Each regional office is run by two staff members. The Foundation provides general support for WYA. Get to know WYA’s regional and foundation staff as well as its board members.




Anna Halpine, Founder

Anna Halpine is the founder of the World Youth Alliance and was the WYA president from 1999 to the spring of 2007. She has her Masters in Philosophy of Religion from Yale University Divinity School (2009), and a Bachelor of Music from Mt. Allison University in Canada (1999). She is the current CEO of the FEMM Foundation, a research and evidence based program committed to improving women’s health. She lives and works in New York City.




Nadja Wolfe, J.D., Director of Advocacy

Nadja joined WYA as Director of Advocacy in 2015. She oversees the organization’s advocacy efforts and serves as the main representative to the United Nations. She is a graduate of Washington and Lee University, where she majored in Russian Area Studies and Theatre Arts, and William and Mary Law School. She is a native of Massachusetts and is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association.


Hrvoje Vargic, Europe Director of Partnerships

Hrvoje is originally from a small town of Đakovo in the eastern part of Croatia, but moved to Zagreb when he was 18 to pursue his studies. He holds a BA in Business and Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Zagreb. Prior to being selected as WYA Europe Regional Director, he worked as project manager for a business consultancy company. He also holds a second BA in Philosophy and has finished the MA Philosophy Program of the University of Zagreb. He is a Phoenix Institute alumnus, from which he was awarded a Diploma in Advanced Studies in Political, Economic and Social Sciences. Hrvoje was one of the founders of the WYA Croatia Chapter in 2012, and was part of several other civic initiatives in Croatia. He has given several speeches in different symposia and conferences, published a scientific article in a peer reviewed journal, and co-authored a book on EU project management.

He is happily married to Maja, who is his greatest supporter.





Demy Cruz Jr., Multimedia Manager

Demy is a digital native with years of professional experience in the creative industry working with various brands, government and non-government organizations in the Philippines and abroad. He finished a Bachelor’s Degree in Multimedia Arts and graduated as a scholar from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in Manila, Philippines. He had an extensive servant-leadership stint in college that earned him a spot as one of the Youth Ambassadors of the Philippines to several countries in Asia. At present, Demy continues to engage himself with projects that promote youth empowerment and leadership development among young Filipinos.

Before joining WYA, he was a Multimedia Specialist for De La Salle Philippines. He also served as Executive Assistant to the Office of the Brother Visitor of Lasallian East Asia District and National Coordinator of the Lasallian Youth Office in the Philippines. In his spare time, he likes traveling, creating videos, and cooking with whatever he sees in the kitchen.





Breck Giltner, Communications and Administrative Assistant

Breck is a native of San Antonio, Texas. She graduated from the University of Dallas with a degree in Politics in December 2019. While in college, she was the President of the UD Pre-Law society, program director and co-founder of Arete Summer Academy, a nonprofit academic enrichment program for kids in San Antonio, Texas, and wrote breaking news articles for The University News.

Prior to joining WYA as a Communications and Administrative Associate, she dove into a full study of the US immigration debate, interning at the Office of the Chief Counsel for the Department of Homeland Security for one year and at a private immigration law firm the following summer. Breck loves delving into current issues, talking politics, writing, and learning new skills.

She plans to attend law school in the future and is excited to work with the WYA team in the coming year.



Lord Pomperada - WYA President

Lord Leomer Pomperada, President

Lord joined World Youth Alliance in 2011 and became a full-time staff member in January 2014 as Regional Director for the Asia Pacific region. After a year, Lord was recognized by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Youth Leaders Association with the Gawad ASEANO Award for his praiseworthy efforts in youth development in Southeast Asia. At the age of 23, he was elected as the 5th WYA President. Lord moved to New York City in the fall of 2015. As President, Lord leads the global programming and operations of the organization.  Before WYA, he worked with the Institute for Solidarity in Asia as a Program Assistant for Communication and Development and also served as a Philippine Youth Ambassador to the 40th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program, a diplomatic and cultural youth exchange program on board the ship Nippon Maru. He graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Consular and Diplomatic Affairs from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde in Manila, the Philippines. As a Filipino Sign Language interpreter, Lord has previously led community projects to bring the deaf and hearing youth communities in the Philippines together. He also led fundraising projects and online campaigns to promote Filipino Sign Language and the deaf culture. Lord enjoys working with young people, spending time with friends, and traveling to new places.


