Working Group Committee Members

Anja Kovacs
Privacy
Dr. Anja Kovacs directs the Internet Democracy Project in Delhi, India, which works for an Internet that supports free speech, democracy and social justice in India and beyond. Anja’s research and advocacy focuses especially on questions regarding freedom of expression, cybersecurity and the architecture of Internet governance. She has also worked as an international consultant on Internet issues, including for the Independent Commission on Multilateralism, the United Nations Development Programme Asia Pacific and the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, Mr. Frank La Rue, as well as having been a Fellow at the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore, India.

Saikat Datta
Privacy
Saikat Datta is the Policy Director at Center for Internet and Society. He has been a journalist for over 19 years as an editor and an investigative reporter with several news organisations. He has been a defence correspondent with The Indian Express, an assistant editor with the Outlook magazine, Resident Editor with DNA, member of the Editorial Board with Zee News and Editor (National Security) with Hindustan Times. His core areas of research are around counter-terrorism, intelligence, cybersecurity and the use of special forces in strategic roles. He is also a senior fellow with the Internet Democracy Project.

Rueben Dieckhoff
Privacy
Ruben Dieckhoff,  graduated from Heidelberg University where he studied political science with a focus on international relations and economics. Prior to joining FNF in 2012 as Project Manager South Asia, he worked as management consultant in Berlin. He has a keen interest in everything related to digitization, human rights and economic developments.

Htaike Htaike Aung
Digital Literacy and Empowerment
Htaike Htaike Aung, Co-founder and Executive Director, Myanmar ICT for Development Organization (MIDO). MIDO is one of the very few ICT-focused non governmental organization in Myanmar/Burma. MIDO focuses on ICTs for development, Internet freedom and Internet policy advocacy works in Myanmar. Since the introduction of the Internet to the public in Myanmar, she has been involved in Myanmar’s Internet propagation events. She is also a digital security & privacy trainer/consultant for human rights defenders in Myanmar. Some of the notable initiatives that MIDO is involved in are Panzagar (anti hate speech campaign), Kyeet election monitoring application, Myanmar Internet Freedom Forum, Peace Tech Exchange and Lighthouses (community information centres) etc.

Nikhil Pahwa
Digital Literacy and Empowerment
Nikhil Pahwa is an Indian entrepreneur, journalist, publisher and founder and owner of MediaNama, an India-based mobile and digital news portal. He has been a key commentator on stories and debates around Indian digital media companies, censorship and Internet and mobile regulation in India. He was appointed as a member of the Wi-fi task force set up by the Delhi Government in 2015 along with entrepreneur, Mahesh Murthy and Pranesh Prakash, the Policy Director at Center for Internet & Society, Bangalore.  He was named in the ‘Indians of Tomorrow’ list of young leaders in India published by India Today

George Abraham
Digital Literacy and Empowerment
George Abraham, CEO of Score Foundation, started his career in advertising in 1981 and started working with the blind after 1989. In 1990 he launched national cricket programmes for the blind and established the World Blind Cricket Council in 1996. Later he launched a mobile training program in personality development in 1997 and co-authored a book on Inclusive Education in 2004. In 2002 George founded Score Foundation and launched its flagship Project Eyeway in 2003, which is a single stop Knowledge Resource for blind and visually impaired people with the object of changing lives through the power of Knowledge. In the past George has been conferred with awards such as, the Sanskriti Award, the Rotary Vocational Award, The Limca Book of Record’s “People of the Year” Award and was elected as an Ashoka fellow in 2001. In 1996, he also had the privilege of running with the Olympic Torch at Atlanta. Having spent over two decades working in the domain of Life with blindness, George has diverse experience as a trainer/motivational speaker, a promoter of cricket for the blind and a disability Activist/Communicator.

Smitha Krishna Prasad
Freedom of Expression
Smitha Krishna Prasad is a senior member of the Technology, Media and Telecoms, Intellectual Property and International Commercial Laws practice group and focuses on matters pertaining to data privacy, information technology, intellectual property, telecommunications, media and entertainment laws. She regularly advises clients on matters dealing with data protection and privacy laws, regulatory and legal issues in relation to big data and data analytics, digital and new media matters, regulatory issues and laws applicable to e-commerce businesses in India, laws regulating various payment systems and mechanisms in India, and trademark prosecution matters.  She has also been involved in a number of cross border intellectual property, technology and business transfer transactions, and advising clients on legal requirements and best practices in relation to development and distribution of software applications across various industries. Smitha has participated in authoring a number of articles on topics related to intellectual property, information technology and media laws, published by associations such as Steinbeis Centre for Technology Transfer India and the USIBC in their journals and newsletters.

Al Amin Yusuph
Freedom of Expression
Al-Amin Yusuph is an information professional expert with 17 years of experience in knowledge and information management, media development and the use of new media for development accumulated at national and international levels.Prior to UNESCO, Al-Amin worked for the British Council for eight years as Knowledge and Learning Centre Manager and a Member of the East and West Africa Regional Leadership Team. He also worked briefly with CIDA Tanzania in 2004, where he consulted on information management. Al-Amin has been working at UNESCO since November 2006. From 2006 to 2012, he worked on media development and ICT-related initiatives in the United Republic of Tanzania, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius and Comoros. From 2012 he was the Programme Specialist for the UNESCO Office in Dar es Salaam until he joined the UNESCO Office in New Delhi as Advisor for Communication and Information in November 2015.

Apar Gupta
Freedom of Expression
Apar Gupta studied at Amity Law School where he merged his two interests – technology and the law. Gupta wrote Commentary on Information Technology Act, published by Wadhwa and Company. After completing his education, he joined Karanjawala and Co. to start his career as a litigator. He regularly advises the Internet and Mobile Association of India on new regulations in the sector.

Basheerhamad Shadrach
Access
Basheerhamad Shadrach joined the Web Foundation in June 2014 as its A4AI Asia Coordinator. Shadrach works to build coalitions of private, public and civil society organisations to advance the shared aim of affordable access to both mobile and fixed-line Internet in Asia. Shadrach has managed ICT4D programmes in over thirty nations around the world, and brings with him nearly three decades of experience in the field. Until recently, Shadrach served as the Global CEO of the Telecentre.org Foundation. Prior to that, Shadrach worked for IDRC, Canada, managing ICT4D research grants in Asia, including the “Mission 2007: Every Village a Knowledge Centre” initiative.

Osama Manzar
Access
Osama Manzar is an inspiring speaker, angel investor, mentor and believer. He founded Digital Empowerment Foundation to achieve universal digital literacy and digital access for all to overcome information gap and parity. He is a Member, Working Group, Internet Proliferation & Governance under the Ministry of IT; and was a Member, Task Force on Growth of IT, ITES & Electronics HW Manufacturing Industry. He is also a member of the Advisory Board for NOFN. He sits on several Boards including the WSA, and is the Chair of Manthan and mBillionth Awards.