officers and staff

Management Committee

President - Sang-Mok Suh

President
Sang-Mok Suh

Bio: Sang-Mok Suh

Dr. Sang-Mok Suh is the Global President of International Council on Social Welfare, a non-governmental organization that embraces the issues of social welfare, social justice and social development, as well as president of the Korea National Council on Social Welfare, the representative body of the private social welfare sector in Korea. Dr. Suh was Member of the Korean National Assembly during 1988-2000. At the National Assembly, he was active in legislation on economic policy issues, working primarily at the Finance and Economy Committee and the Budget Committee. During 1996-97, Dr. Suh served as a high-level advisory board member to the UN Secretary General on Sustainable Development.

During his tenure as Minister of Health and Welfare in the Korean Government in 1993-95, Dr. Suh initiated reforms to the National Health Insurance Plan and the National Pension Scheme and promoted the ‘Osung Bio Industrial Zone Project’.

During 1978-88, Dr. Suh worked for the Korea Development Institute (KDI), which is a government think-tank focused on economic policy formulation. During 1973-78, Dr. Suh worked for the World Bank as an economist.

Dr. Suh received his Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University in 1974 and B.A. in economics and mathematics from Amherst College in 1969. He received the ‘Sequoia Award’ from Stanford University in 1995 for his distinguished activities as a Stanford alumnus.

Dr. Suh has written widely in socio-economic field. He is the author of many articles and several books on Korean economy, including a book titled Structural Adjustment in a Newly Industrialized Country: Lessons from the Korean Experience (Oxford Press, 1998) and a Korean book titled "Welfarenomics: Road to Sustainable Capitalism and Welfare State in 2013 and The Age of Balance: New Economic, Welfare Paradigm in the Post COVID-19 Era in 2020.

Vice-President - Ronald Wiman

Vice-President
Ronald Wiman

Bio: Ronald Wiman

Ronald Wiman

Ronald Wiman (Finland) has acted as the ICSW Regional President for Europe since August 2017 and Chair of the Finnish ICSW Committee since 2018. He was Chief Social Policy Expert at the Finnish Government’s National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) until his retirement in July 2017. While retired he continues at THL, as emeritus part-time Visiting Scholar.

He has held various management and expert positions at the THL and at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Additionally, he worked for five years for the UN (in UNDP Ghana and in the UN Office in Vienna) and three years with the Namibian Government. Furthermore, he has had many short-term assignments with a number of international organizations. His special fields and publications include such areas as global social policy, sustainable development, development cooperation planning, the rights of people with disabilities, international migration and poverty of children. He has been Editor-in-Chief of two websites: www.thl.fi/gsp-info and www.thl.fi/eu-sps . He has cooperated with the ICSW since late 1980s in Finland and on global arenas.

Treasurer - Sergei Zelenev

Treasurer
Sergei Zelenev

Bio: Sergei Zelenev

Sergei Zelenev

Sergei Zelenev (MBA, PhD) is the Special Representative of the International Council on Social Welfare to the UN in New York. Until May 2019 he served as the Executive Director of ICSW.

Before assuming his position at the ICSW in 2012, Dr. Zelenev for almost three decades worked for the United Nations, both at Headquarters in New York and in the field, in Africa (twice) and in the Caribbean. His international career with the UN Secretariat involved a range of assignments, with progressively widening responsibilities, in the analytical and intergovernmental policy fields. He has written widely in the areas of socio-economic policy, social protection, ageing, youth and intergenerational relationships and directed numerous UN studies on key policy issues. As the Visiting Professor he has also taught at MGIMO- University in Moscow, at New York University and at Cornell University. Participated in many international events, symposia and conferences, making key-note presentations on issues of international significance. Most recently, he co-edited the volume “Digital Transformation and Social Well-Being. Promoting an inclusive society” (Routledge, 2023)

Cudore L. Snell

Management Committee Member - Rep
Cudore L. Snell

Bio: Dr. Cudore L Snell

Dr. Cudore L. Snell has taught and conducted research at Howard University School of Social Work for the past 31 years.

He began a career in social work after completing his Bachelor of Art’s Degree in Social Work and Psychology from the University of the Western Cape in 1974 and a Bachelor’s of Social Science Honours Degree in Psychiatric Social Work from the University of Cape Town in 1975. In South Africa, he practiced rural and urban family social work with a specialization in childhood mental health.

A Rotary International Scholarship in 1979 enabled Dr. Snell to pursue a Master of Social Work Degree at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, which he received in 1981. He later obtained a Doctor of Social Work Degree from Howard University in 1989 where his dissertation research focused on help-seeking behavior among young street males in Washington, DC.

