Founders and
Board Members

Airavati Board members actively engage in supporting Airavati Programmes

 Lahpai Seng Raw – Board Chairperson 2014/2019, Seng Raw is the co-founder of the Metta Development Foundation (Metta) where she was the Executive Director until 2011. Airavati’s seed funds were donated from the monetary award she received as recipient of the 2013 Ramon Magsaysay Award. Seng Raw is from Myitkyina, Kachin state where the Ayeyarwady River originates and has a strong connection to preserving the river.

Maw Htun Aung – Board Chairperson (2019 to August 2020) former Natural Resource Governance Institute’s Myanmar Officer as well as founder of the local public policy think tank, Another Development. His experience is in sustainable development and his educational background computer science, social policy and social development, and public administration. Resigned from Board August 2020 to focus on political career.

Dr Nwet Kay Khaing – Board Chairperson since August 2020, is a researcher in migration, environment and media studies. She is a resource person on sustainability and governance issues and contributes regularly to several newspapers and magazines. She is active in advocacy for reviving the “Commons’ as a vision for natural resource management in sustainable way.  She is from the lower Ayeyarwady.

Dr Myint Zaw – He has worked with artistic and literary circles for peace and sustainability in Myanmar. He curates environmental photography and arts exhibitions on conservation issues part of civil society movement against mega dams in critical watershed area of Ayeyarwady River. He published several public policy books in Burmese, he is also a co-founder and programme manager of Ju Foundation.

Maung Hla Thaung is an architect who focuses on natural buildings designed to complement the surrounding environment. He consults with many of Myanmar’s local NGOs providing expertise in environmentally friendly designs, as well as integrating the use of recycled materials.

Beatrice Lu Ja is from Myitkyina, Kachin State. As a veterinarian, she mobilises people in agriculture and livestock. She is a co-founder of Metta and former Metta’s Myitkyina Branch Office Coordinator. Her strong leadership as a community worker led to the establishment of Metta’s first living and learning centre – the Centre of Action Research and Demonstration. Another area of expertise is as an HIV and AIDS educator.

Saw Min Naing – His background is in veterinary sciences and international development. He is a co-founder of Metta and was one of the first staff sent into areas to form relationships in new communities where Metta had not worked before. He is a strong community mobiliser who has supported Metta from the beginning in a leadership role.

Sai Sam Kham executive director of Metta Development Foundation (until 2019). He is from Shan State where volunteered for Metta and became Metta’s second executive director in 2011.

Nyi Nyi Zaw is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with vast experience in areas of business and finance and is currently Metta’s Financial Controller. He is very committed to eliminating poverty throughout Myanmar and works in specific communities helping children improve their lives.

Kyaw Thu, a trained dentist, is the founder and current director of Paung Ku, a Myanmar NGO recognized for strengthening civil society. Dr. Kyaw Thu has deep commitment and vast experience is in equitable environmentally sustainable development, together with peace and social justice across the nation.

Dr Ohnmar Khaing is Programme Manager of Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research. She has 21 years of experience in food security, agricultural development and rural livelihoods, with special focus on science-policy interface; project design, development and management; capacity-building and raising public awareness. She has an extensive national and international network, including cultivation of strategic partnerships with government, donors, civil society organisations and the private sector.