Four new staff members at Baha'i International Community's United Nations Office
NEW YORK — Four people have joined the United Nations Office of the Bahá’í International Community in recent months.
Ming Hwee Chong
Ming Hwee Chong joined the office as a representative to the United Nations in May 2011. Previously, he worked at several companies in Singapore specializing in mobile communications technologies. He also served on the national governing council of the Bahá’ís of Singapore, and was the community’s director of Diplomatic Affairs.
Born in Singapore, Mr. Chong, 32, holds a Bachelors degree in Computing from the National University of Singapore. While at NUS, he also completed an 18-month overseas entrepreneurial internship program with Stanford University.
Mr. Chong has also served as a facilitator for inter-faith/inter-ethnic dialogues in Singapore and undertook service projects in Cambodia and Timor Leste.
May Akale joined the United Nations Office in February 2011 as an Alternate Representative, working mainly in the areas of social development, sustainable development, and the equality of women and men. Prior to this, Ms. Akale served as a consultant to the Office. In 2010, Ms. Akale was a Fellow at the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) and followed issues related to gender, climate change, and governance.
Her experience as an independent consultant has included developing strategies for community-based initiatives in Liberia and the United States. In the United States she also co-founded an NGO to address the concerns of immigrant and refugee women from Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Ms. Akale, 33, grew up in Cameroon and holds a Masters degree in International Relations from Webster University and a Bachelors degree in Management from Minnesota State University.
Daniel Perell, 29, joined the Bahá’í International Community’s New York Office as an Alternate Representative in February 2011. His work focuses primarily, though not exclusively, on human rights.
Born in the United States, Mr. Perell holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Prior to joining the Office, Mr. Perell worked with the International Service for Human Rights in Geneva, monitoring and reporting on human rights treaty bodies and the Human Rights Council. He also worked with the United Nations on ex-combatant reintegration and medium-term governmental planning in Aceh, Indonesia.
Most recently, Mr. Perell conducted field research in Cairo on the situation of the Bahá’ís in Egypt.
Simin Fahandejsadi joined the Bahá’í International Community’s Office in Geneva in January 2011 as a Human Rights Officer.
Born in Iran, Ms. Fahandejsadi, 25, was educated in Canada. She holds a combined honors degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. During and after college, she worked as a journalist at several broadcast news outlets, including as an intern at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Her work for the Geneva office will focus primarily on human rights, although Ms. Fahandejsadi has also served as a Bahá’í International Community delegate to the Commission on the Status of Women, the Commission on Sustainable Development and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She also served as editor-in-chief on the International Youth Council’s newsletter in connection with the 7th Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations.