WYA Staff

Paula Lopez Rodríguez
WYA President

Paula is the 6th President of World Youth Alliance. Paula served as Regional Director for WYA Latin America and also worked in the Human Rights Office for the city of Bogotá, Colombia. She holds a Law degree from Universidad de La Sabana.

Cynthia Wangari
Regional Director
WYA Africa

Cynthia is the Regional Director for World Youth Alliance Africa. Cynthia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Conflict and Peace studies, from The University of Nairobi. Previously, she worked to for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems in Kenya, running civic voter education initiatives.

Joy Wangui Maina
Regional Director of Operations
WYA Africa

Joy is the Regional Program Assistant for WYA Africa. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from the Technical University of Mombasa and a professional certificate in accounting. Joy is from Kitui, Kenya and is passionate about youth and community-based organizations.

Rejean Marie Darroca
Regional Director of Operations
WYA Asia Pacific

Rejean is the Director of Operations for WYA Asia Pacific. Rajean was the WYA Chapter President in the Province of Iloilo. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Technology from the University of the Philippines and is currently pursuing an International Master of Science in Food Technology.

Myriam Kaufmann
Regional Director
WYA Europe

Myriam is the Director of WYA Europe. Myriam holds a Bachelor’s degree in Languages, Literature, Economics, Management and European law and a Master’s degree in Languages, International Relations and Political Science from the Université Catholique de l’Ouest in Angers, France. She is married to Jacquelin, who introduced her to WYA.

Ina Delić
Regional Director of Operations
WYA Europe

Ina is the Director of Operations for WYA Europe. Ina completed WYA’s Certified Training Program and worked as a volunteer teaching the Human Dignity Curriculum to students in Croatia. Born and raised in Osijek, Croatia, Ina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and a Master’s Degree in Social Policy.

Ermelinda Gjeci
Subregional Director
WYA Southeast Europe

Ermelinda is Director of World Youth Alliance Southeast Europe, a sub-region of WYA Europe. Ermelinda did an internship with WYA in both Brussels and New York City and lead the WYA Albania Chapter. Ermelinda holds a BA in Law and a Master’s Degree in International Law.

Ramón Barba Castro
Regional Director of Advocacy
WYA Europe

Ramón is the Director of Advocacy for World Youth Alliance Europe. Ramón was the Coordinator for the WYA Pamplona Chapter. Ramón holds both a degree in International Relations and Law from the Universidad de Navarra. Ramón speaks English, French, Spanish, Galician and Portuguese.

Maria Laura Hernandez
Regional Program Officer
WYA Latin America

María Laura is the program officer for WYA Latin America. She was the WYA Chapter President in Venezuela. She is a second year student of Administration with mention in marketing at Rafael Belloso Chacín University.

Zainab AlRamlawi
Regional Director
WYA Middle East & North Africa

Zainab is the Director of WYA Middle East and North Africa. She served as Regional Program Assistant and received the World Youth Alliance Viktor Frankl Award. Born in Gaza, Palestine, Zainab is completing a degree in Business Administration from the Al Azhar University.

Faye Ysabela Ong
Online Course Coordinator

Faye graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines – Visayas. Faye joined WYA when she was 12 years old through the Assumption – Iloilo Teen Club and has remained an active member since. She completed her online international internship in 2022 and continues to pursue her passion of working in advocacy, research, and policy through WYA.

Dylan Reyes
Administrative Coordinator

Dylan is the Administrative Coordinator for the World Youth Alliance. Dylan is a former WYA Asia Pacific Regional Intern, and a certified member. He is currently pursuing an AB in International Studies major in European Studies at De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines.

WYA FOUNDATION STAFF

Anna Halpine
Founder

Anna founded the World Youth Alliance in 1999 at the age of 21. She served as President from 1999 to 2007. Anna holds an MA in Philosophy of Religion from Yale University and a Bachelor of Music from Mount Allison University in Canada. Anna is the CEO of FEMM.

Lord Leomer Pomperada
Executive Director

Lord is Executive Director for the World Youth Alliance. He previously served as WYA president for seven years. Lord holds a BA in Consular and Diplomatic Affairs from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (Manila) and a Master’s in International Affairs and Diplomacy from the UN Institute for Training and Research (Geneva) and the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.

Mislav Barišić
Director of Policy and Research

Mislav is the Director of Policy and Research for World Youth Alliance. Mislav previously served as Director of Advocacy in Brussels at the EU and then Policy and Research Specialist for WYA. Mislav has certifed members across Europe in both CTP and the Advocacy Academy. Mislav studied the law and has a degree in French Language, Literature and Philosophy, from the University of Zagreb.

Demy Cruz Jr.
Director of Marketing

Demy is the Director of Marketing for World Youth Alliance. Demy has worked with various brands, government agencies, and NGOs in Asia Pacific and abroad. Demy holds a BA in Multimedia Arts from De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (Manila).  He had an extensive servant-leadership stint in his country that earned him a spot as one of the Youth Ambassadors of the Philippines to several countries in Asia. 

Clare Halpine
Creative Director
Director of HDC

Clare is the Creative Director for World Youth Alliance as well as the Director of the Human Dignity Curriculum (HDC). Clare previously served as Director for WYA North America. Clare holds an MFA from the University of Washington and a BFA from Mount Allison University in Canada.

Hrvoje Vargić
Grants and Partnerships

Hrvoje leads our work with grants and partnerships within the European region. Hrvoje was a founder of the WYA Croatia Chapter and previously served as Regional Director for WYA Europe. He holds a BA degree in both Philosophy and business, an MA degree in both Philosophy and Economics, and a PhD in Philosophy.

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Aliah Dimaporo

Ann Seabright, Chair

Anna Halpine, Founder

Caroline Shisubili Maingi

Elisabeth Hohenberg

Elizabeth Graham

Federico Eichberg

Jesús Rivera

Joe Wurtz

Lord Pomperada, Executive Director, Ex-officio

Olivia Raw

Paula Andrea Lopez, President, Ex-officio

Timothy Flanigan

Vincenzina Santoro