Atlas Corps Virtual Leadership Institute is a seven-month online program includes keynote speakers, interactive workshops, self-led activities, discussion groups, and community-building activities with leading U.S. organizations and leaders. Learn more at institute.atlascorps.org
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- El Salvador
- Palestinian Territories
- Republic of Moldova
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- South Korea
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- The Gambia
- United States
- Social Issue
Angela Umoru has three years of experience in the nonprofit and media sectors. Angela earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Mass Communication from Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria. She is a 2020 World Literacy Foundation Ambassador and has utilized the opportunity to maximize and strengthen her fundraising, leadership, and advocacy skills. As a literacy advocate, she raised awareness on how illiteracy affects daily life by curating and sharing 112 “literacy stories” on social media. Previously, she worked as a Media and Communications Officer at Skills Outside School Foundation (SOSF), focusing on publicity for the Foundation’s work in life skill education for disadvantaged youth while securing relevant partnerships through digital media and production of media materials. In the time she worked with SOSF, she raised the organization’s profile by increasing social media followership by over 80% and spear-headed partnership discussions with various organizations. Currently, she is the Chief Operating Officer at Jela’s Development Initiatives (JDI), where she leads the teams in providing access to water, mental healthcare, and blood donors and promoting youth empowerment through volunteering. Through these experiences, she developed strong advocacy and collaboration skills. Angela is most interested in good governance and improving inclusion in education and mental health advocacy.
Current Organization: Chief Operating Officer at Jela’s Development Initiatives
Areen DweekatPalestinian Territories
Areen Dweekat is a Palestinian lawyer. She started her job as a public interest lawyer in 2015 at the National Institution for Human Rights in Palestine. In 2019, she received the Open Society Foundation Scholarship to earn her Master’s degree in law from Syracuse University in New York and she graduated in 2020. During her job, she focuses on marginalized groups’ rights, including women, persons with disabilities, refugees, and persons in prisons and detention centers.
Current Organization: Researcher at The Independent Commission for Human Rights
Leon Nsiku is a Congolese civil society activist with over 10 years of experience in journalism, refugee protection, and human rights promotion. Leon is highly experienced in proposal writing for funding, advocacy, capacity building, and programming in political ecology. He founded the online newsletter www.deboutRDC.net and Partenariat pour la Protection Integree (PPI), one of the prominent human rights organizations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He conducted over 100 trainings for African human rights defenders and contributed to over five research papers on the protection of human rights defenders in Africa. He has also written opinion pieces on regional politics and human security. He is passionate about child protection and childhood development. He is an enthusiastic, flexible, and result-driven team player in the design and implementation of social ventures. Leon is a PhD Student of Unicaf University Zambia, where he specializes in gendered adaptation to climate change.
Current Organization: Protection Officer at DefendDefenders
Lishu Gang has four years of professional experience at the intersection of technology, media, and politics. Currently, Lishu is a project manager at a data science startup working on products that help liberal-progressive political parties and organizations better control their media narratives. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from Minerva Schools at KGI in a six-country global rotation program. Most recently, she completed a Master’s degree in Nationalism Studies from Central European University in Austria and Hungary, with a focus on migration and refugee studies and the Israel-Palestine conflict. While volunteering for the Alumni Relations Office and the Student Recruitment Office at CEU, Lishu contributed to various projects in event planning and operations, media production, and marketing and communications. Previously, she worked at an NGO to promote effective implementation of youth social change programs in Kenya, during which she researched the informal sector innovation gap and helped design a curriculum on systems-thinking. She also led several marketing projects and website development for two ed-tech startups in Berlin and San Francisco. Additionally, Lishu volunteered as a community-building assistant on diversity and inclusion at her undergraduate university. Through these experiences, she developed a diverse skill set of research and policy analysis, project coordination, and media production. She enjoys exploring innovative solutions to address complex political, social, and cultural problems.
Current Organization: Project Manager at Big Data Analytics
Mohammed AbusaifPalestinian Territories
Mohammed Abusaif has more than 10 years’ experience in the field of practicing and teaching occupational therapy. Mohammed’s Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy (OT) from Bethlehem University empowered him to become one of the pioneers in occupational therapy and the only occupational therapist in community mental health in his hometown. Through his professional life, Mohammed gained skills and expertise towards developing and promoting the quality of OT services for mental health clients as well as persons with disabilities (PWDs), while serving more than 300 clients through many places and positions. Mohammed was the first professional in his community to develop a guidance protocol for providing OT services for mentally ill clients, which helped other therapists and rehabilitation specialists lead the assessment. The assessment includes four developed checklists and intervention methods that have different types of modalities, including vocational training. This protocol guides the OT treatment process and activities related to rehabilitation plans, health promotion, and self-help. His teaching experience includes working as a practical fieldwork supervisor, in addition to teaching OT modules at two local universities. As a result of his cooperation with a number of human rights activists and professionals, he founded a nonprofit as the Executive Director with the aim of raising community awareness regarding mental health issues, stigma, and clients’ rights.
Current Organization: Occupational Therapist at Gaza Community Mental Health Program
Rasha AbushabanPalestinian Territories
Rasha Abushaban is a Human Rights Associate working with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in the occupied Palestinian territory (OHCHR oPt), in the Gaza field office. Rasha has more than ten years working in the civil society in the Gaza Strip. She worked in the operations of an INGO called CCP-Japan, managing emergency and long-term projects in the fields of child protection, health, education, women empowerment, and food security. She also worked at the Media & Public Relations Unit at GCMHP, a Palestinian NGO working in the fields of human rights and mental health. Rasha holds an MSc degree in Development Management from the University of Birmingham-UK. She also earned an MLitt degree in Palestinian Studies from the University of Aberdeen-UK. Rasha’s undergraduate degree is from the Faculty of Education, English Pathway, from the Islamic University of Gaza.
Current Organization: Human Rights Associate at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Sandeep Thullimalli is a public health professional with an interest in the development sector. After receiving his medical degree, Sandeep decided to pursue a path apart from clinical medicine in order to develop a broader understanding of the concept of “Health.” This motivated him to pursue a Master’s degree in Global Health from University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom, where he finally got a glimpse of health from an economic, sociological, and cultural perspective. He volunteered at a nonprofit organization focused on human rights and advocacy for refugees and asylum seekers in the United Kingdom. After earning his Master’s degree, Sandeep joined the organization Swasthya Swaraj based in India, where he worked for tribal communities located in some of the most remote districts in India for two years. Here, he provided primary medical services, training and facilitation about Malaria and nutrition, and regular assessment of the status of nutrition, malaria, and anemia in the community. He worked on a cross sectional descriptive study of intensive screening of children with presumptive TB across 70 villages in Kalahandi. Sandeep also worked with the organization Dakshas in Hyderabad for 8 months, where he helped with design and improved the efficiency of operational processes of various programs. Sandeep has experience of working in diverse settings and is eager to learn more about the development sector.
Current Organization: Public Health Professional at Swasthya Swaraj Society
Sugandha Parmar has conducted research, written legal briefs and reports, and developed programs during her diverse experience in nonprofits, government organizations, think tanks, and research institutes. Sugandha is a graduate in Human Rights Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies in the United Kingdom and holds a Master’s degree in Women’s Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in India. At TISS, she became a UKIERI scholar and was awarded a research fellowship for her study on violence against women in India. She deeply cares about human rights, education, and gender equality. Sugandha worked with India’s largest philanthropic organization to support the government to prioritize a child-focused approach. She co-founded ‘Women for Politics’ to promote gender equality in politics in South Asia.
Current Organization: Co-founder at Women for Politics