internet Governance appointed by the UN Secretary General, the ICANN CCWG on new gTLD auction proceeds, the APrIGF Multi-stakeholder Steering Group and the Policy Network on Meaningful Access among others.

An image of Foundation Head of Finance Ann Kerrison-Liu, in black and white, on an olive green background.

Ann Kerrison-Liu

Head of Finance

Ann joined the APNIC foundation in May 2022. With over 15 years of professional experience in finance across various industries, Ann’s work has focused on financial governance and compliance, financial reporting, business analysis, and improvement. While working as a finance professional, Ann is passionate about applying her financial knowledge and skills to optimize the organization’s operational process and to help organizations to grow and succeed.

Prior to joining the APNIC Foundation, Ann was the financial controller of Rural Aid, one of Australia’s largest and most trusted rural charities. Before that, Ann developed her finance career in the sustainable economic development and environmental research sectors in the international organization Cardno. Ann has also previously worked in Multicultural Australia, a not-for-profit organization that advocates and provides settlement services to refugees and asylum seekers. The experiences in these for-purpose organizations have had a long-lasting impact on Ann’s view of humanitarian spirit, social and economic equality. It also shaped her career path toward finding ways to contribute to these aspects of society.

An image of Foundation Senior Project and Business Coordinator Cathlene Corcoran, in black and white, on an olive green background.

Cathlene Corcoran

Senior Project and Business Coordinator

With over 16 years’ experience in administration, Cathlene joined APNIC and the APNIC Foundation in a Business Services Coordinator role in October 2019. She provides administration and operational support, as well as project management assistance.

Cathlene coordinates training workshops within the Asia Pacific region, liaises with stakeholders to identify requirements for training facilities, provides travel plans, and ensures correct data entry and allocation of costs for donor funding.

Cathlene also handles platform management for the APNIC Foundation and liaises with the external relations team at APNIC to contribute to joint operations between the two organizations.

An image of Foundation Monitoring and Evaluation Lead David Vivian, in black and white, on an olive green background.

David Vivian

Monitoring and Evaluation Lead

David joined the APNIC Foundation in February 2021. He has worked in the non-profit sector for over 20 years in complex humanitarian environments in over 25 economies, and three years as a consultant in the humanitarian sector. David is the past owner of Program Management Group Australia, a full-service consulting firm for non-profit organizations and bilateral and multilateral donors.

David previously worked for World Vision International in Australia, Georgia, Jerusalem, the Pacific, and Timor Leste in management and director roles in a humanitarian affairs capacity. He has since worked in Swaziland, Lesotho, Zambia, Afghanistan, Mongolia and Nepal delivering training and evaluating development programs. His work focused on the economic empowerment of women; rural enterprises and producer organizations; agricultural markets and value chains; agricultural policy; program design, management and evaluation; policy analysis and advocacy; research, teaching and training; and coaching and facilitation.

David holds a BA in International Relations from Griffith University, an MBA from the University of New England and a Graduate Diploma in International Development from Murdoch University.

An image of Foundation Senior Communications Coordinator David Dawson, in black and white, on an olive green background.

David Dawson

Senior Communications Coordinator

David Dawson joined the APNIC Foundation full time in January 2022, after a part-time secondment from APNIC in 2021. David previously spent a decade in China, most of that time working as a journalist in Beijing with a particular focus on the development of China’s technology sector and nascent startup culture. In addition to freelancing for a range of international publications, he served as Deputy Managing editor of a magazine and authored book chapters for one of the economy’s largest publishing houses. He also advised the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on communications outreach.

In Australia, he worked for the strategic insights team at the national science agency, helping craft key reports including the national artificial intelligence ethics framework, before joining APNIC early in 2020.

David holds a BA in Communications from the University of the Sunshine Coast, and a Masters in Governance and Public Policy from the University of Queensland.

An image of Foundation Finance Officer Indika Perrera, in black and white, on an olive green background.

Indika Perera

Finance Officer

Indika joined the APNIC Foundation in June 2022. Before joining the APNIC Foundation, Indika worked as an accounts officer at APNIC from 2019. He has worked in the non-profit sector for over 7 years.

Indika is responsible for handling financial transaction processes with a primary focus of administering accounts receivable and payable functions of APNIC Foundation to the standard that meets audit requirements. He is also expected to support task and duties of APNIC Foundation’s financial operation including credit card transaction processing, bank reconciliations, intercompany invoicing, intercompany reconciliations, checking supporting documents to comply with audit requirements, ad-hoc tasks and general administrative support.

