Dr Lisa Rende Taylor

Founder & Executive Director

Lisa founded the Issara Institute in 2014, and as the Executive Director oversees all strategy and programming for the Institute. She has worked in the field of anti-trafficking in Asia for 20 years, beginning as a field researcher on the Thai-Burma border then going on to work in the U.S. State Department, as Regional Director for the Asia Foundation, in the ILO, and as Chief Technical Advisor for UNIAP.  She is a recognized authority on anti-human trafficking, regularly appearing in global televised, print and internet media.  Her doctorate (University of Washington, 2003) is in human behavioral ecology.

Jarrett Basedow

Regional Director - Asia

Jarrett’s 15-year career in international development has focused on economic response, recovery, and development, including cash and markets, livelihoods and employment, incorporating protection and gender standards into humanitarian economic response, and assessment and learning.  Jarrett began his career in the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and he went on to work for the American Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, and IREX in Lebanon, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Jordan, and Kenya (as well as US headquarter posts) providing strategic direction, direct management, and technical and financial oversight to programs serving mobile and vulnerable populations.  In line with Issara’s programs, some of these included programs working with the private sector, as well as programs to develop mobile phone-based technologies to empower mobile, vulnerable populations (refugees).  Jarrett’s years of experience as a technical specialist and country director are invaluable as he supports the maturation of Issara’s Thailand country operations, and expansion of Issara’s work into new Southeast Asian countries. 

John Whan Yoon

Country Director, Thailand

John Whan Yoon serves as the Thailand Country Director for the Issara Institute office in Bangkok, overseeing a staff of over 20.  He has worked to combat human trafficking in South and Southeast Asia for over 17 years.  He has experience designing and implementing anti-trafficking interventions, primarily on community-based prevention and victim protection.  He first joined World Vision in the Thailand office in 2001, coordinating the Thai-Myanmar trafficking prevention project.  Since then, he has worked in Laos and Cambodia managing World Vision’s regional anti-trafficking programs until 2016.  He subsequently served as the Asia Regional Director of Free the Slaves, managing programs in India and Nepal.

Ohnmar Ei Ei Chaw (Chaw Chaw)

Country Director, Myanmar

Based in Myanmar, Chaw Chaw is responsible for the strategy and direction of Issara's Myanmar country operations. Chaw Chaw has been engaged in the fight against human trafficking for more than a decade. She started her career working with street and working children in Myanmar. She has worked as Country Program Coordinator of the Australia -Asia Program to Combat Trafficking in Persons (AAPTIP) for Myanmar, as well as as National Project Coordinator for UNIAP in Myanmar and Anti-Trafficking in Persons Program of World Vision Myanmar. 

 

Mark Taylor

Director, Strategy & Global Partnerships

Mark's background in business consulting/investment and work with supply chains and private sector development initiatives in Asia is shaping the direction of Issara’s business analytics and sustainability initiatives. Prior to joining Issara, Mark was the Regional Private Sector Advisor for the Australian Government’s aid programs throughout mainland Southeast Asia, based in Thailand and Laos. He has held senior technical and leadership positions including as Managing Partner of Emerging Markets Consulting, and Chairman of the Board for Emerging Markets Entrepreneurs, one of Cambodia’s first business accelerators. He has been a mentor for SMEs and social enterprises, and worked with impact investors and a Southeast Asia private equity fund. Mark holds an MBA from Georgetown University and is a Landegger Honors Program graduate from the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. 

Ana Maria Soto

Program Manager - Empowerment

As Program Manager, Ana works closely with Issara's Outreach & Empowerment teams in Thailand and Myanmar, and provides technical support on approaches to empower jobseekers and civil society. She recently completed her master’s thesis on Interpretation Services for Human Trafficking Victims from the fishing industry in Thailand. She has also attended school in Tianjin, China, where she learned Mandarin Chinese. Being abroad allowed Ana to work as a language teacher and work with children.  At the same time, this experience shaped her interest in working as a volunteer in different countries such as Colombia, India and Kenya. Those volunteer experiences also sparked her interest in understanding the realities and struggles of the people she worked with. She completed her master’s degree in 2019 with the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies from Mahidol University, and holds a BA in Languages and Cultural Studies from Los Andes University (Colombia)  Her biggest passions include traveling, learning about other cultures and meeting new people.  

