December 22, 2017

First Executive Committee

The GAF Section is governed by an elected Executive Committee of 9 members, plus the Past Chair and the Newsletter Editor. The officers of the Executive Committee will consist of the Chair, Past Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Election Committee Coordinator, Constitution Committee Coordinator and Membership Committee Coordinator, Newsletter Editor and two other elected members.

The GAFS First Executive Committee served from 24 September 2017 to 30 June 2022.

First Executive Committee of GAFS 

Meryl Williams GAFMeryl J WILLIAMS


Meryl Williams has worked for 40 years in Australian and international fisheries, aquaculture, aquatic resource conservation and agricultural research and development. Currently, she is focusing on research and advocacy on women and gender in aquaculture and fisheries, and information and science for fair and responsible fish production for food security and nutrition.

She is also the Vice Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation and a member of the board of Aquaculture without Frontiers (Australia). She was formerly Director General of the WorldFish Center (1994-2004), during which time she concentrated the focus of WorldFish on eradicating poverty, improving people’s nutrition, and reducing pressure on the environment. She was previously the Director of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Executive Director of the Bureau of Rural Sciences, tuna fisheries statistician at the Secretariat for the Pacific Community and fisheries biologist in the Queensland state government service.

She was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Science, Technology and Engineering (ATSE) in 1993, and awarded an Australian Centenary Medal in 2003, made an Honorary Life Member of the Asian Fisheries Society in 2004, named an ‘Outstanding Alumnus’ of James Cook University, Australia in 2010, and, in 2015, awarded the Crawford Medal.

Nikita GopalNikita GOPAL
Principal Scientist
ICAR-Central institute of Fisheries Technology
Matsyapuri P.O., Cochin – 682 029 Kerala, India

Dr. Nikita Gopal is Principal Scientist with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology, Kochi, Kerala, India. She holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and has been working in the field of fisheries for the past 20 years. Her areas of work has been trade and markets in the fisheries sector; evaluation of fisheries technologies; and socio-economic studies among fishing communities. For the past several years she has also been actively engaged in gender research in fisheries and aquaculture and has worked on women in seafood processing sector; in small scale aquaculture and fisheries; and in marketing and other post-harvest activities. In association with NACA she has worked on an international project on gender in aquaculture in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Lao PDR.

Her current work includes documentation of indigenous knowledge in the fisheries sector; clustering of clam fishers, especially women, for employment and income enhancement through technology interventions and capacity building; documenting women in inland fish harvesting and other unorganized sectors in fisheries, and economic analysis of trawl fisheries. She has also associated with ICSF in their capacity building initiative for fisherwomen on the FAO SSF Guidelines implementation strategies. Having contributed to 21 projects, including 7 competitively funded projects, she has over 35 peer reviewed publications, besides several popular articles, articles in conference proceedings and book chapters.

She is an elected Fellow of the Society of Fisheries Technologists of India (FSFT). She is a senior leader of the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries (GAF) movement of the Asian Fisheries Society (AFS) and has received the AFS Merit Award in 2013 and the AFS Certificates of Appreciation in 2016 for her contribution to gender research and for her organisational role in the GAF events at the triennial Asian Fisheries and Aquaculture Forum of the AFS. She was also the member of a team, headed by Dr. Leela Edwin of ICAR-CIFT, which received the 4th National Award for Technology Innovation in Petrochemicals & Downstream Plastics Processing Industry (Runner Up) in the field of Polymer Science and Technology instituted by the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India for their work on “Upgradation of Treated Rubberwood Using FRP Sheathing for Fishing Boat Construction”. Dr. Nikita worked in the technology evaluation aspect of the study.

K. FAKOYAKafayat Adetoun FAKOYA
Department of Fisheries
Faculty of Science
Lagos State University, Ojo,
Badagry Expressway,
Lagos State, NIGERIA

Dr. Kafayat Fakoya, with over a decade of professional experience teaching and research in fisheries biology and fisheries management is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Fisheries, Lagos State University.

