Staff

Staff

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Aphone Viengkhamhak
Program Coordinator – GIS
Aphone Viengkhamhak has a Bachelor’s Degree from the National University of Laos which includes GIS studies. She has also taken additional courses in English. She 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. 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.
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.
Bouavanh Sinphaset
Procurement Asset Management Officer
Bouavanh completed her studies in finance at Intouch in 2009 and went on to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in Education at the National University of Lao PDR in 2012. Between 2008 and 2010 she worked as an Administration Officer at the National University while studying and has worked for the WCS Lao PDR Program since 2010.
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.
Christopher Holmes
WCS Mekong Drivers Partnership Director
Dr. Christopher Holmes has been working with WCS for over 16 years in Madagascar and the Western Indian Ocean. He joined WCS’s Greater Mekong Regional program in January 2014. He completed his PhD in human ecology at the University of California, Davis and his post-doctorate with the State University of New York, Stony Brook. He has spent over two decades researching relationships between rural populations and the environment in the context of protected area management in Tanzania, Madagascar and Lao PDR. Christopher currently serves as the WCS Lao Senior Program Advisor. Christopher is also the director of the WCS Mekong Drivers Partnership (programs.wcs.org/driverspartnership).
David Lety
Technical Director: Bolikhamxay Landscape
David leads the overall WCS intervention in Bolikhamxay Province, providing strategic and technical guidance in the implementation, coordination and management of field activities. David obtained his Engineer/MSc degree in France in the fields of agronomy, rural development and environment. Since 2005 he has been involved in projects related to integrated rural development and natural resources management worldwide and occupied long term field positions in rural areas (Laos, France, Yemen, Madagascar, Afghanistan). His interest is to link community development to conservation outcomes. Resident in Laos since 2013, he joined the WCS Lao Program in 2017.
Janina Bikova
Ecotourism Advisor
Janina is a Latvian who has been studying and working abroad in France, South Asia and South East Asia since 2010. She holds a MSc Degree in Geography and Sustainable Development in Rural Areas with a focus on Ecotourism, and in 2013 moved to Laos to work in the responsible tourism sector. She joined WCS in 2015 as Ecotourism Advisor for Nam Et-Phou Louey NPA, where her activities focus on ensuring successful management and development of the NPA’s ecotourism by linking together growing community-based tourism activity with conservation objectives.
Jay White
Nam Et-Phou Louey NPA Technical Adviser
Jay served three years as a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand after graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Science from Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York. In 2015, on completing his Peace Corps service, Jay moved to Muang Hiam, Houaphanh Province as an on-site Conservation Intern working with Nam Et-Phou Louey law enforcement patrols and wildlife survey teams in a quality-control role. In 2016, Jay became the on-site Technical Adviser in Nam Et-Phou Louey, a role and stationing he still retains.
Kaisone Zaisombut
Gender Officer
Kaisone Zaisombut completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Watershed Management at Savannakhet University in 2017. She worked in the Agriculture and Forestry Office of Xaychamphone District, Bolikhamxay Province for one year focusing on Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) and agricultural development. She began work with WCS in January 2019, coordinating all WCS activities related to the support of women’s groups and NTFP development in the communities adjacent to Phou Sithane ESCA and Nam Kading National Protected Area.
Khamkeo Syxaiyakham Thor
Assistant Program Manager, Laos
Khamkeo Syxaiyakham completed his BSc in Ecotourism from the National University of Laos in 2012 and an MSc in Conservation Ecology from KMUTT, Thailand in 2018. He worked with WCS as an Ecotourism Officer based in Nam Et-Phou Louey NPA from late 2012 to 2015, conducting gibbon research for his Masters’ Degree in NEPL as well as being involved in several wildlife surveys in central Laos. Khamkeo’s responsibility at WCS, as of early 2019, is assisting the Program Manager in supporting the implementation of all program activities in NEPL NPA.

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