Andrei Lozhkin

Web Application Developer

Based in Bangkok, Andrei supports Issara’s internal Inclusive Labour Monitoring (ILM) data system and isthe lead on the development of the Golden Dreams 2.0 mobile application.  He is excited to be a part of using technology to amplify worker voice and help vulnerable people, and brings a full stack developer skill set to Issara.  He graduated from Ukhta State Technical University (Russia) in Oil and Gas Engineering in 2016, but built on a passion for computers and software to pursue a career in IT.  He arrived in Thailand in 2017 as a Volunteer Web Developer for a Bangkok based NGO that provides free international bi-lingual education for poor and underprivileged children in Thailand,and additionally worked as a web developer in the private sector.  In his free time, he loves coding and reading, as well as trying new food and traveling.

Arongkot Khossahasarn (Cook)

Team Leader, Business & Human Rights (Thailand)

Arongkot Khosshasarn (Cook) is responsible for managing the operations and performance of the Issara Business & Human Rights team. He holds a Master of Economics in International Business Economics and he has been working on anti-trafficking in persons and migrant labor in Thailand for more than 13 years, including with international organizations, businesses, government and civil society.  His roles included Grant Compliance and Project Manager with World Vision Foundation of Thailand, empowering CSOs and working on the protection of migrant children in Mae Sot, Ranong and Chumpon, as a researcher with the ILO and also Praxis Labs on the effectiveness of seafood initiatives and formal recruitment channels for fishers and seafood workers, and as a National Project Officer with Issara Institute at the very beginning of Issara’s history, focused on sub-grants and use of unconditional cash transfers for victims of trafficking. 

Aye Nyein Thu

Burmese Outreach and Empowerment Officer (Thailand)

Aye Nyein Thu supports outreach activities and data collection for Issara’s Myanmar office. Previously with UNIAP, Aye Nyein led community awareness raising campaigns in Myanmar, utilizing the strengths of youth and CSOs. At the Japanese International Cooperation Agency Myanmar country operations, she aided in providing victim support and assistance to trafficking in persons. She holds Bachelor’s degree in English and diplomas in International Relations and Community Leadership and Social Studies. Currently, Aye Nyein is studying Political Science from the University of Yangon.

Brendan Zarni Htun

Team Leader, Outreach & Empowerment

Brendan oversees digital communications with all of Issara's stakeholder groups including migrant workers, jobseekers, businesses, fellow practitioners, and partners in business, government, and the donor world. He holds a degree in Physics from Yangon University and has previously worked on community building and youth outreach through the National Catholic Youth Service in Myanmar, conducting leadership training and facilitation training, among other activities. In 2013 he moved to Bangkok to pursue his Master of Education. In his free time, he teaches English to Burmese migrant workers at a language school in Bangkok.

Chanda Bun

Cambodian Outreach & Empowerment Officer (Thailand)

Chanda supports the Outreach and Empowerment team, by empowering Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand and supporting Issara’s work empowering job seekers in Cambodia. Since 2008, he has worked with different civil society organizations on wellbeing promotion and health-related programs to help vulnerable people from different communities in Cambodia. He has most recently worked on anti-trafficking projects and sexual exploitation prevention.. Chanda holds a Master Degree in Business Management from National University of Management (Cambodia), and a Bachelor Degree in Art in Psychology from Royal University of Phnom Penh (Cambodia) and in Education Science from National Institute of Education (Cambodia).

