Dr. Aung Thant
Dr. Aung Thant is a physician and development practitioner with extensive experience in development projects as well as emergency humanitarian assistance. 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.
Dr. Aung Thant holds a BS in medicine and BS in surgery from the University of Medicine in Mandalay, Myanmar. He earned his MA in International Development Policy as a Fulbright Fellow at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.
Dr. Chris Seiple
Dr. Chris Seiple is the President Emeritus of the Institute for Global Engagement, an institution that builds sustainable religious freedom worldwide through local partnerships. He serves as the Principal Advisor to the Templeton Religion Trust. He is the co-founder and co-chair of the “International Religious Freedom Roundtable” and founder of The Review of Faith & International Affairs. He served as Vice-Chair for the World Economic Forum’s inaugural Global Agenda Council on the Role of Faith (2012-2014). Additionally, Dr. Seiple serves on the religious advisory committee of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Dr. Chris Seiple received his BA in International Relations from Stanford University and earned a MA in National Security Affairs from The United States Naval Postgraduate School. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
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 extensive international development experience, having worked and lived in 11 countries in South and Southeast Asia. He served with World Vision for 15 years in a variety of roles as well as other humanitarian assistance organizations. Early in his career, he worked as a social science teacher in Hong Kong and co-founded the Pakistan Education Network, which adapted 104 episodes of Sesame Street for broadcast in Pakistan.
Mr. Herink received his BA from Pomona College, and holds a MA in International Education Policy from Harvard University.
Kyaw Thu is a Myanmar Academy Award-winning film actor and director. Starring in more than 200 films and directing several films, Kyaw Thu is one of the most notable men in Burmese cinema. He spent much of the 1980s and 1990s in the film industry, and since the 2000s has devoted much time to serving the poor of Myanmar.
In 2001, Kyaw Thu founded Free Funeral Society, a community-based organization that has since grown to include over 500 volunteers throughout Yangon. Free Funeral Society focuses on vocational and skill development, makes progress in health and education and exists to help the community honor the dead with respectful burial.
Kyaw Thu has received several awards honoring him for his commitment to serving the poor in Myanmar. He has been awarded the “Citizen of Burma” award (2010), National Endowment for Democracy award (2012), and the Ramon Magsaysay Award (2015) in recognition for his integrity in governance and courageous service to the people.
Priscilla A. Clapp currently serves as Senior Advisor to the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Asia Society and consults with other organizations working on Asia. She is a retired Minister-Counselor in the U.S. Foreign Service and former U.S. Charge d’Affaires in Burma. During her 30-year career with the U.S. Government, Ms. Clapp served in various capacities, including the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, in its East Asian, Political Military, and Refugee Bureaus, and with the U.S. 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.
Rehan Khan is the Vice President and General Manager – Vending of Coca-Cola Japan. Prior to his current role, he was Managing Director of Coca-Cola Myanmar and Business Development Director for Coca-Cola Thailand and ASEAN business unit. Within his over 26 years of work experience in The Coca-Cola Company, Mr. Khan 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.
Mr. Khan holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology.
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. 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.
Dr. Fernholz received her MBA and MPA and holds a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. In 2013, she was chosen as the Richard Stubbing Awardee for excellence in graduate teaching and mentoring in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.
Dr. Serge Pun
Dr. Serge Pun is the Executive Chairman of SPA Group of Companies that includes Serge Pun & Associates (SPA), First Myanmar Investment (FMI) and Yoma Strategic Holdings (YSH). In 1991, Dr. Serge Pun established SPA Myanmar. SPA’s local flagship, First Myanmar Investment was established in 1992 as one of Myanmar’s earliest public companies (unlisted). In 2006, Dr. Serge Pun led YSH 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.
Dr. Serge Pun has received numerous honorary recognitions, including being named the Honorary Business Representative of International Enterprise Singapore for Myanmar (2004-2006) and being selected as one of the 65 outstanding Overseas Chinese Model worldwide. He currently a member of the World Economic Forum ASEAN Regional Strategic Group and ASEAN Business Council, the Asia Business Council, and a standing member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference of Dalian.
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. U Thant Thaw Kaung has also founded Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation which supports hundreds of public libraries with books, buildings, facilities and training to librarians. U Thant Thaw Kaung 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 Thaw Kaung 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.