MEMBER, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dr Christine Chen joined ARNEC as a member of the Board of Directors in January 2014. Dr. Chen is the Founder President of the Association for Child Care Educators (ACCE) and Founder and current President of the Association for Early Childhood Educators (AECES). Dr. Chen received her BA in Social Work from the University of Singapore, continued with her Masters of Science in Early Childhood Education from Bank Street College of Education, New York City and the Doctor of Education from the George Washington University. Her first work experience in Singapore was in the company sponsored child care centre for factory workers’ children, she learnt about the importance of having qualified teachers to ensure quality education for ALL children. As a resulted she initiated the Association to advocate for teacher development, continuous learning and career pathways. She has been advocating for professional development and learning for early childhood educators for 25 years.
Internationally, she is the President (2015-1017), Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) and Deputy Chairwoman (2014-2019) of the Asia-Pacific Preschool Education Association. She represents Singapore in the Pacific Early Childhood Education Research Association (PECERA) and serves on the Editorial Board for the International Journal of Early Childhood Education and the International Journal of Early Childhood Education and Care. She is also a Member of the Advisory Board of IndoCare – Indonesia Centre for Autism Resource and Expertise and has done voluntary work in Vietnam with the National College of Education, Hanoi through the Singapore International Foundation. In her advocacy work in Singapore, Dr. Chen served as a Member of the Child Care Personnel Accreditation Committee with the then Ministry of Community Development to look into accreditation matters as well as professional development for the child care profession. She sits on the Early Childhood Care and Education Manpower, Skills and Training Council. And she served as a Member of the Policy Study Workgroup on Education and Human Capital Excellence (2007-2009).
For all her voluntary and community services, she was awarded the Public Service Award, the Pingat Bakti Masyarakat (PBM – 1994) and Volunteer of the Year Award, 2010 from the President of Singapore.
MEMBER, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Cliff Meyers joined ARNEC as a Members of the Board of Directors in June 2017. He is considered the ‘Founding Father’ of ARNEC, instrumental in establishing the ARNEC network in 2007 in his role as Regional Education Advisor for UNICEF EAPRO. He also played a significant role in negotiating the transition of the ARNEC Secretariat from the EAPRO Office in Bangkok to its first location in Singapore. He has over 20 years of experience as Education Chief and Technical Advisor with UNICEF in Nepal, Thailand, Lao PDR and most recently in Myanmar where he oversaw a team of 20 education staff implementing early childhood development, primary, non-formal and middle school education programmes. He co-led the Education sector and coordinated with Development Partners, civil society and Government of Myanmar.
MEMBER, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
CHAIR, BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dr Sheldon Shaeffer joined ARNEC as a Member of the Board of Directors in January 2014. Dr Shaeffer was Director of UNESCO’s Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education in Bangkok for over seven years, retiring at the end of 2008. A citizen of Canada, he was educated in history (B.A.), anthropology (M.A.), and comparative international education (Ph.D.) at Stanford University. He has taught, done research, and worked in development programmes in Southeast Asia for over 25 years – as a high school teacher in Malaysia, as an anthropologist and an education programme officer for the Ford Foundation in Indonesia, and as the regional education advisor for UNICEF in Bangkok. He was also for 10 years the Director of Education and Population Programmes for the International Development Research Centre in Canada and later was a senior research fellow at the International Institute for Educational Planning (UNESCO) in Paris. Before moving back to Bangkok with UNESCO, he was head of UNICEF’s global education programme in New York for three years. His current interests, reflected in numerous consultancies for a range of development agencies, include early childhood development, language policy in education and the use of mother tongue, teacher management and development, inclusive education (both in regard to disabilities and more broadly defined), child-friendly education, school-based management, and HIV and AIDS and education.
EDUCATION ADVISOR AT CHILDFUND AUSTRALIA. (CORE TEAM REPRESENTATIVE)
Jessica Hampton is the Education Advisor at ChildFund Australia. Based in Sydney, she oversees a broad range of education programs in the Asia Pacific Region including Vietnam, Laos, Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste. Jessica has over 10 years’ experience in international education development with a focus on early primary education and early years literacy and language interventions. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Primary Education University of Wollongong), a Masters of International Education (University of Sydney) and is a certified trainer for the Certificate IV in Early Language and Literacy.
KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND LEARNING ADVISOR
Joel Lasam has more than two decades of experience in development policy, governance and development, policy research and analysis, and program management.
He joined the central planning ministry of the Philippines as a development specialist for governance, where he was exposed to legislative and executive partnerships for public policy. He also moved to other sectors, particularly basic education and energy, assisting ministers in policy research and communications. After 14 years in government, he assumed the post of Governance Adviser managing public sector reform programs with assistance from the Australian Aid and has continued development work through advisory services to various ministries in the Philippines with the support of donor agencies in the fields of national and local governance, organisation development and capacity development, and program management.
Apart from development work, Joel has joined the academe teaching research and development theories to undergraduate students in the Philippines after obtaining his graduate degree in public policy and administration from the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague, The Netherlands in 1998.
Joel joined ARNEC as a Knowledge Management and Learning Advisor in 2019 with firm support for the primacy of ECD investments in support of inclusive, equitable, and sustainable futures for the region.
Andrea See is the Programme Officer of ARNEC, providing technical support in planning, project design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of ARNEC projects/initiatives.
Graduated from Wheelock College in Singapore with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Educational Studies and Leadership, Andrea has previously worked as a classroom teacher before taking up the role as a project officer in a research and training organisation. She has assisted in research and involved in projects and initiatives that support Early Childhood Teachers Professional Development and was a member of the working committee to develop teaching resources sponsored by Lee Kuan Yew Fund for Bilingualism.
She has a keen interest in working with children from disadvantaged background; participated in overseas community service trips and continued the efforts in helping children from the orphanage. She believes in the empowerment of children: making their voices heard, and building strong families and community are essential to giving children a good start in life.