Lisa’s professional experience spans public policy, foreign disaster relief, and development finance. She currently works in financial reform in Hong Kong. Prior to her current work, Lisa promoted trade and investment facilitation in emerging markets around the world at a boutique consultancy, as well as for the US embassy in Argentina. Lisa also worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, where she provided operational support to respond to natural and man-made disasters in Haiti, Japan, and Syria, among others. Lisa also served as an aide in Washington, DC to then-Congressman Brian Bilbray from her home state of California.
Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts from San Diego State University and a Masters in International Trade and Investment Policy from the George Washington University.
Originally from the U.S. of Cuban and Spanish descent, Tammy began her banking career in the Relationship Management graduate program with JPMorgan Chase Bank in New York City. There, Tammy’s clients included large Not-for-Profits, major Hospital and Healthcare networks and Tier 1 Universities; focusing on the domestic bond-market funding solutions and traditional corporate banking products. She migrated to Australia in 2005 where she was a published Infrastructure Credit Analyst for Standard & Poor's, focusing on utilities, airports, toll roads and Public and Private Partnerships across Australia and New Zealand. She was also S&P’s regional specialist on Corporate Hybrid credit risk and equity treatment. Tammy joined ANZ Banking Group Ltd in 2009 and has held various roles within the Risk division of the bank, including Chief of Staff to the Group Chief Risk Officer and Enterprise Operational Risk Executive. In 2014, Tammy was appointed to CEO, ANZ Bank (Lao). In Laos she runs a full commercial-licensed bank with Retail, Institutional and Global Markets offerings primarily focused on facilitating the international trade flow in and out of Laos. Tammy is now living in Vientiane, Laos with her husband and two young children. She speaks English and Spanish fluently, is conversational in French, and is learning Lao.
Paige is Founder and CEO of Oktad Communications, a strategic brand-building consultancy specializing in collaborations between businesses and NGOs designed to breed powerful brands where corporate citizenship and sustainability are intrinsically linked to business strategy and where nonprofits benefit from partnerships involving more than just funding. Prior to founding Oktad Communications, Ms. Okun was Director, Communications and Development for Special Olympics Asia Pacific with responsibility for brand building, external communications and fundraising activities for the Asia Pacific Region comprising 25 countries from the Pacific Islands to ASEAN, India, Pakistan and Japan. As the Chief Operating Officer of Caring for Cambodia (CFC), a non-profit organization that builds schools and trains teachers in Cambodia, she increased the organization’s operating budget to over 1.5M USD while the organization expanded its services from one to seven schools serving 5,500 students and 100 teachers. Most recently Ms. Okun was a part of the 2013 Women on a Mission ten-day trek through the Wadi Rum desert of Jordan. Women on a Mission is a non-profit entity based in Singapore, which combines challenging, self-funded expeditions, with the support of a humanitarian cause. As part of a 12-woman team Ms. Okun helped to raise more than $250,000US in funds for and awareness about women in war-torn countries, victims of domestic abuse, human trafficking and rape. Originally from Washington, DC, USA, Ms. Okun has lived in Singapore for 11 years.
Nancy brings innovative solutions and ideas as an American-Lao athlete*, business woman and philanthropist. Born and raised in Portland, Oregon. Her family immigrated to the US from Laos seeking a better life and opportunities. Broughtup learning traditional Laos culture, Nancy graduated from The University of Oregon in 2003, earning a degree in Fine Arts, Business Administration and Computer Information Technology. Upon graduation, Nancy relocated to Taiwan, teaching English and experiencing a variety of Asian cultures. Growing up Nancy developed a strong passion for sport, in particular running, where her sisters played a lead role in nurturing her passion for the road while encouraging her continued travels. They believed that to learn and explore a new city properly, you have to “run it”. For five years she applied that advice to every city and country she visited. Soon after Nancy returned to the states, she began her career at Nike, working as a Business Insights Analyst. After hearing about VFI during a fundraising event for the Run Laos Challenge, Nancy was determined to help raise awareness, agreeing to participate in the ultra-marathon just one month before the event. With the momentum from her first ultra-marathon, Nancy started her own organization called “Run It Girl” . Using sport to connect with girls and the community, Run it Girl is able to provide education and sustainable safe havens for young women in Laos and SE Asia.
