Founder, Board & Advisers for Friends of ADWAN Nepal


Board of Directors

Bishnu Maya Pariyar, Hon.PhD.


Bishnu founded ADWAN in 1998 and Friends of ADWAN Nepal in 2015. As a Dalit girl she overcame discrimination against her caste and gender and crushing poverty to become the first girl ever from her village to graduate from high school. From there, Bishnu studied social work in Kathmandu before earning a Master’s in International Development from Clark University in Worcester, MA. In 2013, Pine Manor College awarded her an honorary doctorate. Bishnu has been recognized for her work with the following awards: the Bridge Builder Award from Harvard University, the Perdita Hudson Human Rights Award from the United Nations Association of the USA, the Dr. Ambedkar Award from the Association of International Dalit Organizations, and the Margaret McNamara Memorial Award from the World Bank Family Network. Recently, the city of Louisville, Kentucky christened September 27 as “Dr. Bishnu Maya Pariyar Day.” Bishnu currently serves on the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). She also works with the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, New York and is an adviser to the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Jersey City.


Joan Goldmann, LICSW

President & temporary treasurer

Joan has been empowering Nepali Dalit women and children for over a decade. She is a psychotherapist in private practice.


Deena Notowich


B.A. candidate, Northeastern University 


Yaela Collins


M.S. Candidate, Transnational Security,

NYU Center for Global Affairs

Sabrina Diaz

Communications and social media

M.S. Candidate, Transnational Security,

NYU Center for Global Affairs


William “Bill” Fisher, PhD.


Provost, American University in Paris; former Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies at Clark University


Diana Fox, PhD.


Professor and Head, Dept. of Anthropology

Bridgewater State University


 Kevin Baird

Robert Corman

Carolyn Jacoby

Florence Koplow

Gary Simon

Pradeep Thapa

Tracy Ware

Bishnu Maya Pariyar and her mother