Academics Stand Against Poverty has added significantly to its poverty and organizational expertise with the appointment of three new members to its Global Board of Directors, as well as communications and web officers.
Joining the Board are Helen Yanacopulos of the Open University in the United Kingdom as Fundraising Director, and Jason Hickel of the London School of Economics and Political Science as Membership Director. Miles Thompson of Canterbury Christ Church University will serve as Web Director.
Ellen Szarleta of Indiana University Northwest has been appointed Global Communications Director, and Oskar MacGregor of the University of Skovde in Sweden will serve as Vice-Chair of a new ASAP Web Committee. The Board expansion and creation of officer positions is designed to help ASAP meet both its expanding remit and growth in membership. Directors and officers will be tasked with overseeing all aspects of operations in their designated areas, and with generating ideas and creating opportunities for ASAP members to become more directly involved.
As Fundraising Director, Yanacopulos will oversee specific campaigns and help develop ongoing support for ASAP activities. She is Senior Lecturer in International Politics and Development at the Open University in Milton Keynes, just north of London. She holds a PhD in Politics from the University of Cambridge, an MA in International Development from the University of East Anglia, and a BA in International Relations from the University of British Columbia.
Her areas of expertise include international NGOs, social movements, civil society networks, public engagement and media in development. She has been an academic consultant for the British Broadcasting Corporation on various International Development-related television series, and she is the editor for the Zed Books’ ‘Development Matters’ series. Her latest book, NGO Engagement, Activism and Advocacy will be published by Palgrave in 2015.
“One of the most powerful roles that academics can play is to critically engage wider publics, beyond students and other academics, around development, inequality and social justice,” Yanacopulos said. “ASAP is a unique organisation whose mission matches my own; it is an honor to be appointed to the ASAP Board!”
Hickel, as Membership Director, will lead efforts to develop member volunteer opportunities and enhance recruiting. He is Lecturer in Anthropology at LSE, and received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Virginia in 2011. His core research looks at how the moral values that underpin western liberalism are contested in South Africa. His forthcoming book, Democracy as Death: The Making of Anti-Liberal Politics in South Africa (University of California Press), explores why many migrant workers from rural Zululand regard certain liberal elements of “democracy” as morally repulsive and socially destructive.
Hickel’s work has been funded by Fulbright-Hays, the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation. In addition to his academic research, he contributes to Al Jazeera, Le Monde Diplomatique, Global Policy, Monthly Review, The Africa Report and other online outlets. A recent Al Jazeera piece on the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ scheme can be viewed here.
“I am thrilled to be joining the ASAP Board,” Hickel said. “I’ve long admired what ASAP stands for, and I believe it has the potential to gain serious momentum in the coming years as a platform for academics to take a stand not only against poverty, but – even more importantly – against the ultimate drivers of poverty. This is particularly urgent in the wake of the recent financial crisis, which exposed the pathologies of an economic system that enriches a few at the expense of the world’s majority. People are beginning to seek alternatives to this system, and ASAP is perfectly poised to lead the conversation.”
Thompson is Senior Lecturer in Psychology and brings to the Web Director role several years’ experience in a similar role for the Association of Contextual Behavioral Science. Besides his academic work, Thompson continues to practice as a clinical psychologist. He earned his PhD in Psychology at Goldsmiths University of London, and a PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of Plymouth in the UK.
Thompson said that, although his academic training was not focused on poverty issues, “the mission of ASAP is very close to my heart and current research programme. I echo the idea that seems central to ASAP: that academics interested in helping to reduce global poverty can have most impact by collaborating across the disciplinary and hierarchical boundaries within academia. Also by collaborating across the boundaries that can exist between academic institutions and the outside world.”
Szarleta serves as Director for the Center for Urban and Regional Excellence (CURE) at Indiana University Northwest in Gary, Indiana, just outside Chicago. She earned a PhD in Agricultural Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1987, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa in 1995. Her courses include public health, environmental policy and law, and her academic publications have focused on issues related to environmental sustainability. She has a long record of funded research and collaborative activities.
Macgregor is Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience at Skovde, and an Adjunct Lecturer in Philosophy at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics and Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, Australia. He completed his PhD at Swansea University in Wales, United Kingdom, in 2013, and he has published on issues in cognitive neuroscience and the ethics of sport. He brings to the Web Vice Chair post several years’ experience as website manager for the British Philosophy of Sport Association.
The appointments expand the ASAP Board from eight members to 12, working in seven countries. ASAP continues to interview for new officer roles, and further appointments are expected to be announced soon.
For more information, contact ASAP Vice President Luis Cabrera at email@example.com