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Executive Committee

As per the ASSITEJ International constitution, the governing body of this Association consists of:

• The General Assembly
• The Executive Committee

The Executive Committee comprises a maximum of fifteen members with the right to vote, including the President, three Vice Presidents, the Secretary General, and the Treasurer.

Elections for the Executive Committee of the Association are held at a meeting of the General Assembly once every three calendar years. The General Assembly shall elect the members of the Executive Committee as representatives of the ASSITEJ National Centres or Professional Networks. Each National Centre or Professional Network may have only one representative on the Executive Committee. 

Each elected Executive Committee member must come from a different country, with the exception of two members only, provided that one has been proposed by an ASSITEJ National Centre and one by a Professional Network. 

The General Assembly shall elect the President and Secretary General from those standing for the Executive Committee. From amongst the members of the Executive Committee, the General Assembly shall elect the Vice Presidents and Treasurer, who shall be nominated in a meeting of the new Executive Committee. They shall be elected in their personal capacity. The officers and members of the Executive Committee shall be chosen to represent, as fairly as possible, the interests of the organisation and the diversity of all the ASSITEJ National Centres and Professional Networks, taking into account such factors as geography, ethnic origin, gender,  and cultural identity. They should also reflect strengths that serve the concerns and priorities of the ASSITEJ International Working Plan for the elected term.

2024 – 2027 Executive Committee Members

Sue Giles AM – President
ASSITEJ Australia (Theatre Network Australia)
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Sue has been working for 45 years as a professional in the theatre arts in Australia, much of this with the creation and production of works for young audiences. After many years of creating work in communities, schools, and theatres across the nation and internationally, from the year 2000 she was Artistic Director and Co-CEO of the acclaimed children’s theatre company Polyglot Theatre. Sue created and co-created over 45 works for the company in her 22-year term as Artistic Director, including several international collaborations and cross-cultural processes within Australia. Her distinct process centering children as co-creators and participants has been the subject of conferences, Industry discussions, and workshops nationally and internationally. Her award-winning works have been performed in 20 countries on five continents.

Sue now concentrates on global and national advocacy, working with artists to develop new work for young audiences, directing, writing theory, strategic planning and furthering the performing arts practice in the field of children’s theatre in Australia. She is an advocate for Theatre for Young Audiences in Australia as a board member and Interim Chair of Theatre Network Australia – the National Centre of ASSITEJ International – and internationally as President of ASSITEJ International – the global association of theatre and performing arts for young audiences.

In 2018, Sue received the Green Room Lifetime Achievement Award and authored a Platform Paper titled Young People and The Arts: An Agenda for Change. In 2019, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to the performing arts as an artistic director, and to theatre for children. In the same year, Sue was granted an Australia Council Theatre Fellowship for her writing and advocacy work. Sue is a recipient of the Betty Amsden Foundation scholarship for advocacy and leadership.

Louis Valente Sørensen – Secretary General
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Louis Valente Sørensen was elected Secretary General of ASSITEJ International in 2017 and again in 2021. He is also the Executive Director of ASSITEJ Denmark and is responsible for international relations at the Danish Aprilfestival, which Teatercentrum produces.

The ASSITEJ International Secretariat in Copenhagen is funded by ASSITEJ Denmark, the Danish Arts Foundation, and Teatercentrum.

Louis’ educational background includes an MA in Philosophy and Cultural Encounters. He was raised in the world of TYA and was involved as a translator and tour manager for Teatergruppen Batida before entering ASSITEJ. Louis is married to a Cuban actress with whom he has two children. He speaks, reads and writes Danish, Spanish, and English.

Paulo Merisio – Vice President
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Paulo Merisio is an artist – director, actor and stage design – and a profesor at the Theatre Education Department – UNIRIO (Scholarship holder of Productivity in Research from National Council for Scientific and Technological Development – CNPq and Scholarship holder of the program ‘Cientista do Nosso Estado’, from Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro – FAPERJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Coordinator of the Arts Area at Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – CAPES (Ministry of Education/ Brazil) – quadrennium 2021-2024. He developed post-doctoral research at Université de Paris Ouest/Nanterre (2014) and he has some articles published and experience with editing councils at magazines and book organisations. He has been part of the ASSITEJ Taboos Workshops family since the first experience in Caracas, Venezuela, 2008 (Venezuela, 2008; Cuba and Brazil, 2010) and he has participated at the ‘Director’s Seminar’ of ASSITEJ Germany (Mannheim, 2015). He is also a Member of the Board of CBTIJ / ASSITEJ Brazil and he is an active member of the ASSITEJ Iberoamerican Network. He is a Board member at ITYARN (Chair – 2024/2027) and he has worked as a Counselor at the Executive Committee – ASSITEJ International (2021-2024).

