The governing body of CFSI is the Board of Trustees. It has fifteen seats, filled by annual elections held in November. Board Members serve in a completely voluntary capacity and are, at present, based on three continents—Asia, Australia, and North America. The following are the Members of the Board for 2017.
Mr. Peter Gibson joined the CFSI Board of Trustees in September 2012. A British citizen and chartered accountant, Mr. Gibson has worked and lived in the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman, Abu Dhabi, Nigeria, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. He left Shell where he served for 33 years and is now based in Manila. In addition to his tenure in the energy industry, Mr. Gibson’s experience also includes some years of service with the auditing firm Ernst & Young. Prior to joining the Board, Mr. Gibson, an avid athlete, helped raise funds for CFSI through a major swimming event in the Dardanelles (the Hellespont) and more recently a swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco. He earned his accountancy certification from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and received his BSC degree in Engineering from Durham University. He was elected Chairperson of the Audit and Finance Committee in November 2014.
Atty. Agabin was re-elected Chairperson of the Board of Trustees. In November 2014, after several years of distinguished service as Secretary and Board Member. He is a specialist in corporate law and serves as Corporate Secretary of several multinational corporations. A citizen of the Philippines, he earned the Bachelor of Science degree in Economics at the University of the Philippines and the Bachelor of Law degree at the same university. After completing law school, Atty. Agabin was an Associate in the SyCip, Salazar, Hernandez, and Gatmaitan Law Office; Manager of the Legal Services Department of Eastern Telecommunications Philippines, Inc.; and Assistant Vice President of the Legal Department and Deputy Counsel for the privatized Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corporation. Atty. Agabin is a founding Partner of the Tolosa, Romulo, Agabin, Flores, and Enriquez Law Office and was recently appointed Senior Vice President of Rapu-Rapu Minerals, Inc. Atty. Bayani was named to the CFSI Board of Trustees in 2005 after serving as Legal Advisor for several years.
Dr. Banaag is a child and adolescent psychiatrist, educator, and author. Currently Chairperson of the Department of Psychiatry at The Medical City, Dr. Banaag served as Chairperson, Professor Emeritus, or Professor at the Department of Psychiatry of the College of Medicine at the University of the Philippines for almost four decades. He also taught for several years in the Department of Psychiatry at Hahneman University in the United States. Dr. Banaag has been a Technical Advisor on Substance Abuse for the World Health Organization (WHO) and continues to be a Technical Advisor for the Mentor Foundation in Geneva, Switzerland. He was a founding member of the Philippine Psychiatric Association and served as President several times. Dr. Banaag established training programmes in child psychiatry in the Philippines and has helped develop and implement a formal training programme in psychiatry in Cambodia. He has played a leading role in mental health and psychosocial care for children in need of special protection in the Asia and Pacific Region, including those who live or work on the streets and those who are refugees or internally displaced. At present, he is the President of the Asian Society of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions, as well as the President of the Philippine Mental Health Association. Dr. Banaag earned his medical and psychiatry degrees at the University of the Philippines as well as a Certificate in Child Psychiatry at the Worcester Youth Guidance Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. Dr. Banaag, was re-elected Secretary in November 2014, following many years of service as Chairperson. He is a Philippine citizen. He was re-elected Chairperson of the Retirement Fund Committee in November 2014.
Ms. Lazaro was re-elected Public Relations Officer in November of 2014. A nationally and internationally acclaimed media leader, Ms. Lazaro—more prominently known as “Cheche”—is the founding President of Probe Productions, Inc. and anchor of “The Probe Team”, the first Filipino investigative newsmagazine for television that has won both local and international recognition. For her outstanding achievements in the television industry, Ms. Lazaro has received the “Gawad CCP” from Cultural Center of the Philippines, named one of the “Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) for Broadcast Journalism”, and given the “Gawad Plaridel” by the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Mass Communications, in addition to numerous awards. Ms. Lazaro served as Associate Professor at the UP College of Mass Communications, where she also served as the Chairperson of the Broadcast Department. She earned her first degree in Speech and Drama at the UP and a Master of Arts degree in Radio-Television at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in the United States. Ms. Lazaro also serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations and has traveled extensively in Asia, North America, South America, and Europe. Ms. Lazaro joined the CFSI Board of Trustees in June 2010. She is a citizen of the Philippines.
