Chief Executive Officer
Marc was appointed to the role of WBU CEO in January 2022. He has extensive knowledge of the disability non-profit sector, having held management positions in the areas of advocacy, public affairs, and program delivery with the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. Additionally, Marc is an experienced public servant who served for over five years in various roles within the Government of Alberta, including as Executive Advisor to an Assistant Deputy Minister in Service Alberta.
Marc has a master’s degree in political science from the University of Alberta along with a bachelor’s (with honours) from the same university. As an accomplished public speaker, Marc regularly gives talks on diversity and inclusion to large audiences and guest lectures on bio ethics and disability policy at local universities.
Marc has actively volunteered in the Canadian disability movement for 15 years, holding a variety of roles with organizations such as the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians, the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, Barrier Free Canada, and Voice of Albertans with Disabilities.
Marc resides in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where in 2020 he was named one of the city’s Top 40 Under 40 for his many contributions to the community.
Senior Advisor for Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development
Benjamin Dard, joined WBU in 2018 to support WBU’s Global Program for Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development – Engaging WBU members and OPD partners in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. His main focus over the ten years has been to work with countries, cities, and communities around the world to achieve accessibility and universal design in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
Benjamin is actively engaged in global networks – such as the Disability Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development (DIAUD) Network – working with partners at all levels to promote implementation of the New Urban Agenda. Benjamin has a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the Urban Planning Institute of Grenoble and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Key contributions include the development of Accessibility GO! A Guide to Action (WBU and CBM Global), The Inclusion Imperative: Key Recommendations for An Inclusive Urban Agenda (CBM and WE), CBM Digital Accessibility Toolkit (EN, SP, FR), the launch of the Cities For All global campaign and the Global Compact on Inclusive and Accessible Cities and the UCLG Policy Paper on Inclusive and Accessible Cities in collaboration with GAP PCG Persons with Disabilities and the DIAUD Network. He is based in Toronto, Canada.
Fellow, WBU-NORAD Fellowship Program
Nqobani Dube, from Zimbabwe, is a WBU-NORAD fellow. Nqobani supports WBU- Norad program in advancing the rights of blind and partially sighted persons, mainly focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining WBU he worked with Inclusive Humanity Institute as a diversity and inclusion specialist where he has been using various frameworks including the UNCRPD, SDGs, Sendai framework and many others to design and deploy innovative tools to contribute towards positive policy change, enhancing disability mainstreaming and the effectiveness of programs targeting people with disabilities.
Nqobani has contributed in various ways to the disability sector in Africa. At World Vision Zimbabwe, he facilitated disability inclusive development and humanitarian programs such as the protracted relief program to measurably improve lives for over 3000 households of people with disabilities. At Thuso Rehabilitation centre he spearheaded development of internal disability rights training system resulting in adoption of rights based approach to community based rehabilitation services and improved program outcomes for over 2000 people with disabilities in the Chobe district in Botswana.
Nqobani has Master’s degree in Development and Human Rights from Swansea University in Wales, UK as a Chevening scholar. He is committed to grassroots disability rights activism, research on disruptive social media and other digital rights issues.
Hannes Juhlin Lagrelius
Program Officer│Bilateral Associate Expert, Global Program for Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development
Hannes has been appointed by the Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) to serve in its Stakeholder Advisory Group Enterprise (SAGE). Hannes currently co-chairs the Partner Constituent Group of Persons with Disabilities within the General Assembly of Partners, an entity recognised within the New Urban Agenda, intending to collectively engage Organisations of Persons with Disabilities in relevant policy processes, events, and joint advocacy efforts. He is also WBU’s focal point for UN-HABITAT, United cities and Local Government (UCLG) and the Global Network for Disability-Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development (DIAUD) behind the Cities 4 All campaign.
Hannes has a double-degree bachelor in Peace and Development Studies along Political Science. He has been an intern at Sida in Stockholm and Embassy of Sweden to Rwanda. He has a professional background in the Swedish disability rights movement with focus on international cooperation, including serving on multiple executive boards.
Hannes is positioned at the office of the African Union of the Blind (AFUB) in Nairobi, Kenya. For the first three years, his position with WBU was enabled through a secondment program by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Key contributions include the WBU milestone agreement with UN-Habitat which he manages, the development of WUF10 Abu Dhabi Declared Actions, UCLG Policy Paper on Inclusive and Accessible Cities, and contributions towards the Accessibility GO! A Guide to Action.
Office and Project Administrator
Ianina Rodriguez joined WBU Global Office in Toronto, Canada, in 2008. She has over 20 years experience working in the not-for-profit sector at national and international level, as well as working with international development organizations. During her tenure at the global office, she has supported the work of the CEO, WBU leadership Board and WBU members, working closely with our regional presidents, regional secretariats and directly with our national member organizations. She also supports the administrative requirements of the global office operations, working closely with our finance team and liaising with our donors and partners.
Ianina is originally from Peru, she has a B.A. degree in Translation and Interpretation from Ricardo Palma University, Lima Peru; she also studied Business Administration and is trained in Community Mediation.
Tracy Yeager joined WBU in January 2021 as the General Assembly Administrative Assistant and became WBU Administrative Assistant. Disability advocacy is close to her heart as she is the daughter of two blind parents. Tracy Yeager is from the United States and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. While teaching is her greatest passion, over the last several years she has developed a love for helping companies with those more administrative tasks to keep things running. She is based in the Washington DC area but yearns to travel.