Thilina Heenatigala (Sri Lanka): Project Council Chairman
thilina_pic_smallThilina is an informal astronomy educator and a freelance project coordinator with an interest in astronomy education in developing countries. He joined AWB in 2009 as the Coordinator of the AWB National Coordinators Network which he recently stepped down and took on the responsibility as the AWB Project Coordinator to improve and expand the Projects. During 2010 and 2011, Thilina served as the Coordinator for Global Astronomy Month – the biggest AWB annual project. He also serve as the AWB National Coordinator for Sri Lanka.
In his spare time, Thilina enjoys fashion designing, writing, traveling, among other things and blogs at "Universe Cafe".


Avivah Yamani (Indonesia):
Project Council Member
avivah_picAvivah is an astronomer from Indonesia where her research was in planetary dynamical problem. Currently, she works as a writer and communicator, with a keen interest in social science, philosophy, music, art, archaeology and history. She is involved extensively with astronomy communication with the public, enjoys the challenge of conveying complex ideas in an easy-to-understand manner via her local astronomy group; langitselatan.
Apart from her interest in Astronomy, Avivah loves to travel and do outdoor activities like camping and hanging out with friends in roadside cafes. She also serves as the AWB National Coordinator for Indonesia.


Julio Vannini (Nicaragua):
Project Council Member
julio_picJulio Vannini is an amateur astronomer from Nicaragua, Central America. He's an active member of the Nicaraguan Amateur Astronomers Society (ANASA for its name in Spanish). For 2 consecutive years he has been designated as national coordinator for Nicaragua at the Astronomy Education and Public Outreach Section for the Latin America Astronomy League (SEDA/LIADA) and as national contact for Astronomers Without Borders.His main interest resides in variable stars and the Moon.




Riwaj Pokhrel (Nepal):
Project Council Member
riwaj_picA research scholar of “Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Group” in the Central Department of Physics of Tribhuvan University, Nepal, currently works on Photon Dominated Regions (PDR) of molecular clouds. He is the Executive Founder Member of Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO); one of the pioneer groups in Nepal working to improve the astronomy nationally. Riwaj also serves as the AWB National Coordinator for Nepal.





Robert McTague (New Zealand):
Project Council Member
robert_picAstronomy has been part of Robert’s life for thirty years. He has become much more active in the last ten years since starting his astronomy equipment business - N.Z. Telescopes. As well as astronomy, he’s a professional portrait photographer -Langwoods Photography- for the last thirty one years. A highlight of his astronomy has been the formation of their local astronomy group -South Canterbury Astronomers Group- and the finishing of the local observatory. Robert recently joined AWB to serve as the National Coordinator for New Zealand.





Daniela de Paulis (Netherlands/Italy):
Project Council Member
daniela_picCurrently a researcher at Leiden University, Daniela is a visual artist working with a wide range of media, including digital video and film, sound, live performance and painting. Since 2009 she has been collaborating with CAMRAS, the radio amateurs association based at Dwingeloo radio telescope (NL), inventing a new way of communicating via the Moon: Visual Moonbounce, which consists in sending images to the Moon and back as radio signals. She started her collaboration with AWB in 2011, presenting her project OPTICKS (a live Visual Moonbounce performance) as part of the Global Astronomy Month.
Daniela has just realized the very first moonbounced video clip in collaboration with CAMRAS and the Manchester Astronomical Society and she is looking forward to continue her collaboration with scientists and science lovers.
More info www.danieladepaulis.com, www.opticks.info


Fikiswa Majola (South Africa):
Project Council Member
fikiswa_picFikiswa is a Science Communicator at Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory since May 20111. She always has been fascinated with the night sky, and growing up in a small town she was able to look up and see the stars, the Milky Way and even the Megallanic Clouds. The first object she ever looked at through a telescope was the planet Saturn- it was quite a life-changing experience. Since then, she has been somewhat obsessed with the night sky and started doing her own reading and sharing as much as could. Her main interest is getting learners to look at the sky and appreciate the wonder which is the universe. She believes it is in everybody's interest to know their place in the cosmos, and also to appreciate not only how special we as human being are, but also how small our world really is.


Peggy Walker (USA): ex officio
PeggyWalker140Peggy was is the Night Sky Network Coordinator for her astronomy club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, coordinated their IYA 2009 programs, including several programs for 100 Hours of Astronomy. She added her club to the Sidewalk Astronomers and Astronomers Without Borders organizations in 2009. Peggy and her husband organize their own sidewalk group, BA Sidewalk Astronomers, and host monthly events at two locations. Their plans are to learn how to grind mirrors with the assistance of the Sidewalk Astronomers organization.


Mike Simmons (USA): ex officio
mike_simmonsMike Simmons has been an amateur astronomer for more than 35 years and loves sharing the sky with others. Mike joined the Los Angeles Astronomical Society in the early 1970s and served in many capacities including two terms as President and ten years on the Board of Directors. In 1976 he joined the staff of Griffith Observatory where he operated the Zeiss 12-inch refracting telescope for the public and described the many facets of astronomy to tens of thousands of visitors.
Seeing astronomy as a universal interest that transcends cultural differences, Mike founded Astronomers Without Borders in 2006. He now serves as President of this effort to unite astronomy and space enthusiasts around the world through those common interests.