AMIC 28th Annual Conference 
Profile of Keynote and Plenary Speakers

Audrey Azoulay

A graduate of France’s Ecole Nationale d’Administration and of the Paris Institut d’Etudes Politiques, she holds a diploma in Business Administration from the University of Lancaster (UK).

Having worked in the sector of culture since the start of her professional career, Audrey Azoulay has notably focused on the funding of French public broadcasting and on the reform and modernization of France’s film support system. She has also served the European Commission providing her expertise on issues concerning culture and communication.

In 2014, as an advisor on culture to the President of the French Republic, she notably initiated the development of a protection plan for heritage in danger, which she was able to implement in 2016 as Minister of Culture and Communication. She has also prioritized improving children’s access to culture with the launch of artistic and cultural education school programmes “Création en cours” and created innovative cultural outreach programmes for people in remote and vulnerable areas “Microfolies”.

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With a longstanding commitment in favour of intercultural and intergenerational dialogue to advance education for all and the dissemination of scientific and cultural knowledge, she is determined to maintain this commitment as the head of UNESCO.

She will spare no effort in ensuring that UNESCO fulfils its universal mandate fully in promoting values of humanism and openness and serving as a driving force in the United Nations system. The Organization is to achieve this by serving as an intellectual forum for the world of tomorrow, and as a standard-setter that will help society advance, as well as serving as an expert agency contributing to the dissemination of knowledge to the greatest number of people worldwide.
According to Audrey Azoulay, “none of the major challenges facing the world today can be met by any one country on its own without relying on the fundamental pillars of science, education and culture. Thus, UNESCO can and must fully participate in a world order based on multilateralism and humanist values.”

The General Conference of UNESCO, at its 41st session, has elected Ms Audrey Azoulay for a second mandate as Director-General of the Organization.


Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, author, lecturer, and social critic—one of the most influential contemporary intellectuals. He is known as “the father of modern linguistics” and one of the founders of the field of cognitive science. Chomsky is Laureate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Arizona and Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and is the author of more than a hundred books on linguistics, politics and mass media, many of them bestsellers. His landmark work Syntactical Structures, is a major reference in remodeling the study of language. He has influenced various other fields such as philosophy, computer science, mathematics, childhood education, and anthropology.

Fortunato T. de la Peña

Fortunato T. de la Peña started his professional career at the then ESSO Standard Eastern as a cost and operations engineer in 1969 after graduating with a BS Chemical Engineering degree from the University of the Philippines (UP) that year. He then took up graduate studies in Industrial Engineering at the same university and earned an MS degree in Industrial Engineering. He joined the UP College of Engineering faculty as an Instructor in 1973 and rose to become Full Professor in 1988. He served UP in various capacities: as Chairman of the Department of Industrial Engineering & Operations Research, as Assistant to the Executive Director of the National Engineering Center, as Director of the Institute for Small Scale Industries and as System Vice President for Planning & Development. He taught Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at the University of the Philippines for 43 years from 1973 to 2016.

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He was seconded to the National Science & Technology Authority (NSTA) which later became the Department of Science & Technology (DOST) three times: as Head of its Planning Service, as Director of its Technology Application & Promotion Institute and as Undersecretary for Scientific & Technical Services after which he retired in 2014. In 2016 he was appointed DOST Secretary.

He led a number of professional organizations as its President. These are the Philippine Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Association of Management & Industrial Engineers of the Philippines, the National Research Council of the Philippines and the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science & Technology. He also served as Chair of the UN Commission on Science & Technology for Development. The awards he received include the Dangal ng Bayan Award from the Civil Service Commission, the Outstanding Career Executive Officer Award from the Career Executive Service Board, the Outstanding Professional Award from the Professional Regulations Commission, the UP Alumni Association Award for Public Service, the UP Alumni Engineers Most Distinguished Alumnus Award, the UP Alumni Association Lifetime Distinguished Achievement Award and The Ateneo Government Service Award. The University of the Philippines conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa in 2018.

