Read the profile of our IOV officers below.
Carmen D. Padilla was Chair and Executive Director of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) of the Philippines, the counterpart of the Ministry of Culture. In this position she advocated for the empowerment of the artists and cultural workers in the country, a move that opened the bureaucracy to practice more transparency and participative decision-making by involving the artists and cultural workers
themselves in the management of the resources of government. This was an innovative approach to governance in the government system.
While Chair of NCCA she attended for the first time the IOV conference in Greece where she met Alexander Veigl, the founder of IOV. This led to an IOV Conference on Myths and Legends hosted by the Philippines which was held in Manila.
In 2003, Carmen was elected, in absentia, as World President of IOV in the General Assembly in Deva, Romania. Alexander informed her of her election after the meeting. In her style of participative governance she proposed the creation of the Presidential Council to lead the IOV with representations from different continents.
Fabrizio Cattaneo began his musical studies at age of six, attending classes taught by many well-known teachers. In 1979, at age 12, he became a member of the folk group “Gioppini of Bergamo”, playing accordion. He is currently the group’s president.
He is a highly qualified instructor of folk dances and is a master Accordionist. Fabrizio Cattaneo was elected the Acting Secretary General.
Fabrizio is Vice President in the Italian Folk Art Federation (FITP) .
Fabrizio Cattaneo is a member of Jure Pleno in the Ducato of Piazza Pontida and member of the board of the Crown. He is an entrepreneur, craftsman, electronics- technician computer, and owner of a company that provides technical assistance in audio, video, and computers.
IOV Vice-President for Research
Mila Santova was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in art history at the National Academy of Fine and Applied Arts in Sofia. In 1984 she completed her PhD studies in cultural anthropology at the Institute of Folklore, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
Mila Santova has participated in more than 250 national and international conferences, congresses, symposia and seminars. She is the author of 6 books, and more than 200 publications in scientific journals, publications, newspapers, magazines and Internet sites.
She has led more than 20 international collaborative scientific projects, together with colleagues from France, Belgium, Italy, Romania, and Moldova, as well as other countries. She presented two projects, Nestanarstvo in 2009, and Bistritsa Grannies in 2005, for inscription in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage at UNESCO. She was the leader of the project for preparing the Bulgarian national inventory of intangible cultural heritage and the National System of Living Human Treasures in Bulgaria.
Dr. Santova is the chair of the National Folklore Council at the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria. She has been a guest lecturer at the National Academy of Arts, the University of Sofia, Plovdiv University, and in many countries around the world. Mila Santova is the chair of the Bulgarian National Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM).
Ali Abdulla Khalifa
IOV Vice-President for Publications
A Bahraini writer, poet, researcher and cultural enthusiast, Ali Abdulla Khalifa has been the Chair of the Bahrain office of the International Organization of Folk Art (IOV) since 1988. He is also the Director of Cultural Research at the Royal Court since 2001 and the Regional Executive Secretary of the IOV- Middle East and North Africa region from 2007 to 2012. In May 2012, he was elected IOV Vice-President for Publications.
Among his many published works are Gulf of Songs, Folklore Inspiration in Creative Works, and Folk Arts – Nations in Unison, in addition to a diverse array of poetry collections and operettas. His works have been translated to English and French, and have earned him wide repute. He has won a number of international awards, including the Cultural Competence Medal from the late President Bourguiba, of Tunisia in 1973, the International Grand Prize for Arts in 2006 in Romania and the Competency First Class Medal of HM King of Bahrain. In addition to his official position as the Secretary-General of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity, Ali Abdulla serves on its board.
Emma Chen Hoefler
Vice-President for Special Projects
Chair, IOV China
For the past five years, Emma Chen Hoefler has been a member of the Executive Committee of the IOV Board of Directors. In 2007, she was elected IOV Treasurer at the General Assembly in Volos, Greece. After two years, she became Vice-President.
In 2007, Emma set a goal to organize the IOV national section of China. This was accomplished in 2012 and in 2014, she was re-elected Chair of the section at its annual membership meeting in Beijing.