Anne Mimille Guzman, International Director of Operations

Mimille graduated Valedictorian from the Philippine High School for the Arts as a Creative Writing major. She became a published author and illustrator at 17 with her book, ‘Clara’s Coffee and Other Tales.’ After a year, she was honored as one of the “Bagong Rizal: Pag-asa ng Bayan” (The New Rizal: Hope of the Nation) by the Philippine Center for Gifted Education. She was a scholar of the 2012 Study of the U.S. Institutes on New Media in Journalism and a young Global Changemaker under the British Council. Mimille graduated from the University of Asia and the Pacific with a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities. She became a regional intern for WYA Asia Pacific in 2015 before her global internship at the New York Headquarters in 2017. She is the co-founder of the House of Treasures, an accredited psychosocial support group that has been doing art therapy and feeding in one of the biggest public hospitals in the Philippines since 2003. As an aspiring writer, she has written librettos and short plays for universities and local festivals. Mimille loves to brew stories and coffee while surrounded by the company of close family and friends.


Cynthia Wangari, Director

Cynthia is a young East African lady from Kenya, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology, Conflict and Peace studies from The University of Nairobi. She came across WYA right after she had finished her undergraduate studies and began as an intern soon after. She has worked as the procurement and grants assistant for USAID – International foundation for electoral systems, and was privileged to get the opportunity to be the current Regional Director at WYA Africa where she is living out her vocation. She is very passionate about working with young people, children to be specific, and has done a lot of voluntary work with the children’s orphanages in Kenya. She is an avid reader, and particularly enjoys books by authors such as Khalid Hosseini, whose writings bring out true expressions of the human narrative. She went to art school to better her skills in graffiti and landscape painting, and loves doing crafts. She also  has an eclectic taste in music and a love for documentaries.


Kevin Alando, Director of Operations

Kevin was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. He graduated from Laikipia university in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Statistics specializing in development economics with a minor in econometrics. His WYA journey started when he signed the WYA charter in 2015 after learning about the organizations’ values and mission. He then joined the Africa regional internship program in Nairobi, Kenya from January to April 2016.

Prior to being selected as the Africa Regional Director of Operations, he worked with Green-Kenya as a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer. He is an alumnus of the Emerging Leaders Foundation 2016 cohort and enjoys writing, making new friends, and working with young people.


Miko Superable, Director

Equipped with expertise in advertising strategy and development work, Miko’s committed to bringing WYAAP to its full potential.

An aspiring marketer and film enthusiast, Miko first heard of WYA through the Manhattan International Film Festival in 2014. He has since become a vigorous dignity defender representing WYAAP in different local and international events. He underwent his first WYAAP internship in 2014 in Manila and a year later, became a Marketing and Communications Intern at the WYA headquarters in New York City. Between those internships, he worked as a Communications Officer for the then Department of Science and Technology – ICT office spearheading marketing for projects in the Philippines that brought digital opportunities to the last mile.

In 2016, he entered the advertising industry, mobilizing campaigns for ad agency Dentsu Jayme Syfu and most notably, online news site Rappler. Before entering as staff of WYAAP, he was strategy manager for data insights consultancy The Nerve Co. which saw him navigate advertising through the lens of data science and analysis for both commercial and non-government organizations.

Outside of work, Miko enjoys Broadway, pop music, and graphic design. he holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from De La Salle University in Manila.