She completed her Bachelor in Fisheries and Master Degree in Fisheries Management from the Lagos State University and University of Ibadan, respectively. Then she obtained her PhD. in Fisheries (fisheries biology) from the Lagos State University in 2015. Dr. Fakoya has participated in international short courses on Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries and Climate Change Adaptations in Food Security and Natural Resources Management, both funded by the Netherlands Fellowship Programme. Also, she completed introductory training on Bioinformatics organized by Pan African Bioinformatics Network for H3A.

Her present research focus is on fisheries biology, transdisciplinary research, small-scale fisheries governance, aquatic resources management, aquaculture and gender issues. She is a distinguished member of professional associations including the Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON), Too Big To Ignore (TBTI) and the Association for Women in the Seafood Industry. She is a stakeholder in the Technical Working Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture in Nigeria where she coordinated the preparation of terms of references for the Committee. To date, Dr. Fakoya has published peer-reviewed articles in journals and also written chapters in books.

She was an Inaugural Officer and the Secretary/ Treasurer of the Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries Section.

Arlene Nietes Satapornvanit
Gender, Human Welfare, & Capacity Building Specialist
USAID Oceans and Fisheries Partnership in Southeast Asia and Coral Triangle regions
Tetra Tech ARD, Bangkok

Dr Satapornvanit has been professionally and directly involved in gender integration in the workplace and in project management since 2006 when she worked as a project researcher at the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, under a CIDA-funded project on Urban Environmental Management in Southeast Asia. Gender was a cross-cutting issue and so all aspects of the work had to reflect a gender lens. Her exposure and training in that project helped her to understand more the importance and need for gender integration in the project management cycle and in her work. Her next project was on Sustaining Ethical Aquaculture Trade, an EU-funded project, in which she worked as project coordinator and a doctoral researcher under the University of Stirling, UK and Kasetsart University, Thailand collaboration. Since Dr Satapornvanit was directly involved in project management, she was able to apply what she learned at AIT CIDA project in terms of gender integration, ensuring a gender-sensitive approach in field research as much as possible. Her doctoral degree research on sustainable ethical aquaculture was part of this project which attempted to integrate gender aspects. After completing her doctoral degree, she joined the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA) as the Gender Programme Coordinator to implement a USAID project on Maximizing Agricultural Revenue through Knowledge, Enterprise Development, and Trade (MARKET). The project was contracted to conduct gender in aquaculture assessments in the Lower Mekong countries of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Vietnam, and produce gender in aquaculture case studies as well as publications to add to the knowledge base in the region. Through this project, Dr Satapornvanit networked with like-minded individuals in the region and globally, such as with the (GAF) and the Women’s Network of the Aquaculture without Frontiers.

Currently, Dr Satapornvanit is the Gender, Human Welfare and Capacity Building Specialist at the USAID Oceans and Fisheries Partnership (USAID Oceans), a collaborative project with the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) and the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF), implemented by Tetra Tech ARD, USA. Even though a fisheries technology project, USAID Oceans is adhering to the USAID Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Policy, ensuring that a gender lens is applied to all activities that deal with people. Components such as the Ecosystems Approach to Fisheries Management, capacity building and communications and outreach provide a wealth of opportunities for gender integration leading to responsiveness in project implementation and intervention.

NuruzzamanMohammad Nuruzzaman
Program Specialist (Fisheries)
Krishi Gobeshona Foundation (KGF)
AIC Building, BARC Complex, Farmgate, Dhaka 1215

Before this current position in KGF, Mohammad Nuruzzaman had over 30 years of experience working for Bangladesh government and several donors/development agencies including UN organizations UNIDO and ILO. He had been working for the Department of Fisheries as Upozila Fisheries Officer and Assistant Director under the Bangladesh Civil Service. Mr. Nuruzzaman has also worked for ICLARM (currently WorldFish), DFID, World Bank and several NGOs. In particular, he worked for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as the Gender Specialist for its shrimp and livestock sector development projects in Bangladesh.