Under Emma’s leadership, several large-scale, international projects and events have been organized. As a result, IOV China is growing rapidly. In her capacity as an IOV officer, Emma has promoted cultural exchanges between China and other nations. These include coordinating the participation of Chinese folk arts troupes in Dukat-Fest in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Festival des Cultures du Monde de Gannat, in France, Summerfest International in Bountiful, Utah, USA, and Springville World Folkfest in Springville, Utah, USA.
In 2010, Emma chaired the committee that organized the Second IOV World Youth Congress, the first ever, large-scale event to be jointly produced by an International NGO and a major Chinese municipal government. This partnership between the city of Nanjing, China and IOV brought together over 300 young participants from 50 countries.
Emma is chair of the Center for Protection and Development of Folk Art in Luodai, China. She also serves as an advisory expert and consultant at the Guanghua Science and Technology Foundation of China.
Emma Hoefler has represented IOV at many different international meetings, including the Delphic Games in Russia. The mother of two children, Emma divides her time between homes in Germany and China.
Chair, Dispute Resolution Committee
Kinga Czerwinska is from Poland. In 1995 she graduated from the college of fine arts named after J.Falata in Bielso in Biala, Poland. Kinga studied ethnology at the Silesia University in Katowice, Poland. In 2000, she got her master’s degree in ethnology.
Since 2000, Kinga Czerwinska has taught at the Silesian University in Katowice, faculty of ethnology and educational sciences. Her research on folk art involves folk costumes, traditional sculpture, painting and handicraft in Poland and other countries of Eastern Europe. Recently, her interests are in the area of intangible cultural heritage as it relates to modern and globalized world.
Kinga has earned two doctorate degrees, the first in Social Sciences from the Silesia University, and the second in Ethnology from the University A. Mickiewicza in Pozna?, Poland.
Kinga has been a member of IOV Poland and Polish Ethnological Society since 2000. She currently chairs the Dispute Resolution Committee of IOV.
Kelly Moe-Rossetto is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. She has a master’s degree in art education with an emphasis on international education.
Kelly has chosen to study folk arts specifically, as she believes they provide a window into the values, aesthetic and traditions of a culture. Her study and practice of various folk art traditions has allowed her to connect with people all around the world in meaningful and productive ways. Since 2012, Kelly Moe has held the position of Secretary of the Executive Committee of the International Organization of Folk Art (IOV).
Chair, IOV Netherlands
Henk Huijser was born and raised in the Netherlands.
After primary school and secondary school, he has had many internal training and study law at the Erasmus university in Rotterdam.
He started his career as a accountant and then he opperate at the Dutch government. First as a Customs officer and then as Tax-officer. The last 10 year as team leader at the Dutch FIOD (IRS).He was already a member of IOV Netherlands since 1993. He was a active dancer at the West Frisian Folklore in the Netherlands and was involved in organizing the Folklore Festival in Schagen. He served the festival as treasurer and impresario. Since 2006 he has been director of the World Dance Festival Schagen. In this position, he has contacts throughout the world.
Since 2013 he has been treasurer of IOV Netherlands.
Since September 2015, is Henk the treasurer of IOV World and will give his full support to this wonderful global organization.
Ali Nebih began studying Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot folk art thirty-five years ago. His interest grew from his experience with war in his home country of Cyprus. Weary of the fighting on this small island, Ali turned his attention to folk art, where he believes the seeds of peace can one day flourish.
After serving in many positions on the board of the prestigious Hasder Folk Arts Foundation, Ali became its president in 2007. He has been a member of the Ministry of Culture’s Culture and Art Consultation Council, and has worked with the Cypriot Research Centre Consultation Council at the Eastern Mediterranean University. He has also worked as the Project Manager at the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Ali Nebih has been involved in various important projects. He’s organized youth camps and events, folklore symposia, international folk arts festivals, and he’s trained people in traditional Cypriot handicrafts. He has published various articles, catalogues and the annual publication Folklore.