Steven joined KKR in 2011 as its first Director of Asia Pacific Public Affairs. Mr. Okun’s responsibilities encompass government affairs, public relations and environmental and social responsibility issues for KKR, as well as in supporting those efforts for its portfolio companies across the region.
In particular, his responsibilities include working with governments and stakeholders across the region on trade and investment matters, as well as working directly with KKR’s portfolio partners on their public affairs and strategic communications initiatives, including their strategic sustainability projects.
Mr. Okun leads KKR Asia’s efforts in “impact investing” whereby KKR’s investment teams support the growth of Social Enterprises in the region. In 2014, KKR was awarded the Gold Standard Award for Corporate Citizenship by PublicAffairsAsia for their work in this regard.
From 2011-2014, he served as the Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce, or APCAC, which comprises 27 member Chambers from across the region. Mr. Okun was elected three times as Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore from 2008-2011.
Until October 2010, he was Vice President for Public Affairs for UPS in Asia Pacific. Posted to Singapore in 2003, where he has resided since, Mr. Okun led UPS’ public affairs matters on aviation, competition and trade.
Mr. Okun served in the Administration of President Bill Clinton as Deputy General Counsel at the Department of Transportation, being at the Department from 1994 to 1999. For his public service, he was awarded the Secretary's Award for Special Service Commendation.
In 2002, the National Committee on US-China Relations selected him as one of the 24 inaugural Fellows for its Young Leaders' Forum. In 2006, the Boao Forum for Asia chose him as the inaugural Co-Chair of the 21st Century Leaders.
Mr. Okun speaks widely on the role of public affairs in Asia, including at forums and as a guest lecturer at universities, and has made frequent appearances on the BBC, CNBC and Channel NewsAsia representing the interests of US business.
Gerry is a Distinguished International Professor at the University of Minnesota. His speciality is international/intercultural education and he has led many study tours to mainland Southeast Asia He holds a doctorate in international development education from Stanford and a MPA from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School. He was a Pew Fellow in International Affairs at the Kennedy School at Harvard. He has worked for diverse development organizations such as the Asian Development Bank, the Ford Foundation, the Asia Foundation, Unesco, and World Education. Among his many publications are the Historical Dictionary of Thailand, Thailand and Its Neighbors, the International Development Dictionary, and the International Education of Development Consultants: Communicating with Peasants and Princes...
Robert is the General Manager of the Theun-Hinboun Power Company in the Lao PDR. He was previously the GM-Country Affairs for Phu Bia Mining a subsidiary of PanAust, which is a publicly listed mining company on the Australian Stock Exchange. From 2001 to 2006, he was General Manager for the first THPC Project. From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Allen was a lawyer at DFDL, a South-East Asia law firm.
Mr. Allen is serving his 8th year on the Board of Trustees of the Vientiane International School with five years as the Chairman. He is also the Chairman of the Hydropower Working Group of the Lao Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Allen is a USA lawyer (JD from Columbus School of Law) as well as a Mechanical Engineer (University of Maryland). He is married and has two daughters, and enjoys cooking and golfing in his free time.
Rural Development Knowledge, Communication Specialist and Consultant with more than 20 years of experience focusing on program and knowledge management, policy development, communication and capacity expansion for the agriculture, land and natural resource management sector. Michael has worked with International Water Management Institute, International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).
Gary has worked in the Office of Admissions at his alma-mater, Hope College, since 1978. He is based in the Denver, Colorado area and his current responsibilities include recruitment and marketing activities in numerous western states and Asia. In his community he serves as Co-Chair of the annual CROP Walk for Hunger. He has four grown children and enjoys outdoor activities with his wife in the nearby Rocky Mountains.