The Board of Trustees of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) has selected Mr. Edgardo P. Legaspi as its new executive director. He will lead and manage the operations of the Bangkok-based Secretariat, which coordinates the regional activities of the member organizations of SEAPA, starting 1 July 2015.
Legaspi replaces Gayathry Venkiteswaran, from Malaysia, who served as the Executive Director between 1 December 2010 and 30 June 2015. He was among five candidates who were shortlisted for the final interview and selection from an open application process. The interview was conducted by the Board of Trustees in Bangkok in May 2015.
Legaspi was the Alerts and Communications Officer for SEAPA for the last three years, working on the organization’s external communications, including formulating SEAPA positions and strategies on regional and country issues.
Before joining SEAPA, Legaspi was manager for communications at the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) for a year and half, but had spent over two years with the regional human rights networks on assignments related to programs on the ethnic minorities/indigenous peoples, ASEAN and peace and human security. He brings almost three decades of civil society experience to the position.
SEAPA was founded in 1998 by five organizations from three countries in the region: the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) and Institute for Studies on the Free Flow of Information (ISAI) in Indonesia, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) in the Philippines, and the Thai Journalists Association (TJA) in Thailand.
It now has 11 organizational members in seven countries. As a regional network, SEAPA is the regional voice that promotes and defends media freedom and freedom of expression.