He has been involved in the School’s International Service-Learning Program to Cape Town, South Africa for the past ten years. As the lead prevention specialist, his international research centres on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders among pregnant mothers who engage in risky drinking in the wine lands areas of South Africa.

He is the former Chair of the Council on Social Work Education’s Global Commission for Social Work Education and is a Social Work Pioneer from the NASW.

He is an active member of USICSW and the NASW International Committee. He currently serves as the Assistant Provost for International Programs at Howard University while he remains on the faculty as a Full Professor.

Recent Publications:

Howard, S; Sultana, S & Snell , CL (2020). Social isolation among young Black Women: implications for social work, Social Work Education, The International Journal DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2020.1767565

Snell, CL; Evans-Kwamla, B (2019). The impact of economic distress on International social work practice. In Berry-Edwards, J & Openshaw, L (authors). Empowering Clinical Social Work Practice in a Time of Global Economic Distress. NASW press.

May, P.; Marais, A.S.; De Vries, M.; Hasken, M; Stegall, J.; Hedrick, D.; Snell, C.; Seedat, S.; & Parry, .C : (2019). The Dop System of Alcohol Distribution is Dead, But It’s Legacy Lives. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(19),3701

Bent-Goodley, T; Snell, C & Carlton-LaNey, I (2016). Black Perspectives and Social Work Practice. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment. Vol.00, No.00,1-http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10911359.2016.1252604


Supervisory & Advisory Board - Regional Presidents

Central and West Africa
Vacant

Bio: Vacant

East and Southern Africa
Petronella Masabane

Bio: Petronella Masabane

Middle East and North Africa - Tamer Bachir

Middle East and North Africa
Tamer Bachir

Bio: Tamer Bachir

South Asia
Suresh Pathare

Bio: Suresh Pathare

South East Asia and the Pacific -  Teoh Ai Hua

South East Asia and the Pacific
Teoh Ai Hua

Bio: Ai Hua Teoh

Mr. Teoh Ai Hua is a senior lecturer at the School of Applied Psychology, Social Work and Policy, Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM). He has a degree in Public Administration (UUM) and a MA (Social Work Studies) from University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. He has just passed his PhD viva voce recently. His area of interests includes public social services, professionalization of social work, case management and care in the community. He was President of the Malaysian Association of Social Workers (2009-2017) and is now member of the Executive Committee. He is also serving as the Vice President of the Malaysian Council on Welfare and Social Development (MAKPEM), and was elected as the Regional President of the South East Asia and Pacific region of the International Council of Social Welfare (ICSW-SEAP) for 2022-2024. He is a board member of the Commonwealth Organization for Social Work (COSW) which he also served as Chairperson from 2014-2020. He was appointed by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development of Malaysia as member of the Special Project Team on the Social Work Profession Bill from 2019-2021, and member of the Technical Working Group (TWG) on the Road Map to Implement Ha Noi Declaration on Strengthening Social Work towards Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community and on the Development of ASEAN Social Work Consortium (ASWC) Work Plan 2021-2025.

North East Asia
Fen-ling Chen

Bio: Fen-ling Chen

Europe - Max Rubisch

Europe
Max Rubisch

Bio: Max Rubisch

RMax Rubisch

Max Rubisch was born in Austria in 1955. He holds a Doctorate degree in Law from the University of Innsbruck, and is a trained translator in French and Italian.

In the course of his work in the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs in Austria, he held the position of a Head of Department for 30 years. His areas of responsibility were Disability Law and Disability Policy, Non-discrimination, as well as European and International issues in Disability Policy.

In this function, he cooperated intensively with the European Union: From 1997 to 2020, Max Rubisch was the Austrian representative in the Disability High Level Group of the European Commission. He represented Austria in the Council of the EU when the European Accessibility Act was negotiated and a compromise with the European Parliament was reached in 2018.

He represented Austria also in the Council of Europe. In 2014, Austria organized an international conference on "Human Rights and Disability" in Vienna, in cooperation with the Council of Europe.

Max Rubisch was responsible for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) of the United Nations in Austria. In this context, he participated in the Austrian State Dialogue with the UN Disability Rights Committee in Geneva in 2013. He represented Austria regularly in the Conference of the CRPD State Parties in New York.

From 2004 to 2020, he was a Board member of ÖKSA, the Austrian member organization of ICSW. He was a speaker at several conferences of ICSW, e.g. in Vilnius (2007), Tours (2008) and Stockholm (2012).

Since 2003, he has been a lecturer for Disability Law and Disability Policy at the University of Vienna, department of educational sciences.