Ali has worked on a bi-communal reconciliation initiative since 2003, hoping to contribute to the peace negotiations on the island. He is also on the board of Youth Power, a bi-communal network of 12 organizations, which is supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
A member of IOV since 2006, Ali Nebih was appointed Regional Executive Secretary (RES) for Southern Europe in 2012.
Cristobal Ramirez Roberto Macip
Regional Executive Secretary
Mexico and Caribbean
Cristobal Ramirez was born in 1962 in Puebla City, Mexico. He studied accounting and later received two master’s degrees, one in history and another in aesthetics and art . Since 1984, he has been the director of the folk ballet at the University of Puebla (UAP). He specializes in ethno-history, teaching and folklore.
Cristobal is the academic coordinator of the modern dance classic arts school of UAP and is the promoter and cultural activities manager in traditional Mexican dance and culture. Since 1999, he has organized different events and festivals for children, youth and adults.
Cristobal Ramirez is an honorary member of the House of Representatives of Tennessee, USA. He is the IOV Regional Executive Secretary for Central America. He presents the Mexico/Latin American Folk Dance Festival, and American and Caribbean festivals.
Moon Hyung Suk
Regional Executive Secretary
Moon Hyung Suk was born in South Korea. He is the Korea section founder of IOV as well as Asia Regional Executive Secretary.
In 1984, he graduated from the Kyunghee University, Department of Genetic science. In 2002, he studied Oriental medicine in the United States. In 2005 he received a Master’s degree from China Chanchun in Chinese medicine. He is currently working on his Ph.D. at the same University.
In 2008 he received his medical doctor license from the government of China. Moon is the Korea and Japan representative at the Indonesia Civil Congress Association (ADEKSI). He is the director of Andong festival and tourism foundation and co-founder of International Mask Culture and Art Association. He has been a consultant for numerous festivals, including the Seoul International Drum Festival, Deajeon International Children’s Festival, World Cup (FIFA) World Culture Festival, Seoul Mask Dance Festival (2002), Gyeoungju World Culture Expo Festival, and the Suwon Hwasung Culture Festival. Moon Hyung Suk is the president of JM Consulting. He is the international promotion Ambassador of Andong City.
Regional Executive Secretary
Wieslaw Krajka is a professor in the English department of Maria Curie Skladowska University in Lublin (Poland) and Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce (Poland). He was a Visiting Professor on five separate occasions at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, the University of Illinois in Chicago, Illinois, and the University of Rochester in New York. His research covers mainly English Nineteenth and Twentieth Century literature, literary theory and comparative literature.
He has been a member of IOV Poland for more than fifteen years. He has been a member of the IOV International Commission on methodology, legends, fairy-tales, literature, popular theatre and popular poetry, as well as the international Science and Research Commission. He has been active in IOV events, including the general assembly in Romania, IOV executive committee meeting in Hungary, and the Fifth International Symposium on Dance Research held in Greece. He was the principal organizer of five international conferences on the author Joseph Conrad at the Maria Curie-Skladowska University in Lublin .
Dr. Krajka is also the author of the book The Fairy-Stories of Victorian England, Warsaw-Lodz (Polish Scientific publishers, 1981), and many articles on English fairy-tale/ fairy story and theory of folklore, which have been published in numerous international scholarly journals.
Nour El-Houda Badis
Regional Executive Secretary
Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Nour El-Houda Badis has been involved with IOV in the capacity of Secretary for Tunisia and North Africa Region (2007), director of the folk culture field work teams, and is on the editorial board of Folk Culture magazine, which is published in Bahrain. She received her PhD in Arabic language and literature in Tunis in 1991 and has a competency certificate in scientific research. She is a member of the research lab in argumentation and rhetoric on the faculty of Arts in Mannoba. She is also a scholar in the fields of criticism, rhetoric and literature theories.
Dr. Badis has been involved with a number of research projects, including several on speech and language. She has participated in seminars in Tunis and elsewhere, and is widely published. She has also worked on many studies of translation.