Selloane (Lalu) Mokuku – Vice President
ASSITEJ South Africa
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Lalu is an experienced theatremaker, storyteller, academic, writer, and performer. She has worked with / for young people internationally through organisations such as UNICEF and Save the Children UK, including during the build-up to the 2001 ‘UN Special Session on Children’ that led to the children’s declaration with child participation.

She was a coordinator of an innovative school support programme, using the Arts to teach Science, English and Mathematics, called ‘ShakeXperience’. She chaired the task force that produced the 2005 Lesotho National Cultural Policy. She currently facilitates teaching and learning at Rhodes University, focusing on theatre for social transformation. Her research includes topics around applied drama / theatre, translanguaging, and TYA. She co-produced an adaptation of Orwell’s Animal Farm, directed by Neil Coppen. During the 2017 ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival for Children & Young People, she had the privilege of interacting with international audiences and met Ginni Manning (United Kingdom). This led to co-writing a play, DIPALO, that subsequently won the 2019 ASSITEJ Africa Playwriting Competition. She also directed Mosali Eo U’ Neileng Eena (Market Theatre). She is an Executive Committee Member of ASSITEJ International and a Board Member of ASSITEJ South Africa.

Seok-hong Kim – Vice President
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Seok-hong Kim has been passionate about the performing arts for his entire adult life, both as an arts manager and as an administrator. During this time, Theatre & Performing Arts for Children & Young People has been an important part of his career, as he has had a close relationship with ASSITEJ Korea, working as a board member for over a decade.

Seok-hong works for the Korea Arts Management Service (KAMS) while remaining active in ASSITEJ Korea as a board member for international exchanges. KAMS is a government agency that focuses significantly on the sustainability of arts companies within the harsh market arena. KAMS has been organising the Performing Arts Market in Seoul (PAMS) for about 15 years, during which time it has become one of the world’s most dynamic and creative arts markets.

Before joining KAMS, Seok-hong oversaw programming for several years at a local arts centre in Seoul, Korea. He also worked as Production Manager at the National Conservatoire School for Drama (KNUA), where he focused on linking students with professional artists in their productions.

He studied Theatre and Arts Administration at university.

Émilie Robert – Treasurer
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I studied marketing in a business school but never worked in business. My first job was a communication mission in the Ile de France National Orchestra (in Paris). A few years after, I moved to the south of France. First, I worked in a theatre as Audience Development Assistant and later with an independent artist, as Production Manager. In 2002, I became the Financial Manager of the Periscope Theatre in Nîmes, a small independent emerging theatre. In 2007, I was chosen to be the new head of the theatre. Since 2013, I have been the General Manager of the Théâtre Massalia in Marseille, a performing arts for young audiences organization. I was also Co-President of Scènes d’enfance – ASSITEJ France during seven years, from 2017 to 2024 and I am still on the board, in charge of the international relations.

Bebê de Soares
Young Dance Network (YDN)
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After a successful international career in dance, Bebê de Soares began working in the 90s as an Actress, Director and Producer, co founding T4G Teatro 4Garoupas with Austrian director Arno Kleinofen in Cologne, Germany. Their collaboration was awarded and critically acclaimed in Brazil and Germany. In 2002 she created the AMAZONAS NETWORK a cultural exchange platform creating projects that promote international exchange in the field of theater for young audiences and dance, sharing her deep knowledge of international cultural exchange in the field of theater and dance for young audiences, both from the perspective of the organizer/director of the festival and from the perspective of the artist. Since 2019 is she back in Hürth, Germany from 8 years in Chile and is involved in several projects from rural touring to international collaborations as SPARSE+ and Perform Europe, co-funded by Creative Europe. She has been a member of the Executive Committee of ASSITEJ International since 2017 occupying the Vice-Presidency of the association from 2021 until 2024, when she became the representative of the Professional Networks of ASSITEJ.

