Founders and
Board Members

The board members are unique because they are actively engaged in supporting the Airavati.
Lahpai Seng Raw – Board chairperson, Seng Raw is the co-founder of the Metta Development Foundation (Metta) where she was the Executive Director until 2011. The Airavati’s seed funds were donated from the monetary award she received as the recipient of the 2013 Ramon Magsaysay Award. Seng Raw is from Myitkyina in Kachin state where the Ayeyarwady River originates and has a strong connection to preserving the river.
Dr Nwet Kay Khaing is a researcher in the areas of migration, environment and media studies. Her international studies are in the areas of international development and human rights and peace building. She has also been a regular writer for newspapers and magazines, and currently, has been advocating for preserving indigenous knowledge for natural resource management as a crucial element of sustainable development. She is from the lower Ayeyarwady.
Myint Zaw is a co-founder and program manager of Ju Foundation. He is also a former executive editor of International Eleven Weekly, and has focused on the area of environmental journalism for more than a decade. His international studies are in the area of international development. He is committed to advocacy initiatives for raising the international community’s awareness about Myanmar’s civil society.
Maung Hla Thaung is an architect that focuses on natural buildings designed to complement the surrounding environment. He consults with many of Myanmar’s local non-government organisations providing expertise in the areas of environmentally friendly designs, as well as integrating the use of recycled materials.
Beatrice Lu Ja is one of the co-founders of Metta. As a large animal veterinarian, she mobilised people in the areas of agriculture and livestock in Alam village of Kachin state. 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. Currently, she is Metta’s Myitkyina Branch Office Coordinator.
Saw Min Naing is one of Metta’s co-founders and is part of Metta’s leadership team. His background is in veterinary sciences and international development. Saw Min Naing is one of the first staff sent into areas to form relationships in new communities where Metta had not worked before. He is also known as a strong community mobiliser who has supported Metta from its beginning in a leadership role.
Sai Sam Kham is currently Metta’s executive director. He is from Shan state where he began volunteering for Metta and within six years became its 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 the director of the Paung Ku, a Myanmar NGO that is recognized for strengthening civil society as indicated by its name. Dr. Kyaw Thu with his deep commitment and vast experience is in the area of equitable environmentally sustainable development, together with peace and social justice across the nation.
Ohnmar Khaing,  MD, is a professor with expertise in the area of agriculture. She is currently the coordinator for the Food Security Working Group that networks among local NGOs addressing agriculture and rural development policies in Myanmar.
Maw Htun Aung is Natural Resource Governance Institute as a Myanmar Officer. His experience is in the area of sustainable development and his educational background is in the areas computer science, social policy and social development, and public administration.