Hsu Mon Htun (Leo)

Business and Human Rights Officer - Myanmar

Hsu Mon Htun (Leo), as a Business & Human Rights Officer based in Yangon, is working closely with recruitment agencies, other businesses in Thailand and Malaysia, and government on ethical recruitment and ethical sourcing issues. She holds a master degree in Business Management and has over 10 years’ experience in the business and healthcare sector in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. After coming back to Myanmar, she worked for the development sector by joining UNOPS and Pan Ka Lay. She is also an experienced trainer. Since 2014, Leo has been volunteering through providing educational support to underprivileged children in rural Myanmar

Kan Zar Htet (Jonah)

Burmese Outreach and Empowerment Officer (Thailand)

Kan Zar Htet (Jonah), as a Burmese O&E Officer based in Thailand, supports outreach and empowerment activities in the field as well as over the worker voice channels.  He has a background in philosophy and community development studies, as well as research, including being one of the key enumerators for Issara's 2016-17 nationwide prevalence study on trafficking in the Thai fishing sector.  He previously has worked as an intern counselor at the Bangkok Refugee Center, providing psychosocial support for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. He is currently working towards an MSCP in Counseling Psychology at Assumption University in Bangkok. 

Khin Win Maw (Maw Maw)

Burmese Outreach and Empowerment Officer (Thailand)

Khin Win Maw, as a Burmese Outreach and Empowerment Officer based in Thailand, focuses primarily on field-based community outreach and support to the Golden Dreams Ambassadors program. She has a very deep knowledge and understanding about migrants as she has worked within migrant communities in Samut Sakhon for years, as well as with the Burmese domestic worker community in Singapore.

Kotchakorn Klachingchai (Pick)

Program Officer

As Program Officer, Pick engages broadly across all aspects of Issara's programming; support to project monitoring, partnership, reporting and communications, support Outreach and Empowerment activities, and support Business and Human Rights activities.  Prior to joining Issara, Khun Pick worked as a Regional Project Assistant, responsible for communications, finance, administration, and project monitoring. He holds an MBA. Over the past fifteen years, he has worked in both the private sector as well as non-profit organizations, with work experience across the fields of business administration, marketing, education, and communications.

Mary Frances Ratnam

Program Consultant - Malaysia

Mary Frances is a strong advocate for human rights and has worked for many years with rights-based international non-governmental organisations. She has managed programmes to empower women and young people to access reproductive health information and services, and worked with corporate clients to support the rights of migrant labour in palm oil plantations to fair recruitment practices and equitable working conditions.  As Program Consultant in Malaysia, she promotes best practice for Malaysian employers, recruitment agencies, and global brands across our ethical recruitment principles, moving current practice to transparent approaches and focused on legal compliance, empowering jobseekers and moving to employer pays. Mary has an MBA in International Management and is currently pursuing a distance learning programme with Nottingham University, UK on subjects related to International Human Rights Law.

Nan Mya Mar Lar Oo (Dar Dar)

Burmese Outreach & Empowerment Officer (Thailand)

Based in Bangkok, Nan Mya Mar Lar Oo (Dar Dar), supports worker voice and outreach activities for Burmese migrant workers in Thailand. She has worked as an Awareness Raising Officer on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for the Association for Aids & Reliefs Japan (AAR Japan) in Myanmar, and recently served as a Program Support Officer at Pact Myanmar, on their empowerment program in southern Myanmar. Dar Dar holds a Bachelor Degree in English from Hpaan University (Myanmar) and a Diploma in Project Management from Payap University Chiang Mai (Thailand), and an Executive Diploma in Business Management endorsed by ABE(UK).