He took his B Sc. Fisheries and M Sc. in Aquaculture degrees from the Bangladesh Agricultural University, Maymensingh. Later he obtained an M Sc. in Coastal Zone Management from the Department of Marine Science, University of Newcastle, UK. He also earned the degree of Master of Development Studies (MDS) from BRAC University. M Nuruzzaman has also been engaged in a research program on “Towards Socially Responsive Shrimp Farming: Land Tenure, Institutions and Sustainability in selected commercial shrimp farming areas in southwestern Bangladesh” with the Department of Development Studies, University of Dhaka.

Mohammad Nuruzzaman joined the Asian Fisheries Society in 2011 through attending GAF3 in Shanghai, China and continues his efforts in scaling up gender equality across the Aquaculture and Fisheries sector through research and development initiatives. He has over 25 published research papers including text books and book chapters on aquaculture and fisheries.

Alice Ferrer c11 m8Alice Joan FERRER
University of the Philippines Visayas
General Luna St.,
5000, Iloilo City, PHILIPPINES

Alice Joan G. Ferrer is a Professor of Economics at the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV). She completed her BA Economics-Psychology at UPVs and her Masters and PhD in Economics from the School of Economics, University of the Philippines. Presently, she is the Vice President of the Asian Fisheries Society (AFS), Coordinator of Asian Fisheries Social Science Research Network of AFS, National Deputy Director of the Economy and Environment Group Philippines, and the Executive Director of the Western Visayas Health Research and Development Consortium of the Department of Science and Technology -Philippine Council for Health Research and Development.

Dr. Ferrer has been involved in local and international research projects. Her research work has covered many areas including fisheries management particularly of the Visayan Sea, gender in aquaculture and fisheries, reverting disused fishponds to mangrove forest, governability of a protected area, health status of potentially-exposed population to oil spill, identifying and monitoring certain populations with health risk, health insurance, livelihood of small scale fishers, and more. Currently, she is involved in projects on mariculture in the country, health policies and development, urban health, and health support systems. She is also currently involved in international projects dealing with middlemen and sustainable small-scale fisheries, coastal area capability enhancement, marine protected area and livelihood of small-scale fishers, and in Too Big To Ignore Project (Global Partnership for Small Scale Fisheries Research).

She has published journal articles, a book, and has written chapters in books. She co-edited the book entitled Marine and Coastal Ecosystem Valuation, Institutions, and Policy in Southeast Asia with Dr. Nancy Olewiler of Simon Fraser University and Dr. Herminia A. Francisco, director of Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia.

She has been a contributor to GAF since 2004 and was an Inaugural Officer of GAFS as Election Coordinator.

DKDanika Kleiber
Project Manager
Joint Institute of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Danika is a Social Research Project Manager with the Joint Institute of Marine and Atmospheric Research with the University of Hawaii School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, and the Pacific Island Fisheries Science Centre based in Honolulu. In 2014 she was awarded a PhD in Resource Management and Environmental Studies from the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre. Bringing together a background in biology and women’s studies her dissertation focused on gender and small-scale fisheries characterization and management in the Central Philippines.

Dr. Kleiber has gone on to do social and gender fisheries research in Palau and Bangladesh, and most recently worked with gender and fisheries researchers around the world to analyze the gender components of the Voluntary Small Scale Fisheries Guidelines. Her research interests include social indicators for small-scale fisheries monitoring with a particular focus on food security and gender dynamics in small-scale fishing communities. Her current work includes examining and testing indicators of well-being in Hawaii, Guam, CNMI, and American Samoa.

She has been a contributor to GAF since 2011 and was an Inaugural Officer of GAFS

Kyoko Kusakabe
Professor, Gender and Development Studies, & Head, Department of Development and Sustainability
School of Environment, Resources and Development
Asian Institute of Technology

Kyoko Kusakabe joined the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) as an Assistant Professor in the Gender and Development Studies (GDS) Field of Study (FoS) and was promoted to Professor in 2016. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (English language and arts) from Sophia University, Japan; and she obtained both her Master’s (Rural and Regional Development Planning) and Ph.D. (Gender and Development Studies) from AIT.