Ambassador Escaler was born in Manila, Philippines and educated at Maryknoll College. She held top management posts in both the corporate world and a private foundation until 1986, when she was appointed by President Corazon C. Aquino as Appointments and Social Secretary for the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines. In 1989, President Aquino appointed Ms. Escaler as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, Switzerland. She remained in this capacity until 1992 when newly elected President Fidel V. Ramos appointed her Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations in New York. In 1994, Ambassador Escaler was elected by 53 governments as Deputy Director General of the International Organization for Migration in Geneva with a five-year mandate. Ambassador Escaler returned to the Philippines in 2000 where she now serves as Chairperson, President, or Member of the boards of several corporations and foundations. She was, for several years, a Member of the Board and Vice-Chairperson of the Geneva-based Henri Dunant Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. Ambassador Escaler joined the Board of CFSI in 2005 and served as Vice-Chairperson for several years.
Ms. Acuzar has served for several years on the CFSI Board. A certified public accountant, Ms. Acuzar worked for more than thirty years with the auditing firm SyCip, Gorres, Velayo and Company (SGV & Co.). From 1986 until her retirement in 2001, Ms. Acuzar served as Audit and Business Advisory Partner with overall responsibility for the financial audits of almost 100 large and medium sized companies, including multinationals. She was a Member of the Management Committee at SGV & Co. from 1998 to 2001. Further, from 1999 she was the Head of the Business Risk and Consulting Service. Earlier, Ms. Acuzar spent two years as Audit Supervisor with Ernst and Young in Chicago, Illinois. She has been the National Secretary of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants and President of the Institute’s Metro Manila Regional Council. Ms. Acuzar, a Philippine citizen, earned the Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Santo Tomas and the Master of Management degree at the Asian Institute of Management. She completed the Advance Management Programme at Harvard University’s Business School in 1993.
Datu Michael Mastura is a peace negotiator as well as noted lawyer, lecturer, and author. A former Congressman, he represented Maguindanao and Cotabato City from 1987 through 1995. Datu Mastura served as a Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Muslim Affairs, Member of the Board of Regents of the Mindanao State University, Member of the Southern Philippines Development Authority, and Member of the Mindanao Economic Development Council. He was also elected Delegate to the 1971 Philippine Constitutional Convention. He is the Co-Founder of the Southeast Asian Shariah Law Association, Founder of the Islamic Welfare Society of the Philippines, and Founder of the Sultan Kudarat Islamic Academy where he now serves as President. In addition, Datu Mastura was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Philippine Amanah Bank from 1984 to 1986. A citizen of the Philippines, Datu Mastura has received a variety of fellowships and has been a member of official delegations to a wide range of countries. Datu Mastura earned his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees at Notre Dame University in Cotabato City and his Master of Laws degree at the University of the Philippines. He was first elected to the Board of CFSI in 2002.
Dr. Galvez Tan is a former Secretary of Health for the Philippine Government. He served as Undersecretary and Chief of Staff of the Department of Health from 1992 to 1994. Prior to that time, he held senior positions at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), both at the national and the regional levels. Earlier, Dr. Galvez Tan served as a rural health physician and trainer. He has been a Consultant for UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), The World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Dr. Galvez Tan is widely published and has lectured in fifteen countries on several continents. The recipient of numerous awards, he is currently an International Consultant on Health Policy Development and was until recently Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of the Philippines Manila and, concurrently, Executive Director of the National Institutes of Health. He is President and/or Chief Officer of several health-related nongovernmental organizations. Dr. Galvez Tan is a graduate of the University of the Philippines and the Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium. Since joining the Board in 1999, he has served as Member, Chairperson, and Public Relations Officer. He is a Philippine citizen.