Nang San Mon (Cherry)

Business and Human Rights Officer (Thailand)

Having background in working with migrant workers for years and being trilingual (Thai, Myanmar, English), Cherry plays a crucial role in the Business and Human Rights team in Thailand. She graduated from International College, Rangsit University Thailand with the M.A. Program in Diplomacy and International Studies. Prior joining Issara, she worked with the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF)/ Migrant Justice Programme in Chiang Mai and Samut Sakhon provinces. She has strong experience with Myanmar migrant workers working in the construction and agricultural sectors in Thailand, providing paralegal and facilitating training for workers related to Occupational Health and Safety (OSH), Thai Labor Protection Law, Social Security Law, Human Rights and conduct outreach activities for migrant communities. In the private sector, she worked with the ELEVATE Limited and served as an Auditor/Field observer in Thailand, auditing Social Compliance and conducting surveys in garment factories in Thailand.

Naw Praising

Project Assistant (Myanmar)

Praising, as a Project Assistant in Issara’s Myanmar Office, focuses on collecting, validating and analyzing crucial data and information, such as recruitment agency and service provider data for Golden Dreams, and recruitment related data. She also helps monitor worker voice through Golden Dreams and social media, and coordinates actions needed on Myanmar side, and additionally provides administrative support. She started with Issara Institute as an intern in 2017 and that experience has motivated her to become part of the solution to address the challenges faced by migrant workers. She recently completed her History major in West Yangon University.

Paisit Pusittrakul (Art)

Business and Human Rights Officer

Paisit Pusittrakul (Art) brings a legal background specialized in international law and human rights with over 10 years of experience to his role as Business and Human Rights Officer. As a BHR Officer, he works closely with Thai business and government duty bearers on remediation, current policies and practice, and building ethical sourcing and recruitment. He has worked with international and civil society organizations, academic institutions, and with the private sector. Prior to joining Issara, Art also worked as an IHL Consultant at the International Committee of the Red Cross, Regional Delegation, in Bangkok.

Panchakna Khlok

Cambodian Outreach & Empowerment Officer (Thailand)

Panchakna is a key point of contact for Cambodian migrant workers, victims of trafficking, and project beneficiaries in the supply chains of Issara's Strategic Partners and with Cambodian migrant communities throughout Thailand. Panchakna graduated from the Royal University of Phnom Penh with a degree in Psychology and she has worked for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other NGOs working on the issue of human trafficking.  She has many years' experiences working directly with vulnerable migrants including survivors of labour and sexual exploitation, victims of trafficking, refugees, asylum seekers, and unaccompanied migrant children, in order to assist them to meet their needs and integrate them into their communities. She also has background in providing counselling, psychological support, and applying Creative Arts Therapy.

Pete Southwell

Technology & Innovation Specialist / Software Engineer

As a software engineer, Pete is building out the next generation platform that powers Issara's Inclusive Labour Monitoring (ILM) applications (ILM2), Golden Dreams 2.0, and components of our FLIP technology.  Born in Santa Cruz, CA, Pete is a second generation software developer who started coding software at 8.  He got his first job in his 20s doing technical support for Acer, where he wrote his first database application for taking and managing computer specs and customer service tickets.  Since then he has been writing software ever since, focusing over the past 15 years on high speed, massive load balanced cloud-based web application platforms. In addition to many software languages and development strategies, he also has a deep background in SpecOps, Unix, distributed encrypted file systems, Kubernetes, Docker, VM Management and deployment, cloud application orchestration pipelines, cloud infrastructure like AWS, and digital ocean.

Sandar Linn

Burmese Senior Outreach and Empowerment Officer (Thailand)

Sandar's background has provided her with a strong foundation for her work as Issara's Senior Outreach and Empowerment Officer focused on Burmese migrant workers in Thailand, where she serves as the lead on Inclusive Labour Monitoring and case management in Thailand.  Previously, she worked for Myanmar Market and Research Development Ltd and Myanmar Business and Social Development Ltd in Yangon as a social researcher, and she holds a BA in English and MA in Linguistics.  She is fluent in Burmese, Nepalese, and English.  She also volunteers at a school for migrant workers' children in her free time. 