Leon Barkho

Leon Barkho is professor of media and communication sciences at Sweden’s Jönköping University. He holds an M.Sc. in applied linguistics and a Ph.D. in media and communication science. Previously, he held positions at Reuters News Agency as bureau chief and the Associated Press as staff writer. He is the founder and editor of the Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies. He has written numerous papers on discourse analysis, language, impartiality, translation and media and communication studies. Barkho is the author of “News from the BBC, CNN and Aljazeera” and editor of “From Theory to Practice: How to Assess and Apply Impartiality in News and Current Affairs” and “Towards a Praxis-Based Media and Journalism Research.” His most recent book “A Critique of Arab Media Discourse” was published in Arabic by Arab Scientific Publishers Inc.

Ramesh Bhushal

Ramesh Bhushal is an environmentalist by education and environment journalist/writer by profession. He has one and half decades of experience in radio, print and online journalism. He has worked as Principal Environment Correspondent for 'The Himalayan Times' English daily-the largest selling English newspaper in the country, program producer and host for 'Ujyaalo Radio Network'—the largest network of radio stations across the country and was Science Correspondent for the 'BBC Nepali'. He is currently working as Nepal Editor for environmental news site in South Asia and manages activities in South Asia for a global network of environmental journalists— Internews’ Earth Journalism Network (

Jeff Canoy

Jeff Canoy is a journalist for ABS-CBN News. His coverage focuses on conflicts, disasters and public safety. His work in the last decade has received recognition both locally and internationally. His documentary on the siege of Marawi City by an ISIS-linked terror group won the Gold World Medal at the 2018 New York Festivals and the Gold Dolphin for Best Documentary in Cannes. In 2020, his documentary on persons with different needs, filmed entirely on camera phones, won the Bronze World Medal at the 2020 New York Festivals. He is also a Palanca award-winning writer, a Marshall McLuhan fellow for journalism and received a citation from the Society of Publishers in Asia Awards for explanatory reporting in Hong Kong. He received professional training from Columbia University in New York, the Lauder School of Government in Tel Aviv and the Malaysian Press Institute in Kuala Lumpur. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication at the Ateneo de Manila University. In addition to his reportorial work, he currently anchors ABS-CBN’s morning news show, “Sakto”.


Mira Desai is Professor Communication Technology and Head at the University Department of Extension and Communication, S.N.D.T. Women’s University, Mumbai. She has formal qualifications in commerce, development communication, distance education, women and gender development, among others. Her research interests are audience reception, research methodology, women’s studies/gender development, sociology of technology and Indian television. She has experience in print, television, Internet and alternative media. She has presented papers in various conferences in Singapore, Spain, Australia, Malaysia, and Philippines, and is a member of various academic professional bodies. She is also on an editorial board of three research journals published from India.


Mohan Dutta is the Dean’s Chair Professor in Communication, School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Massey University, New Zealand. He is the Director of the Center for Culture-Centered Approach to Research and Evaluation (CARE), developing culturally-centered, community-based projects of social change, advocacy, and activism that articulate health as a human right. Dr. Mohan Dutta’s research examines the role of advocacy and activism in challenging marginalizing structures, the relationship between poverty and health, political economy of global health policies, and the ways in which participatory culture-centered radical democracy serve as axes of global social change.


Mohamed El-Guindy is a cyber security expert, technologist, speaker and researcher specializing in cybercrime, cyber terrorism and technology. He works as cybercrime consultant and resource person for international organizations. Mohamed is also the official representative of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA International) in Egypt. He runs Tech Talk, a weekly TV program in the Middle East that tackles controversial technical or scientific topics such as digital espionage and internet surveillance, 3D printing and reverse engineering of the human brain. His research studies on cybercrime are published in leading journals and research websites and cited in UN reports and university research around the world. He has authored many books and pamphlets on cybercrime and related issues.


