Santi Saypanya
Country Program Director, Laos
For more than 15 years, Dr. Santi Saypanya has been assisting Lao PDR to better manage their protected areas, especially focused on facilitating the involvement of forest-dependent communities through development through conservation. Dr. Saypanya holds a BA in business, an MA in social marketing in conservation and a Ph.D. in conservation, and began his career with Wildlife Conservation Society in 2002. In January 2016, Dr. Saypanya began serving as Country Deputy Program Director with the Wildlife Conservation Society in Lao PDR, leading the development of National Protected Area management. In January 2019 Dr. Saypanya was named the WCS Lao PDR Country Program Director.
Manoly Sisavanh
Deputy Country Director, Laos
Manoly Sisavanh is a conservationist and holds a Master Degree from Cornell University under Fulbright Scholarship. She joined WCS in June 2019 as Deputy Country Director for Lao PDR Program. Manoly supervises counter-wildlife trafficking and wildlife health programs, leads policy dialogue on protected area and wildlife, and oversees office operations. Prior to WCS, she worked in natural resources sector in Lao PDR, including: protected area management, forest and wildlife law enforcement, sustainable forest management and rural development, integrated water resources management, national green growth reforms, and emerging infectious disease control and prevention. Manoly was named 2019 Mary Robinson Climate Justice Winner for her advocacy for forest rangers in Lao PDR to be officially recognized for their sacrifice and contributions to forest protection and biodiversity conservation in the frontline.
Ben Swanepoel
Program Director: NEPL landscape & WCS Country Program law enforcement advisor
Ben completed his Nature Conservation studies in South Africa in 1987 and was involved in protected area management over a period of 22 years in the South African context. He has a wealth of experience in all aspects of protected areas management and community conservation projects. Ben has a strong mentoring and community engagement philosophy and was one of a two-person team instrumental in the design and implementation of one of the leading conservation services programs in South Africa, the "Working For Water" program. In 2003, Ben obtained his degree majoring in environmental management and industrial psychology. In 2009 Ben was seconded to WWF Laos as a protected areas management advisor, during which time he resigned from his South African position to work full time in Lao PDR. In 2011 Ben joined the WCS Lao country program as program manager for the Bolikhamxay landscape, later transferring to his current position as the Nam Et-Phou Louey landscape director.
Akchousanh Rasphone
Conservation Science Director
Dr. Akchousanh Rasphone is a Conservation Science Director with the WCS Lao PDR Program. Dr. Rasphone entered the field of spatial landscape ecology and wildlife research and conservation in 2005 in Laos with the Wildlife Conservation Society. Her technical expertise ranges from geographic information system (GIS) and biostatical modelling to biodiversity monitoring and project management. She also has experience in assisting the development of protected area management plans for protected areas in Laos (i.e., Nam Kading, Nam Nyouang, Laving - La Vuen and Khounxe – Nongma). She holds a BA in GIS from the University of Southern Queensland (Australia), an MA in Geographical Sciences from the Australian National University, and a postgraduate diploma with WildCRU (Zoology department, University of Oxford) in The International Wildlife Conservation Practice. Dr. Rasphone received her PhD in Zoology from the University of Oxford in 2019 for her research focused on intraguild interactions of wild felids and dhole Cuon alpinus in northern Laos.
ANOUSONG SINTHAVONG serves as Accountant at WCS.
Aphone Viengkhamhak
Program Coordinator – GIS
Aphone has worked extensively in the field of GIS with international non-governmental organizations in Lao PDR, particularly in conservation, land-use planning and forest management for more than10 years. She has experience in using different GIS applications and in conducting training in the field, for example on GPS and GIS for government and project staff. Aphone has worked for WCS as a Program Coordinator – GIS since 2014. Based in the Vientiane Office, her main responsibilities are providing maps, data analysis, technical database management and maintenance. She has also provided GIS training and coordinated with all GIS staff based in field sites as well as with government counterparts.
Bounthanom Sitthixay
Community Consultation Campaign Livelihood Technical
Bounthanom Sitthixay completed his Graduate Diploma of Agriculture and Forestry at Champasak Agriculture and Forestry College in 2007 and graduated with a Higher Diploma of Forestry at Bolikhamxay Agriculture and Forestry College in 2015. He now works with the IEWMP Project.
Channapha Phouminh
Education and Outreach officer.
Channapha has started her work since she was in University of Laos (The faculty of Environmental and science) as a volunteer call SEED. After that she works as a fieldworker for 4 years for different organizations and companies such as PSI Lao, Environment-Sustainability-Livelihood, Earth Systems Co., Ltd, Lao social research, and Namthuen 2 Hydro Power Company. In 2019 she decided to join WCS as Administration Officer – Grants and Finance position, and since March 2020 she decided to join the ADB program of WCS Lao PRD as Education and Outreach officer.
Chindavone Keomanykhod
Administrative Assistant
Chindavone KEOMANYKHOD completed her Master's degree in Business Administration and Finance from Santapol College in Thailand, following her bachelors degree in business administration from the National University of Laos. She has worked at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) since 2020 as an Administration officer at the Vientiane office before joining the Savannakhet Landscape Program team as the Finance and Administration Officer. Chindavone believes that, “Everyone can be a good conservationist regardless of gender, because all conservationists share the same values their hearts. Gender balance within teams is important as conservation work needs a good mix of strength and tenderness.”
Dukky Phasavath
GIS Assistant
Dukky Phasavath graduated from Savannakhet University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Land management Degree in Faculty of Agriculture and Environment. He joined the WCS Savannakhet Landscape program In 2020 as the GIS and Database. He works with all of the landscapes technical staff and government counterparts providing special data and maps for diverse topics including participatory land and water use planning, biodiversity conservation, habitat change, and seasonal flooding patterns.

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