Kwah Dao’s founders were leaders in the Pai community and two New York City professors.
The Kwah Dao Advisory Board continues this global and Pai, northern Thailand, partnership. The Board offers Kwah Dao expertise in participatory development, Burmese and Shan culture, refugees, Thai context, public health and education, and non-profit governance.
Lydia Prongnamjai worked for Kwah Dao for eight years, serving as Executive Director from 2012-17. During this time, she developed knowledge of the local culture, advanced Thai language skills, gained teaching experience and a PGCert in Development Management as she worked closely with Kwah Dao students and Shan community members to develop the programs that are in place today. She has an intimate knowledge of Kwah Dao’s history and programs, and remains closely involved with on-the-ground operations. Lydia is currently training to be a teacher in the UK, and is committed to working for equality in education in the future.
David Rosenthal, Ph.D., is the Faculty Director of the Full Time and Executive Management Programs in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Mailman School of Public Health as well as an Associate Professor in Family and Community Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center. He is a Family Therapist who also has done research on a wide variety of issues including drug use, family issues and public health. He has also served on a number of community boards, including Clowns Without Borders and Iowa City Hospice.
Our kids came from families where their parents could not read a word or add well enough to buy things in the market. Now they are studying economics, business, teaching, IT, and Chinese in some of Thailand’s best universities. Nothing has given my life more meaning.
Peter Muennig is one of the founders of Kwah Dao. He is a Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He received his MD at the University of California-San Diego and his Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University. His research focuses on the health implications of non-medical social investments (especially education), primarily using cost-effectivenees and burden of disease analysis. His work has led to policy changes at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Canada, Immigration Canada and in the states of Minnesota and California. It has been published in leading journals and has been discussed in the NYTimes and on CNN, NPR and BBC.
Yao He is a senior health project officer at Save the Children China Program. She works closely with health care providers, community members, and different levels of government to improve maternal and newborn health in rural, ethnic areas in Southwest China. She received her Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in health policy and management at Columbia University.
Tierney Tobin is in her second year of law school at the University of Colorado. She received her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies-International Education from Bates College and her M.A. in International Education Development from the Teachers College at Columbia University. She joined the Board of Directors after working for Kwah Dao for four years – first as an curriculum development intern with the After-School Program, then as the Director of Development, and most recently as the School Director of the Banyan Center. Tierney is the co-founder and co-president of the Immigration Law and Policy Society at Colorado Law and works part time for an asylum law firm in Boulder. Following her graduation from law school, she hopes to continue working in immigration law and support those trying to navigate the complex and evolving legal field.
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