Phatsa Konglasy
Ecotourism Officer
Phatsa Konglasy graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business English and Ecotourism at Souksavath College in Vientiane in 2014. In parallel to her studies, she worked at Hueyhong Vocational Training Center for Women for seven years. After graduation in 2015, she returned to her hometown in Muang Hiam and joined WCS Lao PDR to work as Ecotourism Officer in the Nam Et-Phou Louey NPA. Phatsa is responsible of the NEPL NPA’s ecotourism visitor center in Muang Hiam, and the communication with future visitors, tour operators as well as activity coordination with the community-based ecotourism service providers.
Phia Moua Valeeyiayee
Ecotourism Officer
Phia Moua, also known as Touy, is from the Hmong ethnic group and originally from Luang Prabang. He graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in English at the Souphanouvong University of Laos in 2011. He has worked for WCS as an Ecotourism Officer in Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area since 2015. Phia Moua is thankful to WCS and NEPL-NPA for the opportunity to work for wildlife and nature conservation together with local communities. He recognises how important healthy wildlife population and nature is for humans, and that wildlife and nature are the blood-vessel for us.
Phianxay Xiongyiadang
Savannakhet Landscape Project Conservation Outreach Officer
Phianxay graduated with a higher diploma from the Agriculture and Forestry College in Paksane and later graduated from the National University of Lao PDR in the Faculty of Forestry with a Bachelor of Science in 2006. He has worked with WCS since 2006, working first with the Integrated Ecosystem Wildlife Management Project (IEWMP) and recently on the Savannakhet Landscape Project. Phianxay is responsible for many aspects of the projects including conservation education outreach and wildlife monitoring.
Phonesavanh Milavong
Wildlife Health Project Officer
Phonesavanh graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the National University of Laos in 2015. She started working with WCS after graduating in 2015 as a project assistant under the LACANET project for two years and then moved to her present position in the Wildlife Health program and focusing on wildlife disease surveillance. Currently, she works as a Project Officer in the DTRA-funded Wildlife Health project.
Sam Leslie
Savannakhet Program Director
Samuel Leslie completed his B.A. in Environmental Studies at Prescott College in 2009, after which he worked on ecological studies and as an expedition leader in the US, Canada, and South Africa. He first arrived in Lao PDR in 2012 as a Princeton in Asia fellow working for IUCN focusing on community-based conservation planning along the Mekong. In 2015 he received his MSc. in Conservation & Rural Development from the University of Kent (DICE). Following this he was based in Cambodia where he taught biodiversity conservation MSc. courses and worked as a consultant on diverse regional and global conservation projects. He returned to Lao PDR in 2019, where he works in the Xe Champhone Wetlands with diverse stakeholders to improve resource and land use management, sustainable livelihoods, and endangered species conservation. Sam’s professional focus has been on human wildlife conflict, freshwater protected areas, community-based conservation, and environmental education. He is a member of the IUCN-SSC Crocodile Specialist Group and an Associate Researcher of the Museo de Historia Natural "Alcide d'Orbigny", Cochabamba, Bolivia.
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.
Sean McNamara
Project Director - Biodiversity Offsets and Protected Area Management
Sean McNamara joined the WCS Lao PDR Program in 2015, and has held positions including PES Program Manager, Nam Et Phou Louey Landscape Director, and is currently in the role of Project Director for a hydropower biodiversity offset project. Sean completed his Ph.D. in Biological Sciences at the University of Queensland, Australia, and has over 15 years’ experience in a range of roles including conservation management, forest ecology and restoration, rural livelihoods and agroforestry, and environmental law, policy and planning.
Siphone Phondaboutdy
Fisheries Officer
Siphone Phondaboutdy completed his Bachelor of Science Degree from the Department of Fisheries Science, Faculty of Agriculture at the National University of Laos. He then spent 5 years working as a fisheries technician for FISHBIO, before joining the WCS Savannakhet Landscape Team in 2020 as the landscape’s fisheries officer. Siphone has considerable expertise in fisheries monitoring, conservation, and governance including establishing community managed Fish Conservation Zones (FCZs). He has conducted fisheries and macroinvertebrate surveys across Lao and other SE Asian countries. Siphone believes that “Native fish diversity and abundance can be increased in Lao PDR through support for Community fisheries co-management (FCZs), restoration of fisheries habitat, and improving awareness of long-term benefits of fisheries conservation through collaboration with community and government stakeholders.”
Somli Sivilay
Ecotourism Officer
Somli Sivilay is from the Khmu ethnic group and originally lived in a village at the entrance to the Nam Et-Phou Louey NPA. In 2017 he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in English at the Teacher Training College in Luang Prabang. While still studying, he worked in tourism in the private sector. After graduation, he returned to his hometown, and has worked for WCS as an Ecotourism Officer in Nam Et-Phou Louey NPA since 2018.
Souchinda Phouangsouvanh
National Wildlife Health Surveillance Network Coordinator
Souchinda Phouangsouvanh completed her Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science at the National University of Laos in 2017, after that, she worked as an administration and finance assistant at the OIE-DLF Foot and Mouth Disease Control Project Funded by New Zealand based on Department of Livestock and Fisheries in Lao PDR for 2 years (August 2017 - September 2019). Then she now works as National Wildlife Health Surveillance Network Coordinator. Her work is on coordinating, facilitating and supporting the operating procedures for wildlife health surveillance in Lao PDR.

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