Indika has a Bachelor of business accounting graduate from Swinburne University in Melbourne and is currently studying to complete a CPA.

An image of Foundation Business Services Coordinator Helen Arnold, in black and white, on an olive green background.

Helen Arnold

Business Services Coordinator

Helen joined the APNIC Foundation in July 2023, after 2.5 years working for APNIC as a Business Services Coordinator specializing in facilities and work health and safety.

Helen brings with her a background in applied anthropology and her work with the Canadian Federal Government in disability and pensions. She is a big picture thinker with great attention to detail and exceptional problem-solving skills. 

An avid collaborator, she believes that there is value in diverse knowledge and perspectives and is motivated to help teams she works with be greater than the sum of their parts. She likes to seek out ways to streamline workflows.

Project personnel

An image of Foundation Grants Management Lead Ellisha Heppner, in black and white, on an olive green background.

Ellisha Heppner

Grants Management Lead

ISIF Asia

Ellisha Heppner joined the Foundation in March 2023. She has more than 15 years of professional experience in program/project management and the design and delivery of complex projects, after working in the private sector, government and not-for profit sectors. She came to the Foundation from the NGO sector where she was responsible in driving the implementation of local, national, and international programs in related to improving education outcomes and literacy using EdTech within a variety of international locations including Asia and the Pacific.

Ellisha has a passion for international development and capacity building for impact. She has supported many organisations in their strategic and end to end project planning along with developing extensive technical and non-technical training programs.

Ellisha holds an MBA with key interest in training and development, a certification in Proci change management methodology and PMBOK project management fundamentals.

An image of Foundation Research and Education Development Project Officer Marcos Sadao Maekawa, in black and white, on an olive green background.

Marcos Sadao Maekawa

Research and Education Development Project Officer

AI3 and SOI Asia

Based in Tokyo for more than 25 years, Marcos joined the APNIC Foundation in August 2021. He coordinates and supports (or plays a liaison role) in the SOI Asia (Schools on Internet) and the AI3 (Asian Internet Interconnection Initiatives) projects at Keio University, Japan.

Marcos has been involved with academia in different positions—from research assistant to faculty—since 2010. His experience includes coordinating global citizenship-related research initiatives, design education programs, and collaborative projects with international organizations and educational institutions. In addition, Marcos also has a professional background in graphic design, publishing, and advertising.

Born and raised in São Paulo (Brazil), Marcos holds a BA in Architecture and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo (FAU-USP), with an emphasis on visual communication. He earned his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in media design from Keio University

Marcos looks at design beyond the aesthetic, playing an essential role in social impact. His interests are at the intersection of global society, learning technologies, diversity and inclusion, and media design.

An image of Foundation Afghanistan Project Lead Omar Ansari, in black and white, on an olive green background.

Omar Ansari

Project Lead

Digital Leap – South Asia

Omar Ansari joined the Foundation as a contractor in December 2021, and became a full time staff member in June 2023. He began as project lead for the Technical Training and Mentoring for Internet Professionals in Afghanistan project, which then expanded to become Digital Leap South Asia.

Omar recently served as Acting Chairman and Vice Chairman (Technical) of Afghanistan’s telecom regulator. Prior to that, he worked as the CEO and Project Director of TechNation, a prominent community technology company based in Kabul. Omar is a change agent who leads by example. 

He has designed and managed incubator support projects funded by the World Bank, USAID, the Dutch Government, the EU and the private sector that launched over 70 startups into the market. Omar also served as Kabul Director of the Founder Institute, a Silicon Valley-based idea stage accelerator.  In addition, he has worked in fund management/oversight with a portfolio overseeing the telecom development fund and projects and programs funded by USAID, the World Bank, and the EU. He has served on the boards of multiple global ICT associations and professional groups, as well being an active participant in Internet governance forums. 

With an agile mindset, Omar creates innovative project ideas and executes them with a passion for transforming the lives and livelihoods of citizens.

An image of Foundation Switch! Project National Coordinator for Cambodia Ty Sok, in black and white, on an olive green background

Ty Sok

National Coordinator for Cambodia

Switch!

Ty Sok is an Information Technology professional with 10 years of professional work experience, which includes extensive exposure to ICT for development policies and applications, project management in both independent media and civil society organisations, and designing and implementing successful capacity development activities.

An image of Foundation Switch! Project National Coordinator for the Philippines Maria (Mia) Perez, in black and white, on an orange background

Maria (Mia) Perez

National Coordinator for the Philippines

Switch!

With her local industry and academic network, research and community engagement experience, Mia joined the APNIC Foundation in October 2020. She liaises between the Foundation and the project beneficiaries. She also supports and monitors the professional development needs of beneficiaries and collaborates with the Foundation for activities deemed necessary to achieve project objectives.