Martin Hadlow’s professional experience covers more than 45 years in international communication development, broadcasting, journalism, media management, academia and training gained in over 50 countries, especially in Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific. His background includes an extensive career with UNESCO, where he served as Representative, Director and Regional Communication Adviser of field offices in Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Jordan/Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka (tsunami relief) and in senior roles at Headquarters in Paris, including as global Director of the Division of Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace. Later, he became an Associate Professor at the University of Queensland and Foundation Director of UQ’s Centre for Communication and Social Change. He holds a PhD from the University of Queensland, an MA (Mass Communications) from Leicester University, UK, and was conferred an Honorary Doctorate by the Senate of the Kazakh State University (named after Al-Farabi), Kazakhstan. His service with AMIC includes periods as a Board Director and as acting Secretary-General (2013-2014) in Singapore.


Sadia Jamil earned a Ph.D. In Journalism (University of Queensland), a Master of Science in Media Management (University of Scotland Stirling), and an M.A. in Mass Communication (University of Karachi). She has taught courses at the Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi and in the past, at the University of Queensland. She is currently doing research on Artificial Intelligence in News Media Industry, Sustainability Education and Sustainable Development. Jamil is Chair of the Journalism Research and Education Section of the International Council of IAMCR. She sits in the editorial board of six international journals in the areas of journalism, digital media, political communication, and media practices in the Middle East. She is also serving as honorary advisor of Media Action Nepal.


Masato Kajimoto is an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong. He specializes in news literacy education and misinformation ecosystem research in Asia. He founded a region-focused education NPO called ANNIE (Asian Network of News and Information Educators) and leads a student-driven fact-checking project called Annie Lab. Masato was the chief producer of the massive open online course on Coursera titled Making Sense of the News: News Literacy Lessons for Digital Citizens as well. His recent publication includes an entry on News Literacy in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. Before beginning a career in teaching and research, he worked as an online reporter and web producer for CNN International.

Shahbaz Khan

Professor Shahbaz Khan is the Director of the UNESCO Office in Beijing and UNESCO Representative to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia, People’s Republic of China, and the Republic of Korea.

Prof Khan joined UNESCO in 2008 at its Headquarters as Chief of the Water and Sustainable Development Section. He has worked in Australia, France, Indonesia and Pakistan in various research, consultancy and policy positions around hydrology and sustainable development. His work has been widely recognized e.g. 2019 China Friendship Award and Great Wall Friendship Award China 2017. Prof Khan holds a Hon Doctorate Environment and Development from the National University of Malaysia and Hon DSc from the University of Birmingham.

Jonathan Lynn

Jonathan Lynn is Head of Communications and Media Relations at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Before joining the IPCC in November 2011, he worked as a foreign correspondent and editor for Reuters news agency for 32 years, reporting from over 30 countries around the world. Jonathan has an MA from Cambridge University, where he studied modern languages at Clare College. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. From December 2021 he will be Senior Communications Advisor at the IPCC.


Crispin Maslog is a journalism practitioner and academician, started out as a full-time journalist with the Agence France-Presse before he went to the University of Minnesota on a Fulbright-Smith Mundt scholarship. After getting his Ph.D., he returned to the Philippines and became director of the School of Communication, Silliman University. He later became a professor, College of Development Communication, University of the Philippines Los Baños. After “retiring” from UPLB in 1998, he was invited to be Senior Vice President and Dean, Graduate School, Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication, in Manila. After retirement, he has been a visiting professor in the United States, Norway, and Singapore. He has published 37 books, including topics in Science Writing, Biotechnology, and Climate Change.

Nina Trang Nguyen

Nina Trang Nguyen is a British Government Chevening scholar with a master’s degree in Multimedia Journalism. She has an almost 10-year work experience including a 7-year stint at Vietnam National Television (VTV). She has contributed to both international and national journalism events and projects and built up her own identity as creative producer, storyteller, and multimedia journalist. In 2019, Ms. Trang was the first woman field reporter to cover the South Sudan civil war. Her stories included Vietnam’s first field hospital and the life of Vietnamese peacekeepers serving the United Nations peacekeeping mission. Among her numerous awards are the Vietnam National Press Awards 2017 and Top 5 best TV hosts in the VTV Awards 2018. In 2014, Ms. Trang was among the 29 Vietnamese youth ambassadors who took part in the 41st Ship for South East Asian and Japanese Youth Program.