Atty. Loanzon was first elected to the Board of Trustees of CFSI in 2005. A trial attorney in New York City, he received his Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern University Law School, where he was an Articles Editor of the Law Review. Atty. Loanzon subsequently earned a Master of Laws degree at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC. After law school, he practiced civil and commercial litigation at large firms in Washington, DC and New York. He also maintained a private practice, serving small and medium-sized corporations. At present, Atty. Loanzon advises non-profit organizations, emerging companies, and medium-sized businesses on a variety of corporate matters and litigation. He is the Co-Chair of the Litigation Committee for the Asian American Bar Association of New York and Chair of the Municipal Award Committee for the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Born in the Philippines, Atty. Loanzon is now a citizen of the United States.
Mr. Picton was re-elected to the Board of Trustees in November 2013 and named Chairperson of the Personnel Committee. He is the Ombudsman of La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia and the former Associate Dean (International) of the Faculty of Health Sciences as well as Director of the Regional Centre for Social Development in the Department of Social Work and Social Policy at that same university. He headed the Graduate School of Social Work at La Trobe for several years. Previously, he served on the faculty of Monash University in Melbourne and before that Leicester University in the United Kingdom. Born in Wales and a citizen of both the United Kingdom and Australia, Mr. Picton obtained his education at the University of Wales and the University of Liverpool and, following migration to Australia, a master’s degree in social work at Monash University. Mr. Picton’s areas of expertise include social development, ageing, and child and family welfare. He has served as Secretary-General of the International Federation on Ageing; Editor of three journals—the Journal of Family Studies, Australian Journal of Child and Family Welfare and Australian Journal on Ageing; and author of many publications on social work education, ageing, and inter-country adoption. Mr. Picton has travelled extensively on behalf of La Trobe University and served as a consultant to the International Labour Organization. He has been relating to CFSI since 1999 and was first elected to the Board in 2005.
Dr. Le Nhan Phuong became the fifteenth Member of the CFSI Board of Trustees when he was elected on in April 2014. Born in Viet Nam, but now an American citizen, Dr. Phuong has lived in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, since 1999. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, followed by the medical degree at the Medical College of Georgia. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati Hospital/Children’s Medical Center and subsequently earned a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, specializing in International Health, at the Johns Hopkins University. In addition to his current professional roles and responsibilities in Ha Noi, Dr. Phuong is pursuing a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA).
In 1999, Dr. Phuong gave up his medical career in the United States to help build public health capacity in Ha Noi. By 2003, he had helped set up, and become the Country Director for the Atlantic Philanthropies (Viet Nam), Limited. In this capacity, he facilitated the awarding, and oversaw the implementation of, more than USD $381 million in grants for health and higher education sector reform. Dr. Phuong established a new nonprofit foundation in June 2013 and currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of this organization – Resources for Health Equity (RHE) – which has a South East Asia focus.
A refugee, at the age of 10, from the former South Viet Nam, Dr. Phuong has been associated with CFSI, in some form or another including previous service as a Board Member, for nearly a quarter of a century, beginning as a volunteer whilst in college and medical school.
Ms. Platt has served with CFSI since 1987. She is a clinical social worker specializing in consultation and training around issues of crisis and critical event stress management owing to tragedies, complex emergencies, and natural disasters. Ms. Platt has held counseling positions in Japan, Zambia, the Philippines, and Pakistan. She has been a Consultant for the United Nations Secretariat in New York, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), governments, and international as well as national nongovernmental organizations. Ms. Platt has produced educational materials on crisis and stress management for diplomats, humanitarian workers, health and social services personnel, human rights specialists, and journalists. She lectures at various universities and represents CFSI at appropriate gatherings of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as well as the NGO Committee on Mental Health. In addition to being on the Board, Ms. Platt serves as CFSI’s Director for External Relations, on a pro bono basis. As such, she travels regularly to the Philippines, including field sites. A citizen of the United States and based in New York City, Ms. Platt is a graduate of Trinity College and earned her Master of Social Work degree at Catholic University in Washington, DC. In recognition of her 25 years of exemplary service with CFSI, the Board of Trustees appointed Ms. Platt Trustee Emeritus in late 2012.