Joyce Cedeño, Director of Operations

Joyce was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. She graduated with a degree in Consular and Diplomatic Affairs from the De La Salle – College of St. Benilde in 2013. She became a regional intern for the WYA Asia Pacific Office in 2014. Prior to being selected as WYAAP Regional Director of Operations (RDO), Joyce worked for Action Against Hunger and the Korea International Cooperation Agency Philippines respectively. She believes that WYA brings out the best in young people by helping the youth realize that their voice in society matters. She loves chasing sunsets and sunrises, exploring new places, talking to loved ones about life, and working with young people.


Elisabeth Gudenus, Director

At age 16, Elisabeth heard Anna Halpine speak at an event in her hometown Vienna, Austria, and was immediately mesmerised by WYA’s core message of standing up for human dignity in the public sphere. After secondary school, she started her first internship at the WYA Brussels office and went on to represent WYA Europe in New York at the Commission of Status of Women and Population and Development. Her experience with WYA inspired her to study Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at the trilingual Free University of Bolzano, graduating in German, English, and Italian. In 2014 Elisabeth took on a yearlong traineeship with WYA’s partner organisation, FEMM, in New York and upon her return to Vienna, opened the first European FEMM training chapter in Europe. Before she started her work as Regional Director, she worked for two years as a multimedia marketing consultant for various NGO’s, developing her project management and leadership skills.


Magdalena Basić, Director of Operations

Magdalena was born in Zagreb, Croatia. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and is currently finishing her Psychology Master. Magdalena is also a table tennis player. For the past 7 years she was playing the Croatian Superliga. Starting 2018 she is competing in a German league.

Magdalena became a certified WYA member in 2016 and since then she’s been an active member of the WYA Croatia Human Resources team: first as a team member and later as the HR team leader. She’s been taking care of the volunteers’ and the employees’ experiences within WYA Croatia. Prior to working for WYA Europe, Magdalena was able to learn and grow from her involvement in many WYA Croatia events, researches and workshops, which helped her grow her leadership, communication and project management skills.




Ana Findrik, Regional Fundraising Manager

Ana Findrik obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Zagreb, Croatia. After finishing her studies, she started WYA’s Certified Training Program in 2014 became an active member of WYA Croatia Chapter in 2015. She has previously served as the Vice President of the Chapter, leader of the HDC project in Croatia and volunteer coordinator.

Before she started working with WYA, she worked as a professional associate for the project related to non-formal education, at the NGO Fokus in Zagreb. During her studies and in recent years, Ana participated in different international conferences and national initiatives for youth leaders, after which she used her knowledge as a youth worker. Through a yearlong internship and training in the WYA Europe office, Ana developed her project management and fundraising skills. Her interests are in youth education and project management.



Valentino Findrik, Director of WYA’s Subregional Office for Southeast Europe

Valentino joined WYA Croatia in 2013 by attending WYA’s Certified Training Program (CTP). He is a longtime CTP trainer, and was also a member of the chapter’s Bioethics and Education teams. He studied Philosophy, Theology, Anthropology and Information Sciences, and holds a Master’s Degree in Theology. Prior to joining WYA, he worked with humanitarian organisations for homeless and socially marginalized. He now serves as a Director of WYA’s Subregional Office for Southeast Europe.



Mislav Barišić, Europe Director of Advocacy

Mislav Barišić joined WYA by attending WYA’s Certified Training Program (CTP) in Croatia in 2014. He served as president of WYA Croatia, is a longtime CTP trainer, and was active in a number of WYA projects. He is a graduate of the University in Zagreb where he studied the Law and has a degree in French Language and Literature and Philosophy. His interest in philosophy, politics, history and science are something that led him to the position of Director of Advocacy at WYA Europe which he currently serves.



Paula Andrea Lopez Rodriguez, Program Officer

Paula was born in Bogota, Colombia. She is a candidate for a law degree from Universidad de La Sabana. She became an advocacy and FEMM intern at WYA New York Headquarters in 2020. Prior to being selected as WYA Latin America Program Officer, she participated in intensive workshops about negotiation, women leadership, project management and investigation in Harvard University, Stanford and University of Chicago. Paula also volunteered at Asociacion Cultural Femenina and at the Stanford Catholic Community where she witnessed the social barriers often faced by women, immigrants and kids specially. Her ambitious interest in social justice, human rights, gender equality and policies combined with her enthusiasm in learning has sparked her motivation to work on behalf of WYA’s mission and vision. She is excited about strengthening women leadership and the importance of human dignity in order to achieve sustainable development, more hopeful than ever to do so in Latin America.