Carole Umulinga Karemera
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Carole Umulinga Karemera holds a Master in Drama and Music (Jazz) from fhe Conservatoire Royal de Musique of Belgium and a certificate in Cultural leadership from the African Arts Institute (South Africa). Carole has performed in internationally acclaimed theatre, dance and film productions directed by Peter Brook, Jacques Delcuvellerie, Raoul Peck, Wim Vandekeybus, Marion Hänsel, Denis Mpunga, etc. Carole is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Ishyo Arts Centre, one the most dynamic creative organizations based in Kigali, involved in 18 years in advocacy, cultural policies, capacity building, creation, production and promotion of the creative sector in Rwanda and the sub-region.
Creation & production: Carole is the producer of Kina Festival – the international performing arts festival dedicated to young audience, Home Sweet Home festival – production and touring of shows designed to be performed in people’s homes and the co-producer of Kuya Kwetu – residencies and experimental festival and the Rwandan International Literature Encounters. With three decades of experience in the creative industry, Carole K. is also an Arts Manager and an activist supporting freedom of creative expression in Africa. She performed and directed many award-winning plays and toured intensively in Africa, Europe, Asia, North and South America.
Research & policies: In 2018, she initiated and coordinated the mapping of the creative industries in Rwanda and drafted the National Action Plan for Arts and Culture. In 2019, she coordinated the UNESCO’s skills development program for the creative industries for Rwanda. In 2021, she co-lead the mapping of music and fashion industry in Kigali. In 2021, she supported the development and establishment of the first creative fund in Rwanda, ArtUbuhanzi under the supervision of the Ministry of Youth and Culture and Imbuto Foundation. Carole is a member of the ASSITEJ International Executive Committee, of IACAET (International Association for Creative Arts in Education and Therapy), Africa Regional Committee and of ASSITEJ Rwanda (Arts for young audience). She is also an IETM Global Connector (2024-2028). Previous positions includes board member of the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF), of the Rwandan Academy of Culture and Heritage and Deputy Secretary General of Arterial Network.
New Projects: Carole’s current artistic work includes Arts-Sciences project “Kesho – social ecology and interdependencies?”, Arts for young audience productions : “Talking about silence” about the relation teenagers have with taboos and unspoken truth, “Paper skin” & “Mchanga” about creating new narratives and the impact of storytelling on bodies. New coproduction (2025): “L’empreinte” an experimental puppet, theatre, music and film project about the creation of new myths and the power of transmission.
The Fabrik (2024-2027): Ishyo has embarked into a future big project: “The Fabrik” the construction of a Rwanda’s Premiere performing arts space focus on training, creation and production of performing arts for young audience in Central and East Africa.

Gonzalo Moreno
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Gonzalo Moreno has a degree in Art History and is a Cultural Manager with nearly 20 years of experience in project management. With a background as Publishing Book Editor, Graphic Designer, Web Developer, Producer of musical events and Communication and Sales Officer for different publishing houses, record labels and bookstores. He is the Manager of ASSITEJ Spain since 2015 and Secretary General of the board since 2018. His work enhancing the Spanish National Center, supported by an incredible board, has led ASSITEJ Spain to a significant growth in activity, partners and collaborations with public administration in the recent years.

Jon Dafydd-Kidd
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Jon trained as a musician before transitioning into theatre. He is passionate about inclusion, access, and creating opportunities for those who benefit from creative experiences but who do not have access to creativity.

As Head of PAWB (Participation) for leading Wales-based Hijinx Theatre, he is strategically responsible for developing opportunities for learning-disabled and neurodivergent young people and communities as audiences and performers. His work also includes directing the annual Hijinx production in the Wales Millennium Centre, facilitating across a number of projects, and supporting developing inclusive facilitation as a core creative skill. He works across Wales, and across borders.

In 2020, Jon established and produced Music Theatre Wales programme ‘Future Directions’, which offers young people creative residencies to understand and develop professional creative pathways.

He is a trained Life Coach and Neuro-Linguistics Programming Practitioner, supporting creatives in Wales to develop and flourish in ways that create real impact.

Jon was Chair of the International Inclusive Arts Network (2018-2022).

Julia Dina Heße
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Julia works as a Dramaturge, Director and Presenter. In 2018 she left her position as Artistic Director of the Young Theatre Münster to focus on international projects and coproductions. In 2019 she was granted a scholarship in the post graduate programme of art mediation Hildesheim-Marseille (PhD topic: Ecological sustainability in narratives & aesthetics of TYA). She has been serving as Vice-President of ASSITEJ Germany since 2018, where she is also in charge of the ‘International Director’s Exchange’. Since 2024 she represents ASSITEJ Germany on the advisory board of the dance & theatre section of Goethe Institute. In addition to her artistic work mainly dedicated to interdisciplinary performances for the early years Julia is a lecturer at the University of Münster, co-edited the book “Children’s Theater. Youth Theatre. Future perspectives for a genre.” and published papers in TYA related books and magazines.