She is currently a guest lecturer at the Academy of Journalism and Communication. She also works as strategic designer, UX researcher, and design thinking facilitator for Doodle Design.

Ginny Smith 

Ginny is a science writer and presenter with expertise in psychology and neuroscience. She has a talent for making the complex comprehensible, and a passion to bring her love of brain science to audiences around the world.

She founded Braintastic! Science, which produces spectacular science shows and resources to help young people understand and get the best out of their brains. She is regularly found on stage or on screen at schools, festivals and events, and relishes answering kids questions about the brain, from why we dream to whether doctors could ever do a brain transplant!

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When not working with Braintastic!, Ginny also produces content about the brain for adults. She teaches at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Continuing Education, and hosts the British Psychological Society’s Psych Crunch Podcast, a skill honed through several years working with The Naked Scientists on their BBC radio show and podcast. She has written 4 books for DK publishing and her first solo book for adults, ‘Overloaded’ about brain chemistry, was named as one of New Scientist’s best science books to read in 2021. She is a regular blogger and video presenter for the Cosmic Shambles Network, alongside some of the biggest names in science, from Brian Cox to Matt Parker.

Her wide-ranging experience leaves her well placed to share her skills as a science communication trainer and consultant, for organisations including the University of Cambridge’s PhD. development programme. To reach wider audiences, she recently launched her own on-demand Udemy course on Storytelling for Sci-Comm. She is passionate about providing scientists and organisations with the techniques they need to grab their audiences attention, and keep it.

Now based in Singapore, she founded the South East Asia SciComm facebook group to bring together science communicators in the region for support, skills sharing and socialising.

You can find out more about Ginny on her website:, or connect on social media: @GinnySmithSci and @BraintasticSci


Jan Servaes (PhD, 1987, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium) has been UNESCO Chair in Communication for Sustainable Social Change and Chairperson of the Scientific Committee for the World Congress on Communication for Development (WCCD), Rome, 2006. He has taught International Communication and Communication for Social Change in Australia, Belgium, China, Hong Kong, the United States, The Netherlands, and Thailand, in addition to several teaching stints at about 120 universities in 55 countries. Servaes has undertaken research, development, and advisory work around the world and is the author of journal articles and books on such topics as international and development communication; ICT and media policies; intercultural communication; participation and social change; and human rights and conflict management. He is known for his ‘multiplicity paradigm’ in “Communication for Development. One World, Multiple Cultures” (1999).


Kulsoom Siddiqui has been at the forefront in engaging the youth of Pakistan in the fight against climate change.

After returning from an exchange semester in Japan in 2016, Siddiqui immediately went into action and set up the Sustainable Living Society at her home university, the Institute of Business Administration, in 2018. The initiative led to the Million Tree Campaign across Pakistan, which was recognized by the Prime Minister of the country. Such initiative in encouraging sustainable practices among 14,000 student earned for her university global accolade and recognition.

From there, Siddiqui started to involve other educational institutions across Karachi with her team of 500 members and volunteers to engage the youth in similar activities. 

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Her work has been recognized by the World Federation of the United Nations Association and her project centered around Climate Action was selected one of 18 projects around the world. She received intensive training at the UN Headquarters in Geneva to implement her project in Pakistan.

She was then appointed as Head of Youth for Pakistan by the United Nations Association of Pakistan in 2018, to set up UNAP Youth Chapters with over 1,000 schools, colleges and universities around Pakistan. For this she structured a digital framework for young people to engage with sustainability organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund and Toyota’s 5S Ecological Conservation Program 2020-2021, where she led in the training of people aged 13-26 in the sustainable lifestyle of the Japanese. The training program proved to be a major success, having rained 47,000 young people across Pakistan in eight months.

Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals as the framework, she continues to work with various organizations in training the youth in best practices for sustainability. Saddiqui is only 26 years old and says she has no plans of slowing down.

Johanna Son

Johanna Son is the Bangkok-based editor/founder of Reporting ASEAN, a media venue for in-depth reportage with a regional perspective. Having covered Southeast Asia for three decades, Johanna contributes to the ‘Bangkok Post’ and ‘Nikkei Asian Review’, among others.

