Executive Committee Bios
David Bandurski is the author of Dragons in Diamond Village (Penguin/Melville House, 2016), a book of reportage on villages in China and the politics of urbanisation. Currently editor of the University of Hong Kong's China Media Project website, he is a frequent commentator on Chinese media and freedom of expression. His articles have appeared in the The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Index on Censorship and other publications. David is a producer of Chinese independent documentary and fiction films through his Hong Kong production company, Lantern Films.
Edmund W. Cheng
Edmund W. Cheng is Assistant Professor in Comparative Politics at Hong Kong Baptist University and Fellow in Urban Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research aims to explore what history and social sciences can offer each other. He has published in Political Studies, Social Movement Studies, China Quarterly, Modern Asian Studies, Twenty-First Century, among others. He also writes about arts and politics for Initium, Ming Pao, Diplomat and China File. He is co-editing two books on contentious politics and Hong Kong society and is implementing the World Values Survey in Hong Kong.
Kris Cheng is the Editorial Director of Hong Kong Free Press. He is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a degree in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
何麗明 Tammy Ho
Publicity Subcommittee Chair
Tammy Ho Lai-Ming is a poet, editor, academic and translator. She is the founding co-editor of Asian Cha, the first online literary journal based in Hong Kong, and is an editor of the academic journal, Victorian Network. She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of English at Hong Kong Baptist University where she teaches fiction, poetics and modern drama. In 2016, she received the Hong Kong Young Artist Award presented by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. Her first collection of poetry is entitled Hula Hooping.
Cathy Holcombe is a financial writer and editor who likes to opinionate on cultural and moral issues related to commerce; sometimes doing so in a humorous fashion, whether intentionally or not. She has lived in Hong Kong since 1995, spending many of those years working in the city’s financial sector. A long-ago English literature major, she advocates a liberal arts education for fostering empathy in this increasingly divisive and suspicious world of ours.
Jo Lusby is an independent consultant based in Hong Kong, specialising in publishing, media, and the creative sectors with a focus on Asia. Through her consulting practice, Pixie B Ltd, she advises businesses, organisations, and government bodies on their creative industries strategies, brand management, and market access issues. A high profile member of the regional business community, Jo is a non-executive director of the China-Britain Business Council, and a board member of PEN Hong Kong. She is an advisor to the Hong Kong Literary Festival, and a mentor for Fruits in Suits and Educating Rural Girls in China. Jo is a qualified PADI Scuba Dive Master. A fluent Mandarin speaker, Jo has lived in Asia for 22 years, based in Japan, China, and currently Hong Kong.
William Nee is a China Researcher for Amnesty International’s East Asia Regional Office in Hong Kong. He carries out research on human rights in China, particularly on freedom of expression, human rights defenders, the death penalty, and he also monitors the situation in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region. William’s commentary has appeared in The Diplomat, the Hong Kong Free Press, and Open Democracy. Before joining Amnesty, William worked for China Labour Bulletin, where he was Development Director, and he also worked at Human Rights in China.
Jason Y. Ng
Jason Y. Ng is the author of HONG KONG State of Mind (2010) and No City for Slow Men (2013). His latest work, Umbrellas in Bloom (2016), is the first book in English to chronicle the Umbrella Movement and the last installment of a Hong Kong trilogy that tracks the city's post-colonial development. As a columnist, Ng contributes to the Guardian, the South China Morning Post, Time Out (HK), EJ Insight, and Hong Kong Free Press. He is also a full-time lawyer and an adjunct associate professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Hong Kong.
Timothy O'Leary is Professor of Philosophy and Head of the School of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong, where he is an elected member of HKU Council. He co-founded the group HKU Vigilance, dedicated to defending academic freedom. He has written extensively on the work of Michel Foucault, especially in relation to ethics, aesthetics, and the powers of fiction. He is co-General Editor of the book series New Critical Humanities at Rowman & Littlefield International.
Ilaria Maria Sala
Advocacy Subcommittee Chair
Membership Subcommittee Chair
Ilaria Maria Sala is an award-winning journalist and writer. She has been living in East Asia since 1988, and calls Hong Kong home. Sala has written for a number of international publications, and is now a staff contributor for Quartz. She is also a ceramicist, and is very passionate about tea and the Qianlong emperor.
Mishi Saran's novel, The Other Side of Light was shortlisted for the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize. She is also the author of a travel book-cum-memoir Chasing the Monk’s Shadow: A Journey in the Footsteps of Xuanzang, that was a finalist for India's 2006 Hutch Crossword Book award and long listed for Germany's Lettres Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage. Saran's short stories have won prizes in Hong Kong and been broadcast on the BBC. She has been awarded writing residencies at Chateau de Lavigny and at Art Omi. Saran’s recent essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books and Quartz. She is now writing a novel set in Shanghai in the 1930s. Saran was born in India and currently lives in Hong Kong.
Sarah Schafer is a journalist, editor and research consultant based in Hong Kong. She recently co-authored a report for PEN America on the challenges that foreign journalists face in mainland China. Schafer worked for nearly two decades as a reporter for The Washington Post, Newsweek and other publications, covering China, Russia and the United States. She later served as China researcher for Amnesty International, where she investigated, among other subjects, the violence and abuses committed by developers and local officials when evicting residents and seizing land. She has edited several non-fiction books and research reports.
Budget Subcommittee Chair
Simon Westcott is a travel and media entrepreneur, with 20 years experience in the UK and Australia. He is currently owner and CEO of LUXE City Guides, based in Hong Kong. He was previously the co-founder and Managing Director at Mr. & Mrs. Smith (Asia Pacific), Global Publisher at Lonely Planet Publications and Marketing Director at The Age, Melbourne and Reed Consumer Books in the UK. He chaired Australia's Malthouse Theatre, and served as a board member of the Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board, the dance company Chunky Move, the Castlemaine State Festival and the Australian progressive politics advocacy group, Get Up!
Nicholas Wong holds an MFA from City University of Hong Kong. His poetry collection, Crevasse, is the winner of the 28th Lambda Literary Award in Gay Poetry. He teaches at the Education University of Hong Kong.