Before joining the Foundation, Mia previously worked for different government-funded research projects at the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute, University of the Philippines- Diliman for 7 years. Her most notable involvement was being one of the design and deployment engineers of the first community network deployed in rural Philippines.

She has a degree in Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communications Engineering and Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering.

An image of Foundation Switch! Project National Coordinator for Thailand Photchanan (Paan) Ratanajaipan, in black and white, on a red background

Photchanan (Paan) Ratanajaipan

National Coordinator for Thailand

Switch!

Paan joined the APNIC Foundation in December 2020.

Prior to this, Paan worked with public and not-for profit organizations like at the Electricity Generating Public Company in Thailand as an information system development manager, at the Shinawatra University, Thailand as a full-time lecturer taught Computer Science courses for 16 years. She was also the director of THNIC Foundation, the not-for-profit internet related foundation.

At THNIC foundation, she has worked intensively with ICANN to promote Universal Acceptance (UA) in Thailand in raising awareness of using Thai domain names to Thais business and individuals. She participated in many events in building technical capacities to Thai technical community and software developers to be able to create and modify their systems to accept, validate, store, process, and display Thai domain names and email addresses properly.

As a national project coordinator at APNIC Foundation, she works on diversity and gender empowerment in technical leadership of the Internet industry in Southeast Asia, especially in Thailand.

An image of Foundation Switch! Project National Coordinator for Viet Nam Nhung Phan, in black and white, on a dark green background

Nhung Phan

National Coordinator for Viet Nam

Switch!

Nhung joined the APNIC Foundation in December 2020. She previously worked for the Vietnam Internet Information Center (VNNIC) from 2000 to 2018. She had many roles during her 17 years at VNNIC: Web developer to provide whois services for the .VN domain name, IP Hostmaster, IPv6 deployment trainer, policy maker and PR manager. Leaving VNNIC in early 2018, she moved to work for Korea National IT Promotion Agency (NIPA), Hanoi office as a senior researcher on the local ICT market and startup ecosystem. In 2019, Nhung moved to work for Vietnam Internet Association (VIA) as an Event and Project Manager.

Nhung has a Telecommunication Engineering Certificate from Hanoi University of Science and Technology and a Master of Public Administration from Viet Nam National Academy of Public Administration.  She loves reading, farming and outdoor activities.

An image of Foundation Switch! Project National Coordinator for Lao PDR Saysomvang Souvannavong, in black and white, on a blue-green background

Saysomvang (Say) Souvannavong

National Coordinator for Lao PDR

Switch!

Say joined the APNIC Foundation in April 2022. He has more than 10 years of ICT professional work experience. Throughout his employment with the Lao National Internet Center (LANIC) and the Ministry of Technology and Communications, Say has been engaged in numerous areas of Internet development. From a government perspective, these include drafting policies, regulations, legislation, laws and development plans. From a technical perspective, he was involved in managing the registry systems of the Country Code Top-Level Domain Name (ccTLD .LA), developing the Lao Script Label Generation Ruleset for the Root Zone of domain name systems, and delegation of the Internationalized Domain Name (IDN ccTLD .ລາວ). He has been involved with the National Internet Exchange (NIX), International Internet Gateway (IIG) of the economy, National Root Certificate Authority (NRCA) for e-Signature using PKI Infrastructure, and the establishment of the National Internet Data Center (NIDC). 

An image of Foundation Switch! Project National Coordinator for Timor Leste Abilio Bernardo Caldas, in black and white, on an olive green background

Abilio Bernardo Caldas

National Coordinator for Timor-Leste

Switch!

Abilio joined the APNIC Foundation in May 2022. He previously worked for around 10 years at the National Parliament of Timor–Leste as Chief of ICT, and has 18 years of experience in ICT. In his leadership role at National Parliament, he implemented major ICT support infrastructure systems to assist members of Parliament. He was enthusiastic in supporting staff to develop ideas for the implementation of e-parliament systems.

Abilio has learned to make decisions based on a combination of reason and practical experience. This approach has enabled him to work out advances and improvements in ICT development. In every case, it was this combination of reason or theory paired with implementation and the reinforcement of the two that has led to learning advancements. He now brings these skills to the SWITCH SEA project to help participants in their learning journey

He has a degree in Computer Science and a Masters of Information Management Systems. 

The six Switch! National Coordinators at an event in the Philippines.
The Switch! National Coordinators at the APRICOT 2023 / APNIC 55 conference in Manila.