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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.
Sivilay Duangdala
Site Program Manager, Nam Et-Phou Louey NPA
Sivilay Duangdala works for Wildlife Conservation Society as the Site Program Manager of the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area (NEPL-NPA) in nort- eastern Laos. Sivilay graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and has worked at NEPL-NPA since early 2008. Sivilay has been promoted through many positions in WCS, starting as an accountant, later as an administration assistant, eventually as a management leader. As the Site Program Manager, his main responsibilities are to supervise all programs supporting conservation works in NEPL-NPA. Sivilay thinks wildlife and nature conservation is the most challenging work in Laos as it is often viewed as an obstacle to development. He, however, understands that conservation supports development by providing nutrition, shelter, fresh air, and water for humans.
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.
Soubanh Silithammavong
Wildlife Health Program Coordinator
Soubanh graduated with a bachelor degree in Business Administration before beginning to work with Dersue and Associated Consulting Company as a logisitcs officer for wildlife inventory surveys. In 2008 he joined WCS as Wildlife Trade Project Officer and worked closely with enforcement officers to patrol markets in Vientiane Capital city. The following year he worked in both wildlife trade and health with conducting research about zoonotic disease in wildlife from confiscated animals. Most recently Soubanh has cobducted work as part of the USAID PREDICT- Emerging Pandemic Threats program and been leading field teams for zoonotic surveillance in wild animal from hunting communities.
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.
Soudalath Phasavath
Office Manager
Soudalath started work with WCS Lao PDR in 2008 as an Administration Assistant and has since been promoted to Office Manager for the country program. Soudalath studied English for three years at Lao-America College and has undertaken a further English course at Vientiane College and an Administration course at TACDO Centre.

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