Sasi-on Kam-on

Regional Administrative and Human Resources Manager

Sasi-on Kam-on brings extensive operational experience from working with UNOCHA, ICRC, and IRC, as well as her previous experience as a journalist working with international media such as the Wall Street Journal and NHK. As Regional Administrative and Human Resources Manager, she supports human resource development and office administration for all Issara teams. Sasi-on obtained an MSc in Development Studies from SOAS, London. She is currently working on a thesis for a Master Degree in Decision Support and Risk Analysis for Stockholm University (Sweden).

Tamalar Soe

Project and Data Support (Myanmar)

Tamalar Soe provides project and data support in the Issara Yangon office, working closely with recruitment data and on project monitoring, and supporting events and training.  He holds a bachelor degree in English from Yangon Western University (Myanmar). During his studies, he interned with the Issara Myanmar team for eight months in 2019, developing data handling and analysis skills that he brings into his current support.

Vuthy Un

Cambodian Senior Outreach & Empowerment Officer (Thailand)

As Cambodian Senior Outreach & Empowerment Officer, Vuthy supports outreach and empowerment activities, including strengthening engagement with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), analyzing policy and multi-stakeholder developments, and promoting ethical recruitment standards. In the last four years, he worked as Reintegration and Protection Specialist on counter-trafficking in persons, including migrant workers exploitation programs in Cambodia. His experience with the International Labour Organization and World Vision International in Cambodia have helped him develop extensive technical skills on child labour and rights protection, and his experience showcases his passion for the promotion of decent work and social protection for workers, as well as the protection of children's rights. Vuthy holds a Master degree in Public Policy and Bachelor degree in Business Management and attended several short courses abroad on Child Labor Monitoring, Occupational Safety and Health, and Risk Assessment.

Win Min Thu (Pont Pont)

Outreach and Empowerment Officer (Myanmar)

Pont Pont provides oversight and support to Issara's outreach and empowerment approaches in Myanmar, working closely with job seekers, civil society organizations and government. She additionally support Issara's Myanmar country operations.  Previously, she worked for Myanmar Finance International Ltd and Asia21 MJ Co.,Ltd in Yangon as an Administration Manager. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Myanmar Literature and studied as a mid-career Myanmar citizen leader of deBoer Fellowship Progarm 2016 for personal and professional development. She is also a volunteer teacher for the Myanmar Mobile Education Project (myME), Satubonmika Monastic School, and teaching computing subjects and life skills.                    

Wint Wady

Outreach and Empowerment Officer (Myanmar)

Wint Wady is an Outreach and Empowerment Officer in Issara’s Yangon office, where she works closely with migrant workers, job seekers, recruitment agencies, civil society organizations, and government. Her strong journalism and media experience supports Issara’s communication products and outreach to job seekers and workers.  Before she joined Issara, she worked for BBC Media Action for almost eight years on Yay Kyi Yar’s Decent Work and Safe Migration Program on TV, radio, and digital programs to educate and inform both internal and cross-border Myanmar migrant workers, job seekers, and their families. She also conducted discussion events between the government and workers on workers’ rights and enforcement of labor laws. Wint has a Master Degree from the University of Computer Studies, Yangon, and had attended scholarship programs about journalism, politics & leadership in the United States, Germany, Poland, Estonia, and Thailand.

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MEET THE TEAM!

Issara team 2019
BHR and O&E in the field
O&E meeting workers
Client follow-up in rural Myanmar
In the field
Post-Global Forum 2019
Canteen outreach
Vessel outreach
Issara and friends @ Global Forum
Collaborating with Thai suppliers
Golden Dreams outreach
Client follow-up in Myanmar
Canteen outreach
Golden Dreams beta testing
Nerd Jam
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(c) 2020 Issara Institute.  All rights reserved.

Issara Institute, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States, and a registered non-profit foundation in Thailand.  All donations are tax deductible.

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Collaborating with Thai suppliers