Adelina Kamal has distinguished herself in the disaster management and humanitarian assistance fields, notably as the first female Executive Director of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA Centre) during the period of 2017 to 2021, where she led ASEAN’s response to various catastrophic disasters in the region, earning the AHA Centre with the “Asian of the Year” award from the Straits Times Singapore, among others. 

Prior to leading the AHA Centre, Adelina worked for the ASEAN Headquarters in Jakarta for over two decades managing environment, transboundary haze pollution, disaster management and humanitarian assistance portfolios. She took on a primary role in developing the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response, and establishing the AHA Centre in its early stages. She played a key role in the ASEAN response to 2008 Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, negotiating humanitarian access, leading ASEAN’s first ever large-scale humanitarian response operations on the ground, and serving as the only female member of the high-level Tripartite Core Group that coordinated international humanitarian assistance.

After serving in the ASEAN’s system for more than a quarter century, Adelina has been consulting for various  organisations, advocating for innovative approaches to humanitarian crisis, and serving on multiple international advisory boards, including as a voting board member of the Melbourne-based Centre for Humanitarian Leadership Executive Committee and an Advisory Group member of the London-based Overseas Development Institute Humanitarian Policy Group. She was an Associate Senior Fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore in 2022, and has been a regular guest lecturer at the University of Indonesia’s Master’s degree programme in Disaster Management since 2022.