Balkis Chaabane, Program Officer

Balkis Chaabane is a Tunisian female graduate with four years of experience in Literary theories, Writing and Editing, Communications, Activism, Volunteerism, Management, Social Change, Conflict Resolution, Facilitation and Peacebuilding. She worked with several nonprofits around the world aiming at social change. Balkis earned her BA in English Language, Literature and Civilization from the University of Sfax in her home country. Balkis also holds certificates in International Relations, Development and Human Rights and Advocacy. She joined WYA as a member in 2017 and kept an active engagement with the organization and its mission since then. Balkis speaks four languages which allow her to further connect to different backgrounds. She identifies as a Peacebuilder, a Social Entrepreneur, and an Activist.

Siobhan Heekin-Canedy, Program Officer

Hailing from Stamford, CT, Siobhan holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts from Thomas Aquinas College. From 2008-2014, she represented Ukraine as an elite-level ice dancer, ultimately competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics. Prior to joining WYA, Siobhan interned at the US Department of State and the Holy See Mission to the UN, and she also served as President of the Fletcher Initiative on Religion, Law, and Diplomacy. She loves learning about different cultures and languages, and she is proficient in French, Russian, and Latin. Siobhan and her husband, Michael, are eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child later this year.



Their Royal Highnesses Prince Nikolaus and Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein
The Lord Daniel Brennan
H.E. Renato Cardinal Martino
H.E. Christoph Cardinal Schönborn

Board of Directors

Aliah Dimaporo
Dr. Timothy Flanigan
Jean-Baptise de Franssu
Anna Halpine, Founder
Elisabeth Hohenberg
Caroline Shisubili Maingi
Jean-Hugues J. Monier
Deb O’Hara-Rusckowski
Lord Pomperada, President, Ex-officio
Olivia Raw
Jesús Rivera
Vincenzina Santoro
Ann Seabright, Chair


Rocco Buttiglione
Dr. Paolo Carozza
Ambassador Jose Joaquin Chaverri
Habib Malik
Fenny Tatad
Senator Francisco Tatad
George Weigel
Andreas Widmer

Aliah Dimaporo

After volunteering for World Youth Alliance Asia Pacific since 2005, Aliah became the International Director of Operations from 2008 to 2010. She served briefly as the Executive Director of WYA Foundation before returning to the Philippines to assume her election as the 2nd District Representative of the Province of Lanao del Norte in the House of Representatives. In March, 2014, Aliah was presented with the first WYA Kathryn Hoomkwap Award for Extraordinary Service in Defense of the Dignity of the Human Person for her firm conviction and courageous defense on behalf of human dignity.

Aliah graduated Magna Cum Laude from Mindanao State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She is currently completing her Master of Strategic Studies at the Strategic and Defense Studies Center in Australian National University. Aliah is married to Jordan Cimafranca.

Dr. Timothy Flanigan

Dr. Timothy P. Flanigan is the Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases of the Department of Medicine at Brown University. At the Miriam Hospital Immunology Center he provides comprehensive HIV care and participates in clinical care and research at the Rhode Island Prison. Dr. Flanigan has been principal investigator on two prevention grants: CDC Project Start, to develop HIV and STD intervention for young men leaving prison, and the SAMHSA funded Project Shield, to develop group HIV and STD intervention among substance abusing adolescents. He is the principal investigator of the Brown University NIH AIDS Clinical Trials Unit and a training grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse on diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of HIV and other infectious consequences of substance abuse. He is an associate director of the Brown University Fogarty Program to train and mentor overseas investigators in the areas of HIV, AIDS and opportunistic infections. He is also principle investigator of an NIH R01 grant (DA013767-02) designed to study the effectiveness of once daily directly observed antiretroviral therapy (DOT) for the treatment of hard-to-reach populations. He is married and has five children.