Shoaib Iqbal
ASSITEJ New Zealand
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Shoaib Iqbal is an arts manager who has worked as a curator, director, and arts educator on a variety of arts projects since 2000. He founded The Little Art, a non-profit arts education organisation that uses art to promote positive social values through innovative learning opportunities among children and young adults, especially the marginalised. Shoaib also serves as President of ASSITEJ Pakistan. He has been instrumental in delivering the centre’s successful bi-annual Tamasha Festival For Young Audiences (Tamasha engages nearly 15,000 audience members in each edition) and hosting the international ‘Next Generation Programme’ annually.

Shoaib graduated from the DeVos Institute of Arts Management (Kennedy Centre, Washington DC). He is an Asia21 2013 fellow with the Asia Society, an Acumen 2015 fellow, an ArtThink Southasia 2015 fellow and an International Society of Performing Arts (ISPA) fellow. Shoaib also worked with the Sharjah Government as a consultant for five years and with the British Council as Head of Arts in Pakistan from 2016 to 2018.

Shoaib travels very frequently to various festivals and exchange programmes. He is also setting up two international performing arts projects for children and young people in New Zealand and Qatar.

Stavros Stavrou
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Born in 1988, Stavros Stavrou is a Writer, Cultural Manager, Producer and President of ASSITEJ Cyprus. He holds a BA degree in Greek Literature, as well as an MA degree in Arts Management and Cultural Policy, both from King’s College London.

As a lyrics-writer, he has extensively worked in the Greek music industry. Since 2012, he has worked in the theatre industry as Writer and Producer, collaborating with the National Theatres of Greece and Cyprus, as well as many other independent companies.

He has also worked in the field of theatre for young audiences as a Producer, with his shows touring internationally. His production “Antigone” (2023), was the first “green” production in Cyprus, following the guidelines of the Green Theatre Book on sustainability in theatre.

From 2020 to 2023 he was a member of the independent theatre funding committee in Cyprus.

As a Project Manager, he has worked on numerous cultural projects. He is also the President of the Association for People with Mental Disability and a member of the Board of the Cyprus Centre of the International Theatre Institute.

In 2023 he was nominated as Man of the Year in Cyprus, in the Culture category.

He has released four books.

Theis Irgens
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Theis Irgens is based in Kristiansand, Norway, where he works as an artist in combination with being a Project Manager for ASSITEJ Norway. Puppetry, and giving life to objects, is in the core of his artistic practice – but the goal is always the same: to create a situation for people to engage in each other’s world views. Through the art collective Spektra, Theis is working with performance installations aiming to create experiences that can be shared by people with different abilities, in mutual dignity and joy. Theis has worked for ASSITEJ Norway since 2018, producing the International Norwegian ASSITEJ Festival in Kristiansand and working on lots of multinational projects and collaborations. In 2019, Theis was the producer of the ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering in Kristiansand. Since the planning of the Nordic Venue at AAG2019, Theis has been an active force in developing the Nordic-Baltic ASSITEJ Network (NBAN). The NBAN aims to strengthen artistic exchange and resource sharing in our region and facilitate connections between the Nordic-Baltic countries and the international ASSITEJ network.

Yannick Boudeau
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Yannick has been working in the field of theatre for more than 25 years, first in Warsaw, then in Paris and finally Brussels, where he settled with his family 17 years ago. He is the Creative Producer and General Manager of the company la Casquette, a Brussels-based company which has been creating theatre for young audiences for more than 40 years.

Yannick has been very much active in the field of TYA, first (and still!) in the French-speaking community of Belgium, second as co-founder and current chairman of ASSITEJ Belgium gathering professionals from all linguistic communities of Belgium. He has been appointed member of the Performing Arts Commission of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, for TYA, circus, and street arts.

Concomitantly he has been working regularly since 2015 as an external expert for the EU – Education Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) in the framework of the ‘Creative Europe Programme’.

He has co-designed and co-written the EU co-funded ‘Babel or the Art of Listening in Theater for Young Audience’ project, in which ASSITEJ International is actively involved, and is currently in its steering committee.

He has been a member of the EC since 2021.

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