Meet the Team

Founding Partners

Aileen Thomson

Areas of Interest: law, justice, human rights, peace and conflict, transitional justice, rule of law, civil society, protests and activism, localization, monitoring & evaluation

Aileen is constantly inspired by the young activists and researchers she has encountered throughout her career. She loves being a sounding board for new ideas, pushing back against international dominance over local agendas, and asking tough questions. Her background is in human rights, international law, transitional justice and peace and conflict. She researched and wrote reports on displacement in/from Myanmar and protests and the right to peaceful assembly with Progressive Voice, a participatory rights-based research and advocacy organization working on Myanmar. She spent five years with the International Center for Transitional Justice in various positions including as Head of Office in Myanmar and Nepal. With ICTJ, she trained civil society organizations and conducted research on reconciliation, transitional justice and victims’ groups and civil society advocacy for and participation in transitional justice. Aileen worked for the Public International Law and Policy Group, researching and writing legal memoranda on international law, peace agreements and comparative constitutional law. She has also done research and trainings for small human rights and political organizations on the Thai-Myanmar border, and has substantial experience in monitoring and evaluation. Aileen is qualified to practice law in New York, and attended American University where she got her law degree (J.D.) and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from the School for International Service.

Jonathan Rhodes

Areas of Interest: environmental science, land rights, community development, environmental governance, urban resilience, political ecology, agriculture, sustainability

Jonathan is continually seeking ways to further support and strengthen local communities. He is heavily influenced by his time working with small networks and local CBOs in Thailand and Myanmar. He spent the last 7 years working as an independent environmental consultant conducting research, training, and report writing for organizations that have included the Network for Environment and Economic Development (NEED-Myanmar), Karuna Mission Social Solidarity (KMSS), and the Thailand Environmental Institute Foundation (TEI), among others. He attended the American University in Washington DC where he received his Master of Science in environmental science. Recently, he has conducted regional environmental governance research on topics that include governance and trade with banana plantations between Kachin State and China, Myanmar’s 2016 National Land Use Policy gaps and customary land use practice, as well as lessons learned from Map Tha Phut Thailand’s environmental governance failures. He is currently a PhD student at Chiang Mai University in the Faculty of Social Science and is a researcher on a joint project with Chiang Mai University, Stockholm Environment Institute, and York University in the UK.


Passachol “Pam” Khawdee
Research Assistant

Areas of interest: Cultural anthropology, ethnicity, intangible cultural heritage, education, community development, cultural management, sustainable development

Pam is a passionate individual who seeks to work with local communities to safeguard local culture as well as to improve the quality of lives. She enjoys doing research and exchanging ideas with people from various backgrounds. Throughout her university life, she joined many international-related activities which allowed her to manage teams and arrange cultural activities. She also spent her time after graduation as an intern at Culture Unit, UNESCO Bangkok. Pam received her Bachelor’s Degree in Language and Culture from Chulalongkorn University.

Board of Advisors

Dr. Pakamas Thinphanga

Mr. Simon Dickinson

Dr. Mark Ritchie