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Class 10: September 2012 Atlas Corps Fellows

Dipanwita Das, 27, Kolkata, India (Host: Atlas Corps)

Dipanwita brings three years of experience in the nonprofit sector and has worked as an editor, a journalist, a public relations strategist, and a social entrepreneur. She has an undergraduate degree in History from St. Stephen’s College and a postgraduate degree in Globalization and Development from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. While working as an Account Manager with 20:20MSL (a Publicis Groupe company), she designed the Google+ nonprofit outreach strategy in India and set up the non-profit service line for the organization. Dipanwita also founded an online art enterprise called The Outline that works towards democratizing the sale and appreciation of art in India while working with 20:20MSL. Previously, she co-founded and led strategy at What’s Up Bharat, which is a social enterprise that engages youth with social issues through innovative methods across both online and offline platforms. She has handled media relations and program design for Whypoll, which is a nonprofit working towards better governance and women’s safety. Deeply interested in the use of technology for effecting positive change, Dipanwita has worked with the prevention of child abuse, LGBT rights, and education for the underprivileged as well as art for development. She enjoys focusing on women’s and minority rights and studying the unorganized labor sector in India.

Host: Atlas Corps

Hripsime Amirkhanyan, 35, Yerevan, Armenia (Host: HasNa)

Hripsime brings 16 years of experience of leading projects and volunteering for various international and local organizations. She has mostly focused on the implementation of different social and development projects to support the disadvantaged groups of people such as refugees, socially vulnerable families, certain categories of children, and the unemployed. While being a student at Vanadzor State Teachers’ Training Institute for her Master’s degree in Education, Hripsime started working for UNHCR, then continued her career with IFAD, UMCOR, UN WFP, and PH International, followed by CHF International Armenia/USAID in the position of Program Officer. During her professional career, Hripsime established strong links with partner organizations outside of Armenia and enlarged the scope of projects. Later, Hripsime received her second Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Studies with major in cultural differences, identity and philosophy through cultural studies and cultural geography. Hripsime is also a member of the Steering Group developing Youth Projects within European Union Programs and one of the organizers of youth exchanges among some EU member countries and Armenia. In 2011, Hripsime returned to PH International as one of the project leaders for the Armenian delegation to implement YouthLAB (Leadership Across Borders) project in the U.S. together with partners from Turkey. Hripsime is a very active participant of various training courses, conferences, and exchange programs. She is a great asset to any academic or working environment not only due to her high level of erudition but also her practical knowledge in the areas she is involved in.

Host: HasNa

Madiha Shafi, 29, Faisalabad, Pakistan (Host: CARE USA)

Madiha is a development practitioner with more than seven years of experience in the nonprofit sector with various leading international non-governmental organizations such as German Agro Action, American Red Cross, World Vision, and Oxfam. She has earned her Masters degree in Economics and several professional courses on project cycle management, monitoring and evaluation, learning, and accountability. In 2008, she was granted the Nuffic Fellowship for a course on Projects and Program Management and Administration. Throughout her career, she has gained diverse experience by working in remote areas in different fields such as health, food security and livelihoods, education, advocacy and campaigning, community drive initiatives, agro-forestry and human trafficking, child and human rights, and capacity building of local non-profit organizations. This experience has equipped her with various skills and competencies such as project design and management, donor liaison and reporting, resource mobilization, monitoring and evaluation, and financial management. During her working tenure, she has conducted and facilitated several research studies. During her work with American Red Cross, she developed a behavior change communication strategy for 30 villages. By working with World Vision, she gained experience in monitoring and evaluation of more than 15 different projects. By working with Oxfam for three years, she added financial management, program monitoring, and donor compliance strategies to her skillset. She also gained rich experience on advocacy and policy initiatives. Her hobbies include reading biographical books and traveling. She aspires to write a book consisting of her non-profit experience in United States.


Obiora Carl Okoye, 32, Awka, Nigeria (Host: Association of American Medical Colleges)

Obiora has over five years of experience in nonprofit community health activities, particularly HIV service delivery and research in underserved communities in Nigeria. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Biochemistry from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Ibadan, and a Diploma in Global Health from the University of Tampere, Finland. For the past two years, Obiora has been working as an Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Clinician at the International Centre for AIDS Treatment and Program (ICAP) and Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN)-supported ART facilities. He was responsible for the clinical management of people living with HIV/AIDS and provision of clinical services in the Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) program, as well as coordination of the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) program. He also worked as a public health consultant to the Nigerian Primary Health Development Agency on Maternal, Newborn, and Children’s Health, and his roles included supportive supervision, data collection, clinical mentoring, and capacity building for health care workers. As a medical student, Obiora was awarded the Global Health Scholarship in 2005 and represented the College of Medicine University of Ibadan at various public health events across Africa, Europe and North America. Upon return from these events and his election as the Vice President of the Nigerian Medical Students’ Association (NIMSA), Obiora pioneered and institutionalized the NIMSA Capacity Building Workshop to ensure the transfer of skills, knowledge, and experiences to colleagues. This annual workshop continues to equip medical students and other health care professionals across Nigeria with requisite leadership, managerial, and research skills to work in a low resource setting. In the last couple of years, he served as the Executive Director of the GUIHDE Initiative Nigeria, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes and inspire young people to take the lead in promotion and advocacy on Nigeria’s health policy and developmental needs. He is looking forward to exploring further opportunities in global health, human capacity development, research and infectious diseases.

Host: Association of American Medical Colleges

Tipakson Manpati, 28, Kalasin, Thailand (Host: International Accountability Project)

Tipakson has five years of experience in the nonprofit sector in the Greater Mekong Region, Southeast Asia. She has experience running joint campaigns with grassroots groups and regional nonprofit networks as an advocate for development justice and sustainable livelihoods. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Chiang Mai University, Thailand, and began her work with the online alternative media service Prachadhrama News Net (PNN) and the Horizontal Media Project (Local Talk), where she produced various in-depth articles and documentary films on human rights and environmental issues in Thailand in support of social justice movements across the country. Tipakson received a full scholarship to attend the EarthRights International EarthRights School Mekong (ERSM), a seven month-long intensive multidisciplinary training on human rights and environment. She worked with EarthRights International (ERI) as Mekong Alumni Program Coordinator for the Mekong School Alumni Network. She coordinated the provision of mentor support and outreach trainings on capacity building for communities; development of the campaign strategy to promote transparency, public participation, and accountability in decision-making processes of large-scale development projects; and administration of the mailing group and facilitation of information-sharing through social media. Tipakson is actively involved with many other civil society advocates on human rights and environmental issues in her home region, such as the ASEAN Youth Movement and the Save the Mekong Coalition. Since 2009, she has volunteered for the ASEAN Youth Movement’s steering committee, an alliance of diverse young people throughout the ASEAN region advocating for meaningful participation in a people-centered ASEAN community. Due to her belief in the spiritual connection between human beings and nature, she is dedicated to empowering people to engage in developments that sustain the sharing of the enriched nature of the earth for all. Tipakson is from an ethnic Phutai community in the Kalasin Province of Northeastern Thailand, and speaks Phutai, Lao, Thai, and English.

Host: International Accountability Project

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