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
Ako Eyo Oku is a young leader with extensive experience in broadcast media and public service. Ako has worked for the Nigerian Television Authority for nine years, where she has served three different regions and over 200 Nigerian communities with enlightening, educational, and entertaining TV programs. Ako is committed to community development and advocacy for social change. She has been an active leader in several organizations, including the Child Rights Club, Rotaract Club, MDGs/SDGs Mass Awareness Group, Strategy and Innovation for Development Initiative, and the Young African Leadership Initiative. She founded the Global Learning Community Program, a community of practice that encourages worldwide learning at the local level via MOOCs and GLAMs. In 2019, Ako participated in the US government-sponsored Mandela Washington Fellowship, where she received training on Leadership in Public Management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ako is a Commonwealth+ Open Source Leader, a World Pulse Ambassador, and an African Changemaker. Ako belongs to Chatham House, TED, Creative Commons, and Wikimedia communities.
Current Organization: Senior Broadcast Officer at Nigerian Television Authority
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
Debra Nhokwara is a media professional with a strong background in communication and social strategy development. Debra holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Media Studies from the National University of Science and Technology (ZW). Recently, she was awarded a Chevening Scholarship and she is currently studying Gender and Media MA at the University of Sussex. She is an experienced Public Relations Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the media production industry. Debra is skilled in crisis management, search engine optimization (SEO), news writing, and advertising. As an experienced media consultant, Debra conducts digital marketing, social strategy development, and integration using data-based analytics tools. She offers particular expertise in designing marketing material, newsletters and social media content. Debra is proud to have worked with Transparency International Zimbabwe (Bulawayo Region) and Nhimbe Trust in their many advocacy programmes in Matabeleland. She is passionate about issues affecting women. She is involved in a program that visits different communities holding women’s empowerment circles so as to capacitate women on their rights and to address the challenges they face, especially gendered corruption. She is part of Lady Rose Reusable Pads, an organization that manufactures reusable pads for disadvantaged women.
Current Organization: Student at the University of Sussex
Huma Iqbal has over ten years of experience working in Pakistan’s nonprofit sector, and earned her MA from the University of Karachi with a major in Development Communications. Huma is a public health influencer and employs strategic communications to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights, especially during crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on policy reforms for family planning services in Pakistan. Working with the Population Council as an Advocacy Manager, Huma lobbies with parliamentarians for stronger legislation on family planning programs, advocates with religious leaders on championing the cause, and leverages the media’s role to influence policy makers and the masses. In her current role, Huma has helped build a new narrative on population, focusing on the balance between population size and resources and breaking away from more traditional and coercive approaches of limiting family size in the past. Previously, Huma worked with Oxfam where she led public and digital campaigns to end child marriages and sexual violence against girls, boys, and the gender minorities of Pakistan. Huma has acquired influencing and leadership skills to influence high-level stakeholders for policy and programmatic action. She has also acquired campaigning skills for effective public and media engagement. Huma is passionate about empowering people and socially and politically equipping them to break structural inequality and live quality lives. Huma likes to explore digital spaces for innovation and freedom of speech.
Current Organization: Manager, Communications and Advocacy at Population Council
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
Marina Vorontsova holds a Bachelor’s equivalent specialist degree in Accounting, Analysis, and Audit from the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia (PFUR). Marina also holds PFUR’s diploma with honors in the English language, which certifies her as an interpreter. She is currently enrolled at UC Berkeley’s Extension School pursuing a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Writing. Marina has over seven years of professional experience and currently works as a technical copywriter with Digital Data LLC, Paragon Software Group of Companies. In this role, she pursues her passions for writing, languages, and technology. She has attended web development conferences and interviewed top speakers in technology. With the help and guidance from the Virtual Leadership Institute and her peers, she hopes to continue highlighting the pressing issues of gender inequality in technology and sharing stories of prominent women in tech who are overcoming barriers on a daily basis. By showcasing the women’s stories, her goal is to draw more attention to the compelling gender problems surrounding the industry and inspire young female leaders to follow in the footsteps of the older generation and continue fighting for their inherent rights.
Current Organization: Technical Writer at Digital Data LLC (Paragon Software Group)
Muhammad Ibrahim has five years of experience in the fields of media reporting and social issue documentaries. While recently working with BBC World Service, Muhhammad reported on difficulties faced by people with disabilities in Pakistan, including government and relevant stakeholders’ perspectives on limits to creating one sign language in Pakistan and access to basic facilities for persons with disabilities. He also reported on Hindu Minority community religious places in Sialkot, where a 1,000 year-old temple has been opened after almost 72 years. The report was shared by the Prime Minister of Pakistan on his official social media pages. Muhammad started working for BBC Pakistan in 2019, and in this short time, he was awarded the Agahi Award Journalist of The Year 2019 in the “Global Dignity” category and “Agahi Award Journalist of The Year 2020” in the “Inclusiveness” category for his work at BBC Pakistan.
Current Organization: Freelance Video Journalist at BBC Pakistan