Dr. Aung Thant
Aung Thant is a physician and development practitioner with extensive experience in development projects as well as emergency humanitarian assistant work for more than 10 years. His experience includes working in resource-limited areas of Myanmar including Wa Special Region 2, Northern Chin State and Mon State. He has worked for a variety of projects focusing on primary health care, malaria, HIV and AIDS, capacity development, micro-finance, child protection, gender and diversity and civil society strengthening with Aide Medicale Internationale, CARE International, FHI360 and Paung Ku. He is currently working as a program manger for Paung Ku.
Dr. Aung Thant earned his Master of International Development Policy as a Fullbright Fellow at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. In 2007 he earned his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Medicine in Mandalay, Myanmar.
Rehan Khan is Managing Director of Coca-Cola Myanmar. Prior to his current role, he was Business Development Director for Coca-Cola Thailand and ASEAN business unit. Within his 21 years of work experience in The Coca-Cola Company, Rehan has held various roles of increasing responsibility in several markets across Asia and Europe. His extensive experience within The Coca-Cola Company encompasses a good mix of under-developed, developing and highly-developed markets. During his tenure with The Coca-Cola Company, he has lived and worked in multiple countries across the globe.
Rehan holds a Masters in Business Administration from Kellogg Business School and The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology.
Dr. Thant Thaw Kaung
Dr. Thant Thaw Kaung is founder and CEO of Myanmar Book Centre - a leading educational book importer, distributor and publisher in Myanmar. Dr. Thant has set up diversified businesses in retail, travel and tours, and translation, as well.
He also founded Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation which is supporting hundreds of public libraries with books, buildings, facilities and training to librarians. To date, MBAPF has contributed over 900,000 books to over 800 libraries all over the country. Dr. Thant is now working as project director of a mobile library project under Daw Khin Kyi Foundation. He also sits on the executive board of Yangon Heritage Trust and Myanmar Research Society.
Dr. Thant received an honorable Chang-Lin Tien Fellowship from The Asia Foundation and also was honored by the Association of American Publishers with the prestigious “Jeri Laber’s Freedom to Publish Award” in 2014.
Dr. Serge Pun
Dr. Serge Pun is the Chairman of SPA Group of Companies (“SPA Group”) that includes Serge Pun & Associates (“SPA”), First Myanmar Investment (“FMI”) and Yoma Strategic Holdings (“YSH”).
In 1983, Serge Pun founded SPA in Hong Kong and returned to his country of birth Myanmar in 1991 to establish SPA Myanmar. SPA’s local flagship, First Myanmar Investment was established in 1992 as one of the earliest public companies (unlisted) in the country. In 2006, Serge Pun led Yoma Strategic Holdings to a successful listing on the mainboard of the Singapore Stock Exchange, and in 2016, FMI became the first company to list on the newly born Yangon Stock Exchange.
Serge Pun was the Honorary Business Representative of IE Singapore for Myanmar (2004-2006), a current member of the WEF ASEAN Regional Strategic Group and WEF ASEAN Regional Business Council, as well as a standing member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference of Dalian, and a member of the Asia Business Council.
He was awarded the special honor of being selected as one of the 65 outstanding Overseas Chinese Model worldwide to feature on a series of commemorative postage stamp of China celebrating the 65th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.
Dr. Chris Seiple
Dr. Chris Seiple is the president of the Institute for Global Engagement, a research, education, and diplomatic institution that builds sustainable religious freedom worldwide through local partnerships. He is the co-founder and co-chair of the “IRF Roundtable,” a non-partisan consortium of Washington-area international religious freedom (IRF) NGOs that meets bi-monthly to discuss how best to promote religious freedom in Washington policy circles and worldwide. In addition, Dr. Seiple is the Vice-Chair for the World Economic Forum’s inaugural Global Agenda Council on the Role of Faith (2012-2014).
Dr. Seiple is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on its religious advisory committee. He serves on the Federal Advisory Committee to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s “Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society” (2011-2015) where he acts as a Senior Advisor to the Committee’s “Religion and Foreign Policy” working group.
A graduate of Stanford, the Naval Postgraduate School, and the Fletcher School for Law & Diplomacy, Dr. Seiple is also the founder of The Review of Faith & International Affairs, a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (Philadelphia), and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (London).
Kyaw Thu is a Myanmar Academy Award-winning film actor and director. Starring in more than 200 films and directing several more, Kyaw Thu is one of the most notable men in Burmese cinema.
Most of his film work was in the 1980s and 1990s and in the 2000s has devoted much time to serving the poor. Highly engaged in social work, Kyaw Thu founded Free Funeral Society, and NGO which focuses on vocational and skill development, making progress in health and education in addition to helping the community honor the dead with respectful burial. Free Funeral Society has become widespread, with more than 500 volunteers in Yangon.
Ms. Clapp is a retired Minister-Counselor in the U.S. Foreign Service and former U.S. Charge d’Affaires in Burma. She currently serves as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Institute of Peace and consults with other organizations working on Asia.
During her 30-year career with the U.S. Government, Ms. Clapp served in various capacities, in a diverse set of countries. She also worked on the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, in its East Asian, Political Military, and Refugee Bureaus, and with the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.
Prior to government service, Ms. Clapp spent ten years in foreign policy and arms control research, with the MIT Center for International Studies and as a Research Associate at the Brookings Institution. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Ms. Clapp is a frequent media commentator and the author of numerous publications on U.S. foreign policy, specializing in U.S. Burma policy, with USIP, the Council on Foreign Relations, the East-West Center, the Asia Society, ISEAS and others. She co-authored the book Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy published by the Brookings Institution, as well as books on U.S.-Japanese Relations.
Christopher P. Herink
Christopher P. Herink was the National Director of World Vision in Laos, where he was responsible for leading the strategy and implementation of World Vision’s work. Mr. Herink has held other positions with World Vision, including National Director in Myanmar (5 years), Program Director in Vietnam (3 years) and Senior Director of the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and Asia region (3 years). He also worked for the American Red Cross (2 years), as a senior manager in the Tsunami Recovery Program. A social entrepreneur, he co-founded the Pakistan Education Network, which adapted 104 episodes of Sesame Street for broadcast in Pakistan. He began his career as a social science teacher in Hong Kong.
Mr. Herink has worked and lived in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Myanmar. He has a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College and a master’s degree in international education policy from Harvard University.
Dr. Rosemary Morales Fernholz
Dr. Rosemary Morales Fernholz is a a Senior Research Scholar in the Duke Center for International Development and Lecturing Fellow in the Sanford School of Public Policy of Duke University. She teaches development-oriented courses covering a variety of perspectives, but emphasizing policy. Dr. Fernholz has extensive research experience in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the United States.
She has researched and consulted on issues in natural resource policy and community based resource management, innovation, leadership and development, social policy to include basic urban services, agricultural and food policy, and political economy challenges. Currently she is reviewing policy responses to armed conflicts such as that in the Southern Philippines and is working on a model to promote multi-year, policy oriented research and learning, involving university-NGO, civil society, and government.
Dr. Fernholz has graduate degrees in both business administration and public administration, MBA and MPA, and as well as a Ph.D. in political economy and government from Harvard University. She was chosen 2013 Richard Stubbing awardee for excellence in graduate teaching and mentoring in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.