North America and Caribbean
Patricia O'Meally

Bio: Patricia O'Meally

Latin America - Sandra Carla Sarde Mirabelli

Latin America
Sandra Carla Sarde Mirabelli

Bio: Sandra Carla Sarde Mirabelli

Sandra Carla Sarde Mirabelli is the Regional President of the International Council on Social Welfare in the Latin America region, member of the Brazilian Council for Cooperation and Exchange in Social Services (CBCISS).

Social Worker, holds a Master’s degree in Social Gerontology - Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC/SP), researcher at the Center for Studies and Research on Identity (NEPI - PUC/SP) and is currently conducting her PhD studies in Social Work at PUC/SP.


Technical Assistant at Sesc São Paulo’s Department of Social Programs and Studies.


Global Staff

Antonio López Peláez

Executive Director
Antonio López Peláez

Bio: Prof. Dr. Antonio López Peláez

Antonio López Peláez

Antonio López Peláez is from Málaga, Spain. He is currently Full Professor of Social Work and Social Services at the National University of Distance Education (UNED), the largest university in Spain and one of the largest in Europe. He has held key leadership positions at UNED as Head of the Office of the Rector, director of the UNED’s Segovia campus, director of the Master’s Degree in Social Work, Welfare State, and Social Intervention Methods at the Law Faculty of the UNED, and is spokesman for faculty members before the Academic Senate of the UNED. He has been visiting scholar at UC Berkeley (USA), Western Michigan University (USA) and Universidad Americana (Nicaragua). In the last 20 years, he has published extensively in scientific journals. He is a founding member of the International Network for Social Policy Research and Teaching and the International Association of Doctors of alternative conflict resolution methods.

During the COVID-19 lockdown, he has organised three free online seminars to disseminate good practices, which have had more than 4000 subscribers, created a Digital Social Work channel on YouTube, and organised the 1st International Conference of Digital Social Work with 27 working sessions in English, Portuguese, Italian, and Spanish. He is currently member of the task force to design the post-COVID-19 welfare system in the cities of Vélez-Malaga and Madrid, Spain. His areas of expertise include digital social work, e-social work, social work with groups, and social welfare and youth. Since its creation in 2005, he has been trustee of the Fundación Abracadabra–Magos Solidarios, which performs magic shows for children in hospitals of Spain.

Yunji Kwon

Information Officer
Yunji Kwon

Bio: Yunji Kwon

Yunji Kwon

Yunji Kwon is currently working as an assistant manager in the Division of External Affairs at Korea National Council on Social Welfare which is a representative organization of private social welfare sector in Republic of Korea. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Social Welfare and International Development Cooperation at Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea.

Yunji has worked as youth volunteer for overseas service program at World Friends Korea operated by Ministry of Education and Science Technology. As youth volunteer, she provided general educational services to students and conducted local projects for environmental development of schools and improvement of quality of life of students and residents in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

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ICSW UN Representatives

Sergei Zelenev

ICSW Special Representative to the United Nations in New York
Sergei Zelenev

Bio: Sergei Zelenev

Sergei Zelenev

Sergei Zelenev (MBA, PhD) is the Special Representative of the International Council on Social Welfare to the UN in New York. Until May 2019 he served as the Executive Director of ICSW.

Before assuming his position at the ICSW in 2012, Dr. Zelenev for almost three decades worked for the United Nations, both at Headquarters in New York and in the field, in Africa (twice) and in the Caribbean. His international career with the UN Secretariat involved a range of assignments, with progressively widening responsibilities, in the analytical and intergovernmental policy fields. He has written widely in the areas of socio-economic policy, social protection, ageing, youth and intergenerational relationships and directed numerous UN studies on key policy issues. As the Visiting Professor he has also taught at MGIMO- University in Moscow, at New York University and at Cornell University. Participated in many international events, symposia and conferences, making key-note presentations on issues of international significance. Most recently, he co-edited the volume “Digital Transformation and Social Well-Being. Promoting an inclusive society” (Routledge, 2023)

René Schegg

UN Representative - Geneva
René Schegg

Bio: René Schegg

Rene Schegg

René Schegg lives in Geneva and is currently working for different projects at Webster University Geneva in the field of developing study programs such as the MENA Center for Peace and Development. He has a Master’s Degree in Educational Sciences and is currently enrolled for a second Master’s in Public Administration. As Policy and Communications Officer and Acting Secretary General he was one of the main drivers for the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development at the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW). He has extensive experiences in working for NGO’s and for universities in promoting the importance of human rights and education for societies.

He has been accredited to the United Nations in Geneva while serving for the International Federation of Social Workers.