Jean-Baptiste de Franssu

Jean-Baptiste de Franssu is Chairman of INCIPIT, an M&A advisory and consulting firm. He is formerly CEO of Invesco Europe, and a member of the Invesco Worldwide management committee. Prior to joining Invesco, he was the Director of Groupe Caisse de Dépôts et Consignations in France.  A graduate of the ESC Group Business School in Reims, France he holds a BA in European Business Administration from Middlesex University in the UK and a postgraduate degree in Actuarial Studies from Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris. He is the former Vice-President and President of the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA) and Non-executive Director of TAGES LLP and Carmignac Gestion. He is also a board member of various charities in Europe and the United States.  Jean-Baptiste is married to Hélène de Gerlache de Gomery and they have four children.

Anna Halpine, Founder

Anna Halpine is the founder of the World Youth Alliance and was the WYA president from 1999 to the spring of 2007. She has her Masters in Philosophy of Religion from Yale University Divinity School (2009), and a Bachelor of Music from Mt. Allison University in Canada (1999). She is the current CEO of the FEMM Foundation, a research and evidence based program committed to improving women’s health. She lives and works in New York City.

Elisabeth Hohenberg

Marie Elisabeth Hohenberg has been a founding Board member of the Stiftung Ja zum Leben, which was founded to protect human life and the rights of unborn children. Since 2016 she has also served on the Board of Management of the Foundation.

Born and raised in Germany she studied fashion design (Germany) and garden and curtain design (UK). She is fluent in German, French and English, and has lived and traveled throughout Europe. The mother of four children, she has lived in London for the past 18 years, and is moving with her husband to Vienna May 2018.

Caroline Shisubili Maingi

Caroline Shisubili Maingi currently teaches Philosophy and Ethics at the Strathmore University. She holds a Masters of Applied Philosophy and Ethics (MAPE) at Strathmore University, and a Bachelor of Arts and Social Sciences degree majoring in Political Science. She is now pursuing her Doctoral Studies in International Relations at the United States International University –Africa (USIU). Caroline developed an interest in philosophy and languages while working as the founding director of the WYA Africa office.  She has worked on policy in Kenya and the United Nations. Caroline is passionate about understanding the ontological foundation of social issues. Her major interests involve how politics shape society and the impact it has on the family and children. She continues to assist World Youth Alliance – Africa as a board member.

Jean-Hugues J. Monier

Jean-Hugues Monier is a Partner with the Corporate Finance & Strategy practice of McKinsey & Company in New York. As one of the leader of this Practice for the Americas, Jean-Hugues is a regular advisor of CEOs and CFOs of large global companies on corporate strategy related issues, growth strategy, capital market, portfolio restructuring and optimization of their finance function.

Jean-Hugues is a regular speaker at CFO and industry conference around the world. He has given recent interviews and written articles about the future of the Auto industry, the mandate for CFO, value creation in M&A and keeping multibusiness companies running smoothly.

Jean-Hugues received a Master of Engineering and a Master of Science from Ecole Centrale and a Postgraduate degree in Economics from University of Paris Sorbonne.

He’s a Member of the Council on Foreign Relation in New York, a regular attendee to the World Economic Forum in Davos and also serves as a Director for the Jérôme Lejeune Foundation USA, which provide research, care, and advocacy to benefit those with genetic intellectual disabilities.

He is a knight of the French National Order of Merit granted by the French Government to recognize is active contribution to Franco-American friendship and economic collaboration.

Deb O’Hara-Rusckowski

Deb O’Hara-Rusckowski is a critical care nurse since 1982. She has extensive global experience in NGO/mission work, starting in Bosnia Herzogovina in 1996 when she worked with victims of rape camps; later she lead medical teams to the DR for 6 years; she then moved to serve in Haiti, where she was part of a leadership team for several weeks following the 2010 earthquake. She continues to serve on the Board of CRUDEM that operates Hopital Sacre Coeur hospital, as well as several other Boards where she combines her passion for healthcare, business skills, education and her faith.  Deb was also part of FEMA’s Disaster Medical Team deployed to NYC on 9/11 and assigned to Cornell Burn Unit for 14 days.

