NEWS: Disability Advocate Venus Ilagan Appointed as New RI Secretary General

Posted on 16 July 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Human Rights, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Distinguished Disability Advocate Venus Ilagan Appointed as New RI Secretary General

(New York, New York, US, July 14, 2008)

Rehabilitation International
(RI) is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Secretary General, Venus Ilagan of the Philippines. As a woman with a disability from the South, Venus has worked tirelessly to advance the rights of persons with disabilities, particularly during the negotiations for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Venus is expected to commence this important new role in September 2008, subject to resolution of visa and contractual arrangements, and Venus will be based at the RI headquarters in New York City, New York.

Venus is a well-known advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities for years. As a leader in the National Organization of Disabled Peoples’ of the Philippines (KAMPI) and the Differently-Abled Women’s Network (DAWN) of the Philippines, as well as holding various positions, including Chairperson, of Disabled Peoples’ International (DPI), Venus has promoted disability rights at the national, regional and international levels. Her vast experience with UN agencies and other international organizations includes her consultancy work with the Asian Development Bank and the World Health Organization.

As a representative of DPI, Venus has strong links within the International Disability Alliance (IDA), a coalition of 10 international and regional organizations of persons with disabilities, and served as IDA Chair from May 2004 -May 2005. She is well regarded within IDA and the newly created IDA CRPD Forum, of which RI serves as the Secretariat.

RI President Michael Fox remarked, “We are extremely pleased that Venus will be joining the RI team. She will be leading the RI Secretariat at a critical time in our growth, with the focus on implementation of the UN Convention and growth of the RI Foundation. We very much look forward to working with her and sharing her insights and experience.”

RI will formally welcome Venus as our new Secretary General during the RI World Congress, to be held in August 2008 in Quebec City, Canada. For more information about this event, please visit

RI also takes this opportunity to show our great appreciation to the current Secretary General, Tomas Lagerwall of Sweden. Since joining the RI Secretariat in 2001, Tomas has further developed excellent relations with RI membership in many countries, and has provided key support to the development of IDA. Tomas played an important role during the successful negotiations and coming into force of the CRPD. Tomas has demonstrated an enormous dedication to RI, and the RI Executive Committee and members most sincerely thank Tomas for his seven years of service to RI. 

About RI
Founded in 1922, RI is a global network of organizations of persons with disabilities, government agencies, service providers, researchers and advocates promoting and implementing the rights and inclusion of persons with disabilities. RI is currently composed of about 1,000 members and affiliated organizations in 93 nations, in all regions of the world.

For more information about RI, please visit their accessible website:

The above announcement was circulated by Rehabilitation International. I retrieved it from the AdHoc_IDC email discussion group.

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