Regional Executive Secretary
Sulaiman Sesay was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Holding Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Sociology, Sulaiman is a drummer, dancer, dance choreographer and dance teacher. He has been in this field for the past 20 years and has trained over hundreds of people, both young and old. Sulaiman worked as a part-time teacher in African drumming and dancing at the Ballanta Academy of Music. His responsibilities at the Ballanta Academy of Music include training young drummers and dancers.
In 1991, he formed a group of school children of hip hop dance called New Kids on the Block. Soon New Kids on the Block won the admiration of Freetown and the group became a sensation.
In 2004, the group was contracted by the Ballanta Academy of Music to operate its newly established Africa drumming and dancing department.
Chair, IOV Netherlands
Geert became active in folk art as a volunteer for the International Folk Dance Festival “SIVO” in the Netherlands. Geert went on to become chair of the SIVO festival, a position he held for 15 years. As chair, he worked together with many folklore organizations the world over. Since leaving that position in 2005, Geert has been a freelance impresario, arranging the participation of folk art ensembles at SIVO.
Geert’s personal goal is to help keep folk art alive in the Netherlands and throughout the world. To succeed at this, Geert believes the cooperation of like-minded individuals is absolutely necessary. He was an early member of the IOV network, joining IOV Netherlands when it was founded in 1993.
In March, 2012 Geert was elected President of the IOV Netherlands National Section. Through this, he hopes to contribute to IOV’s worldwide work.
Donna Breckenridge has been the National Section Chair of IOV USA since February 2011. She is also General Director of the World Folkfest, a festival in Springville, Utah, which she has been associated with since 1990. Originally from Canada, she earned her PhD in sociology in 1989 from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Her undergraduate degree is in history.
The mother of 3 children, she traveled to China in 2009 to speak at a conference on the preservation of intangible cultural heritage. In 2012, she attended the general assembly in Prague, Czech Republic. She currently lives in Springville, Utah, USA, and is active in local and international affairs.
Enver Keskin has been the President of IOV Turkey since 1980. He is the Dean of Students at Okan University in Istanbul, and is the president of the folk dance group “Gehem.” He has participated in many international scientific conferences, where he has presented scientific papers. He is also the author of scientific books about folk dance culture and folk art.
Hans Joachim Holz
Chair, IOV Austria
Hans Holz has chaired IOV Austria since 1995 and was the IOV secretary-general from October 2005 until June 2011. Besides his IOV activities, he was vice-mayor of the town of Andorf, Austria, where he was born, from 2003 to 2009, president of the Upper Austrian Choir Association since 1999, vice-president of the Austria Choir Association from 2000 to 2004, and youth chairman of the same association from 1992 to 2009.
In 1989, Hans received a master’s degree in pedagogical studies from the University of Passau, Germany. He has taught English, music and sports at Andorf high school since 1971. Hans has also been a headmaster, professor, and founder of the music high school in Andorf. He has taken many choirs on tour around the world.
Prof. Alexander Vladimirovich Morozov joined IOV in 2001. In 2009, he became chair of IOV Belarus. Professionally, he has been the head of the department of folklore and slavic studies at the Institute of Arts, Ethnography and Folklore of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus since 2003. He is also head of the department of ?ross-?ultural Communications of the Belorussian State University of Culture and Arts, a position he has held since February 2012.
Prof. Morozov graduated from the Minsk Institute of Culture and the Minsk State Linguistic University and received his PhD in 1992. He participated in the 2012 IOV General Assembly in Prague and the Fifth IOV World Congress in Ulan-Ude, Russia in September, 2012.
Alexander Morozov is the author of 110 published works, including 4 monographs in the fields of verbal folklore, the traditional values of Slavic nations, accumulation, systematization and dissemination of Slavic cultural heritage, and the digitation of folk recordings. At the Fourteenth International Congress of Slavics in Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia, held in August, 2008, Dr. Morozov was elected the Vice-Chairman of the Folklore Commission.