After obtaining her MBA in 1994, Deb worked for many years in healthcare marketing with Hewlett-Packard/Agilent and Philips Healthcare. In 2014, Deb obtained her MTS and began work at the UN in the area of human trafficking, coordinating the ‘GIFT Box” educational exhibit in New England and Haiti.

Deb and her husband Steve live in New York City.

Olivia Raw

Olivia was the first European Director of Operations and helped set up WYA’s Europe office. Olivia worked for three years establishing a European network, trained the first interns in Brussels and established the first UK chapter of the WYA. She went on to train as a child and adolescent psychotherapist, gaining an MSC and has worked as a therapist in schools in inner-city London for the last 8 years. Olivia has a background in languages and has a Bachelor of Arts in French and Portuguese.

Jesús Rivera

Born in Mexico City, Jesús Rivera is a graduate of Universidad Panamericana and holds an MBA from the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. He was the first WYA regional director for Latin America from 2002 to 2006 and has also worked at Procter and Gamble and with the Mexican Government. He is currently Director of Institutional Development at IPADE Business School and is a passionate promoter of fundraising activities for education and human dignity projects. Jesus is married and has three children.

Vincenzina Santoro

 Vincenzina (“Vinnie”) Santoro is an international economist and consultant who was formerly with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and was Vice President of JPMorgan and Co., Inc. for 27 years where she worked in the International Economics Department, the Foreign Exchange Advisory and established an economic research unit in the Bank’s Milan office. She contributed to the Bank’s flagship publications World Financial Markets and Global Data Watch.

After leaving JPMorgan, Ms. Santoro worked briefly as an economist in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations analyzing Western European economies and foreign investment issues. She has been an economic consultant to various foreign trade and investment agencies, continues to be a volunteer with the Charity Accountability Program of the New York Better Business Bureau (since 9/11) and represents the American Family Association of New York at the United Nations. 

Ms. Santoro is a contributor to The Human Life Review, MercatorNet.com and Catholic World Report, writing articles relating to United Nations developments and other international economic and social issues. She is the author of the chapter on “Global Partnerships” in The Family and the MDGs and the chapters on SDG 12 “Consumption and Production” and SDG 17 “Implementation” in Family Capital and the Sustainable Development Goals.

She is a native New Yorker, a graduate of Hunter College, City University of New York (BA, MA in economics) and is fluent in five languages.

Ann Seabright, Chair

A graduate of Wellesley College, Ann Seabright received an MBA from John Carroll University. She served first as a technical writer (1979-1981) and then as a member of the board (1981-1997) for a pharmaceutical company. Ann has also served as the Strategic Planning Co-Chair, Search Committee Chair, and Board President on the Board of Trustees for the Phillips-Osborne School in Painesville, Ohio. Ann is married to Tom Seabright, and is the mother of ten children.

Senator Francisco Tatad

Senator Francisco Tatad chairs the Citizens vs. Corruption task force in Manila and serves as Senior Political Advisor to the United Opposition. He was a two term senator from 1992 to 2001 and served as Senate Majority Leader. He has written for the International Herald Tribune, and the Asian Wall Street Journal, and is the former editor of Philippine Newsday. He is the author of over six books on politics and is an active voice and contributor to political and youth movements in the Philippines. He has addressed forums at the United Nations, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum, Parliamentarians for Global Action and the World Congress of Families. He has spoken widely in Asia, the United States, Canada and Europe. He holds degrees in Philosophy and Letters, and has received honorary doctorates in law, humanities and public administration. He has attended special courses at Harvard Institute for International Development, Rand Graduate School, Warwick University and the Center for Research and Communications in Manila. Senator Tatad and his wife Fenny have seven children.