She is also a consultant trainer with Fojo Media Institute (Sweden) in its work with journalism trainers in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam and within this project, wrote the book ‘Online Journalism and Storytelling: A Teaching and Learning Kit’ during the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020. It is also available in Burmese, Vietnamese, Lao, Khmer and Thai. Apart from editing more than 15 journalism-related books and publications focusing on Asia, she also wrote ‘Reportage on ASEAN-related Issues: A Tip Sheet’ (available in several languages).

Previously, she was with regional director with IPS Asia-Pacific news agency. She started her journalism career with the ’Manila Chronicle’.


Cheryll Ruth Soriano is Professor and Research Fellow in the Department of Communication at De La Salle University. Her research examines the implications of digital communication on social, cultural, and political processes with a focus on the intersections of digital cultures and marginality. She sits in the Editorial Boards of the Asian Journal of Communication, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Communication, Culture and Critique, and Plaridel: Philippine Journal of Communication, Media, and Society and has co-edited books and a number of scholarly articles, policy briefs, and op-ed pieces on digital media and communication in the Global South. She also leads various research and advocacy initiatives in the areas of digital labor, open access, and democracy and disinformation. Prof. Soriano held Visiting Fellowships at the Center for Communication, Politics and Culture at RMIT University, and at the Institute of Sociology and Anthropology in Peking University. She completed her Ph.D. in Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore.


Le Thuy Tran is an award-winning journalist. Among her numerous recognitions are first prize and a special prize as Young Development Journalist of the year in Developing Asia Journalism Award in Tokyo, 2004 and winner of the Panos London/GKP journalism award in the United Nations’ 2005 Information Society Summit. She has served as panelist in various international and local conferences, including the 2010 Women’s Leadership Summit in India. Tran Le Thuy has worked with leading international and national media agencies including The Saigon Times, Vietnam Economic Times, Tuoi Tre, Reuters, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Channel 4, the International Herald Tribune and Project Syndicate. She also works as media consultant and expert on media development and communication for international agencies, including the United Nations, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. She holds an M.Phil in Development Studies from University of Oxford.

Vu Thanh Van

Dr. Vu Thanh Van is senior lecturer and director of the International Cooperation Department, Academy of Journalism and Communication (AJC), Vietnam. He served as deputy dean of International Relations Faculty and deputy director of Research Department at AJC since 2013. He also served as lecturer at the Faculty of International Relations.
His specialization is in journalism and political science. He has published a book entitled “International Communications” and a number of articles. He also edited several publications on the subjects of policy communication, information management, social media management, and new media landscape and policy challenges In 2021, he published the manuscript “Public Trust in Government and Compliance with Policy during COVID-19 Pandemic: Empirical Evidence from Vietnam” in Public Organization Review.

He was Fulbright scholar to University of South Carolina (2007) for the study of US institutes; exchange lecturer to Stockholm University (2012); visiting lecturer to Hamburg University (2015) and Vienna University (2018). He was trained in public administration and new public management at Civil Services College and Management Development Institute of Singapore, and in journalism at the Academy of Journalism and Communication (Vietnam).


Meng Wang is a Senior Geologist in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and president of the Young Earth Scientists (YES) Network which is an international scientific organization with more than 5000 members of young and early career earth scientists. He was nominated as the Executive Secretary of World Youth Scientist Summit (WYSS) 2019, which led the young generation of scientists to dialogue with senior scientists, entrepreneurs, and innovators with strong support from the government, industries and scientific communities. He is currently leading several national and international scientific research projects on climate, environment, and industry.

Meng started his career in the Ministry of Land and Resources of China in policy counselling and management, and transferred to China Minmetals Group, which is a world leading company in mining industry, and then to the CAS in 2017. This has given him very good experience with government, industry, and science.

Meng is doing his second PhD in Geology in CAS and holds two bachelors and two master's degrees in Geology with Law and Economy. He completed the Master exchange program in the United Nations University (UNU) on Building Resilience to Climate Change.

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