Mkrtich Hovhannisyan was born in Gyumri, Armenia. In 2006 he graduated from the State Institute of Theatre and Movie, Department of Stage Directing. Afterwards, he did post-graduate studies at the Department of Theatre Study, where he is a candidate for a PhD.
Since 2006, Mkrtich has been teaching history of Russian, Armenian and foreign dramatic art and art criticism at the Institute of Theatre in Gyumri. At the same time, he is head of the Department of Arts History and Science at the same Institute.
Since 1998, he has been a dancer in an Armenian folk dance group. Mkrtich has produced several dramas at the Drama Theatre of Gyumri. He has also written several movie scene scripts.
Mkrtich has participated in many festivals and cultural events all around the world. He describes himself as “a person of the arts,” and says he is devoted to the arts.
Mkrtich is currently the head of the Armenian National Section of the International Organization of Folk Art (IOV).
Andris Adhitra was born in Bandar Lampung, a small village in the south of Sumatra Island, Indonesia. He spent his childhood and early youth in his hometown. Andris moved to Jakarta for university, and graduated from University of Indonesia majoring law. Andris began to learn traditional art when he was at the University, and has continued studying and researching work about Indonesia traditional dance, especially Balinese dancing.
He joined IOV in March 2010. Since then, Andris had actively joined many IOV events. He joined the IOV Youth Conference in Nanjing, China, in 2010 and in Sweden in 2012.
Andris is a founder of the IOV Indonesia Youth Section and, under his leadership, the IOV Indonesia Youth Section has been actively and continuously engaging youth to join many folklore events around the world. With his help many youth groups had been performing in many IOV folklore festivals around the world such as in Brazil, USA, India, Thailand, Portugal, Spain, France, Denmark, Italy, Bulgaria, Germany, Japan, Philippines and many more. The IOV Indonesia Youth Section annually produces the Indonesia Student Folklore Festival, which cordially invites many youth folklore troupes from around the nation to perform for public every mid-year.
Chair, IOV Azerbaijan
Tahir Amiraslanov is chair of the IOV national section for Azerbaijan. He was born in Azerbaijan and received his education from 1979 to 1984 at the Leningrad Institute of Soviet Trade, in organization and technology of public catering. Between 1984 and 1989, he worked for the Ganja Public Trust as engineer-technologist and self-catering facilities chief.
Dr. Amiraslanov has taught at the Institute of Technology. Between 1989 and 1991, he worked at the department of science and technology of the Ministry of Commerce in the center of the catering department of applied sciences. Since 1991 he has been the director of the Azerbaijan National Culinary Center. At the same time, he is a special correspondent for Pitanie i Obshestvo magazine, published in Russia, and he is a teacher at the Azerbaijan State Economic University.
From 2000 to 2004 he was the Vice-Chairman of the Traditional Food Commission, and since 2004, has been its Chairman. Tahir Amiraslanov is the Vice-President of the Russian Association of Culinary World as well as a member of the board of judges. He is an honorary member of the Association of Culinary Academy of France, Malta, Romania, Jerusalem, UAE and other countries.
He is also the president of Azerbaijan National Culinary Association and a candidate of historical sciences. He is married and has two children, and 1 grandchild.
Etienne Vankeirsbilck is a co-founder of IOV. He is retired from his profession and dance ensemble, and now devotes his time to IOV. Through his efforts, many folk dancers and musicians have had the opportunity to participate in international dance festivals and cultural exchanges.
Etienne continues to promote international friendship and respect. He has been honored for his work all over the world. Many individuals and festival organizations have benefited from his work and the knowledge he gained from his close cooperation with the late IOV Secretary-General, Alexander Veigl.
In 2006, in honor of his contributions to IOV and folk art, Etienne was awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award by the Shanghai Baoshan International Folk Arts Festival. In 2008, he was named the Honorary Mayor of the City of Bountiful, Utah, USA.
He recently co-authored a book, Van Hoed Tot Ondergoed, about folk costumes in Flanders, Belgium.
