ANFREL appoints new Executive Director

The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) appointed ANFREL program manager Brizza Rosales as its new executive director who will lead the organization in pushing for electoral democracy in Asia.

Rosales was selected among the prospective candidates through an open and competitive application process as the outgoing executive director Chandanie Watawala resigned from the post.

Rosales brings with her a wealth of experience spanning 12 years in the field of elections, beginning with her voluntary work at the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) in the Philippines. She held the position of Senior Program Director of Elections Program at LENTE for 5 years, where she oversaw and spearheaded comprehensive election operations, election monitoring programs, and major electoral reform initiatives.

Prior to her appointment as the new ED, Rosales served as the Program Manager of International Election Observation Mission and Capacity Building at ANFREL where she led the expert mission during the 2024 Indonesian General Elections, directed and coordinated the sixth Asian Electoral Stakeholder Forum (AESF-VI) and led the first Asian Academy for Electoral Integrity (AAEI), alongside producing Asia’s first publication on electoral reforms.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Juris Doctor degrees (Bachelor of Laws).

“I am deeply honored to step into the role of Executive Director of ANFREL. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Executive Council for the trust and confidence,” said Rosales.

“Together with the whole members of the Secretariat, I am committed to upholding the principles of democracy as Asia continues to be a critical arena in the global struggle for democracy and credible and genuine elections,” she further said.

ANFREL EC officers met with the ANFREL Secretariat for a two-day strategic meeting.

The ANFREL Executive Council officers, led by ANFREL chairperson Rohana Hettiarachchie, met the ANFREL Secretariat team in Bangkok, Thailand to welcome the incoming executive director and held a two-day strategic meeting to discuss plans for programs and activities.

The ANFREL EC officers also extended their gratitude towards outgoing executive director Chandanie Watawala for her years of service and dedication to the organization.

ANFREL chairperson Rohana Hettiarachchie presents a token of appreciation to outgoing executive director Chandanie Watawala.

Under Watawala’s leadership, ANFREL observed elections in Cambodia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Timor-Leste and Thailand. ANFREL also implemented a number of campaigns and advocacy initiatives as well as capacity building efforts particularly the members of civil society organizations, the media and the youth.

Chandanie first engaged with ANFREL as an election observer in the Thailand elections in 2007. She joined ANFREL as Program Officer in 2012 and was eventually appointed as executive director in 2018.

Watawala ends her term on 15 May 2024. Rosales will resume immediately after.

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