Biographies of Key Personnels


Felix Librero, PhD
(Lex is my nickname)
Vice Chancellor, Research & Development
University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU)

Professor, College of Development Communication, U.P. Los Banos (UPLB)
Member, National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP)
Member, Philippines Communication Society (PCS)
Member, Asian Mass Communication Research & Information Centre (AMIC)
Member, National Socio-Economics Experts Pool, Philippine Council for Agricultural
Resources Research and Development (PCARRD)
Alternate Regional Coordinator, Regional Working Group on Applied Satellite
Communications Applications, UN-ESCAP
Member, Presidential Advisory Council, University of the Philippines System (UPS)
Member, Editorial Advisory Board, The Journal of Development Communication

Recent Positions:
Dean, School for Distance Education (Los Banos), UPOU
Associate Dean, College of Agriculture, UP Los Banos
Director, Institute of Development Communication, UP Los Banos

Author of two books (How to Write a Thesis Proposal and Rural Educational Broadcasting: a Philippine Experience); book chapters and journal articles on communication and development; popular articles on rural and agricultural development; presented papers in 16 international and national conferences in the last six years.

Research interest in development communication, distance education and open learning, educational technology. As Professor of development communication, advises graduate (MS and PhD) and undergraduate students in development communication, teach both graduate and undergraduate courses in development communication both in residential and distance modes.
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Tapio Varis
University of Tampere
Tampere, Finland

Tapio Varis is currently Professor and Chair of Media Culture and Communication Education at the University of Tampere Finland (Journalism and Mass Communication and Department of Teacher Education), consultant on new learning technologies for the Finnish Ministry of Education and advisor to several international organizations. In 1996-97, he was UNESCO Chair of Communication Studies at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain. He has also been a faculty member of the European Peace University, the University of Art and Design in Helsinki and Communication and Media Scholar at the University of Helsinki.

Tapio Varis is a former Rector of the University for Peace in Costa Rica and Professor of Media Studies in the University of Lapland, Finland. He has published approximately 200 scientific contributions, the latest being Media of the Knowledge Age, published by Helsinki University Press 1995 (in Finnish). He is listed in Who's Who in the World (1984 & 1995) and Men of Achievement (1986 & 1995).
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Kimberly K. Obbink
Director, Burns Telecommunications Center
Montana State University

Kim Obbink is Director of the Burns Telecommunications Center at Montana State University. The Center, named for Montana U.S. Senator Conrad Burns, is an innovative, self-supporting outreach and distance learning facility that works with campus, state, regional and national constituents to make education opportunities and resources available to all citizens. Kim currently directs all activities of the Center and oversees the telecommunications portion of the Second Century fund raising campaign that was instrumental in establishing the Center.

Kim has recently completed her Ph.D. in adult and higher education at MSU and has a masters degree in education from Iowa State University. Kim has worked in outreach and distance learning for the past 15 years. She has received numerous competitive grants for programs related to science education, distance learning and telecommunications, with a particular focus on meeting the needs of citizens living in rural and underserved areas. She is currently Co-PI on the NSF funded National Teachers Enhancement Network which delivers online graduate credit science courses to science teachers internationally and served as Co-PI for six years on an NSF funded Young Scholars program using telecommunications to support rural Montana youth interested in science careers. Other current funding includes HHS and TIIAP funds for distance learning for rural emergency medical technicians and a NASA grant for the development of K-12 online courses and multimedia materials using NASA data. A previous TIIAP grant provided funds for telecommunications training and outreach to Montana Tribal Colleges.

As Director of the Burns Telecommunications Center, Kim also oversees a number of corporate funded programs including support from AT&T to provide teachers, parents, and rural community leaders with Internet training, and funding from US West to establish a distance learning masters degree in science education. Kim also serves as a consultant to numerous distance learning programs including the Suicide Prevention Center CDC project at the University of Nevada, Genentech Inc. Access Excellence Program for science teachers, and state liaison to the US West Pathways Program.
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Ben I. Haraguchi
Former President, Foundation for the Support of the United Nations (FSUN)

Mr. Haraguchi received his A.B. degree (with distinction) from Stanford University in 1964, an M.A. degree from the University of Hawaii (East West Center) in 1966, and a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 1969.

He is a partner at the Law Firm of Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn, which he joined in 1993 from his previous Law Firm of Morrison & Forester at which he was also a partner.

Mr. Haraguchi's corporate practice includes extensive experience in negotiating and documenting asset and stock acquisitions, mergers, joint ventures, technical assistance and licensing agreements, corporate reorganizations and divestitures, and financing of all kinds. He has represented firms in establishing manufacturing facilities throughout the United States, assisting in site selection and acquisition, state and local economic development assistance, construction and financing and has organized a number of seminars for Japanese companies with the New York State Department of Commerce and JETRO in Tokyo and New York City on investing in the United States.

His representation of international clients in joint ventures covers the fields of new materials, auto parts, steel products, machinery and machine tools, heavy industrial equipment, computers, software, smelting, refining, and mining. He has also been extensively involved in the work out of troubled joint ventures.

Mr. Haraguchi's real estate practice includes extensive experience in the acquisition, development, environmental clean-up and disposition of real estate of all kinds. He has been involved in a number of office building acquisitions, ski resort and golf course acquisitions and the organization and sale of golf club memberships and has advised clients with respect to the securities and tax aspects of such sales.

Mr. Haraguchi is a co-founder, officer and director of the Foundation for the Support of the United Nations and a member of the American Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
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Takeshi Utsumi
GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association, U.S.A.
Global University System (GUS)

Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E., is Chairman of the GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the USA (GLOSAS/USA) and President Emeritus and V.P. for Technology and Coordination of Global University System (GUS).

He is the 1994 Laureate of the Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education. His public services have included political work for deregulation of global telecommunications and the use of e-mail through ARPANET, Telenet and Internet; helping extend American university courses to the Third World; the conduct of innovative distance teaching trials with "Global Lecture Hall(GLH)" multipoint-to-multipoint multimedia interactive videoconferences using hybrid technologies; as well as lectures, consultation, and research in process control, management science, systems science and engineering at the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania, M.I.T. and many universities, governmental agencies and large firms in Japan and other countries.

Among more than 150 related scientific papers and books are presentations to the Summer Computer Simulation Conferences (which he created and named) and the Society for Computer Simulation International. He is a member of various scientific and professional groups, including the Chemists Club (New York, NY); Columbia University Seminar on Computer, Man and Society (New York, NY); Fulbright Association (Washington, D.C.); International Center for Integrative Studies (ICIS) (New York, NY); and Society of Satellite Professionals International (Washington, D.C.).

He received Ph.D. Ch.E. from Polytechnic University in New York, M.S.Ch.E. from Montana State University, after study at the University of Nebraska with Fulbright scholarship. His professional experiences in simulation and optimization of petrochemical and refinery processes were at Mitsubishi Research Institute, Tokyo; Stone & Webster Engineering Corp., Boston; Mobil Oil Corporation and Shell Chemical Company, New York; Asahi Chemical Industry, Inc., Tokyo.
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