Dr. AlBasam is a professor of history of clothing and textile at the department of fashion design, college of art and design at Princess Noura Bint Abdulrahman University (PNU) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from which she gained all her degrees in the field of clothing and textiles. She earned her MA in 1983; her thesis was entitled “Traditional Costumes for Women in Najd Region. Her PhD dissertation in 1988 was on the “Methods and Ornaments of Traditional Costumes in Najd Region,” which helped her spread her knowledge and become very creative in her work. Not only is her work acknowledged locally but also internationally, as she has participated in many symposiums and conferences and given many lectures and exhibits on Saudi traditional costumes.
Dr. Al Basam is very active in her field and contributes to documenting traditional costumes. She has published 9 books and several research papers and catalogues. She is also a member and board member of several societies. Her accomplishments are indeed very much recognized. Her greatest award on her contributions was the Prince Salman Prize of Excellence for research and studies on the history of the Arabian peninsula in 2012. Laila Saleh AlBassam also works at the National Museum Advisory Board in Riyadh and she is the chair of the Saudi Heritage Preservation Society.
Hanady Essa Al.Jowder was born in Muharraq, Bahrain and is a poet. She has a law degree from the United Arab Emirates University and a Master’s in Law degree from the University of Bahrain as well as diplomas in neuro-linguistic programming and political development.
Dr. Al.Jowder is a lawyer and legal councilor for the Ministry of Housing, Municipalities and Environment, head of the Legal Affairs department in the Middle Area Municipality, a member of the Arbitration Commercial Centre, and chair of IOV Bahrain. As a poet, she is a member and vice-president of the Council of the Folk’s Poetry Society and supervised the committees and activities of the female poet members of that Society from 2004 to 2006. She also heads the media committee and the publications committee of the Society. She has written articles for newspapers and for publication and other media.
She has conducted and attended many forums, training sessions, poetry events and activities within the Kingdom of Bahrain and elsewhere.
Aija Jansone, Dr. hist.
Chair, IOV Latvia
Aija Jansone is a senior researcher at the department of ethnology, the Institute of Latvian History, University of Latvia. She received her PhD in History from the University of Latvia in 1995. Aija has also been an elementary school teacher, a designer at the Latvia Academy of Sciences, and an assistant at the University of Latvia in the Institute of Latvian History.
Values and Identities: Cultural Heritage as a Resource for Construction of Identities, was a joint project by the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies with the Ethnographic Museum of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Latvian History at the University of Latvia, which Aija Jansone completed in cooperation with Prof. Mila Santova. She also worked with Santova on another joint project, Bulgaria and Latvia: Problems of Immaterial Cultural Heritage. Another joint project studied everyday culture in Bulgaria and Latvia, which Dr. Jansone co-authored with E. Anastasova.
Dr. Jansone’s interests include the history of traditional clothing and textiles. She is listed in the UNESCO database of experts of intangible cultural heritage in the area of traditional folk culture and costumes. She is a member of several government organizations and chairs the IOV Latvia National Section. She has published books and articles on 19th century shirts, towels, home textiles, gloves and stockings, national costumes, knitted articles, and embroidery.
Mr. Alexandr Efimov
Chair of Russian National Section
Was born October, 07, 1969. Graduated and post graduated the Simferopol State University on a specialty of History of Culture. Subject of researches is: studying of traditional culture and folklore of the Turkic speaking peoples of the Russian Federation.
Between 1999 and 2008 worked as an editor-in-chief of a publishing house and a press-secretary of a special cultural fund of the Government of Moscow.
Between 2008 and 2012 was the editor of publishing house « Sacred Mountain. In 2013 worked as the Deputy Director of the Moscow State Institute of Art Criticism. Since July, 2013 till now is General Director of the State Republican Centre of Russian Folklore.
In 2014 awarded with Gratitude of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation. For the personal contribution to preservation of the Russian Intangible Cultural Heritage.
He has about 40 scientific publications in the Russian and international editions.
Alexander Veigl (Austrian) – founder of IOV
Hans Holtz (Austrian)
George Frandsen (USA)