Professor Kusakabe’s research encompasses the areas of economic globalization and women’s work, women’s employment in the informal economy, labor migration and gendered mobility, and gender issues in fisheries and aquaculture. For two decades, she has been engaged in research into women and gender in fisheries, aquaculture and fish value chains, with a particular geographical interest in Southeast Asia, especially the Mekong region. She has published widely in the literature on women/gender in fisheries and aquaculture, has taught on the subject and has supervised post-graduate students.

In other recent assignments, Professor Kusakabe has been: Visiting Professor, Department of landscape architecture, Kasetsart University (2017), reviewer/ reference group member for International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia-Pacific (IWRAW Asia Pacific) (2016); ICRAF (agriculture research for development implementation guideline 2016); Small-Scale Fisheries Guidelines (2016); UNWomen Asia and Pacific Regional office (research study on “Impact of ASEAN Economic Integration on Women Migrant Workers” 2016-2017); member of the Issue-specific Supporting Committee on Development and Gender of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) (2013-2016); Visiting Professor, Sciences Po, France (2012-2013); and member of the Program Oversight Panel for the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (2011-2015)

Professor Kusakabe has been involved with Asian Fisheries Society Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries events since 2004, including as presenter, co-editor of several proceedings/Special Issues arising, and as a member of the Organising Committees.

Indah Susilowati
Professor, Faculty of Economics and Business
Diponegoro University (UNDIP)

Indah Susilowati is a professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business, Diponegoro University (UNDIP), Semarang–Indonesia. She was the head of Research Institute of UNDIP. Nowadays, she is the secretary of Senate Academic of Diponegoro University since 2015. She is a lecturer in Faculty of Economics and Business, and several postgraduate programs in UNDIP. She engaged in the Directorate of Higher Education Degree, Ministry of Education, the Government of Indonesia as reviewer for research works, professorships, and the accreditation of study programme/ and institution since 2005.

She is a member of Asian Fisheries Society (AFS). She also collaborated with Worldfish to promote sustainable fisheries in the region. She has high commitment in advocating the green environment, fisheries management, coastal resource empowerment, and conflict resolution to the competent communities or stakeholders. She had has presented and published papers in national and international forum.

Professor Susilowati has been involved in several of the Asian Fisheries Society’s Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries symposia and has promoted the attendance and presentations by her students. She was a member of the Organising Committees of GAF-5 and GAF-6.

She completed her Master and Ph.D. programs in resource economics from the Faculty of Economics and Management, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). Her B.Sc. was pursued in the Faculty of Economics, UNDIP where she is attached now.

Surendran Rajaratnam
Senior Research Analyst

Surendran Rajaratnam is a Senior Research Analyst at WorldFish, where he has worked since 2013. He works with the center’s research division to conduct a range of gender studies in its program and scaling countries in Asia and Africa. He obtained his Masters in 2013 and is currently pursuing a PhD at Universiti Sains Malaysia. Among the initial studies which Surendran conducted with WorldFish were a social and gender study in the Barotse floodplain, Western Province of Zambia. He also worked on CGIAR’s GENNOVATE study which explored gender in aquatic agricultural innovation processes in Bangladesh and the Philippines. Surendran was also part of a joint project between WorldFish and FAO which conducted a series of case studies in Bangladesh and Indonesia on women’s empowerment in aquaculture. These studies have been published as journal articles, reports and briefs. His current research interest is in the mixed-methods approach to studying gender in fisheries and aquaculture. He is currently working on a gender scoping study in India, and supporting WorldFish researchers on a consumer survey conducted in Egypt and a benchmarking study in Myanmar. Surendran has been involved with the Asian Fisheries Society’s Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries events since 2014 as a paper presenter.