Empowering a New Generation of Leaders in the Developing World

Overview | History | Board of Trustees | Administration | Governance | Board of Advisors

Administration

The founding executive director is Alan Lightman. Dr. Lightman is a physicist, novelist, essayist, and educator. He has held professorships at Harvard University and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was the first person at MIT to have a joint faculty position in both the sciences and the humanities. More information about Dr. Lightman can be found at his website.

Alan Lightman and Veasna Chea at the groundbreaking ceremony of the new school in Tramung Chrum, January 2005

The honorary associate director in Cambodia is Veasna Chea. Overcoming great odds, Chea was one of very few women in Cambodia to receive a law degree (from the Royal University of Law and Economics) in the 1990s and graduated with honors in her law-school class in 1997. In 2005, she received a masters degree in sustainable development and conflict transformation from the School for International Training, in Vermont. In the period 1999-2002, she worked as Trust Funds grant manager and as technical support to local NGOs at the UN Commission on Human Rights in Cambodia. In 2001, she cofounded the Cambodia Arts and Scholarship Foundation. She has also had senior positions at DFID and IFRC, and she has consulted for numerous NGOs in Cambodia. In 2005, Chea and Alan Lightman conceived of a dormitory and leadership center for women in Cambodia. For more of her inspirational role with Harpswell, see History. Chea can be reached at veasnac@gmail.com




Varony Ing

The senior manager of the Harpswell Foundation and our top staff person in Cambodia is Varony Ing. Varony also serves as the manager of our Dormitory and Leadership Center for University Women at Teuk Thla, Phnom Penh. Varony has a Bachelor's of Science in electrical engineering from the Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC) and a Masters in public administration from the University of North Texas in Denton Texas, USA. She has many years experience in working with international organizations to improve the quality of life in Cambodia and is especially committed to the empowerment of women. From 1986 - 1992, Varony was deputy chief of the Statistics Office of the Ministry of Industry, Energy, and Mines; from 1992 - 1996, she was administrative manager of the Cambodia Development Resource Institute; from 1996 - 2000, she was project management assistant for USAID/Cambodia; from 2003 - 2006, she was program assistant to the World Bank in Cambodia; from 2006 - 2009, she was monitoring and evaluation officer of Hagar/Cambodia; and from 2009 - 2010, she was programming manager of Hagar. (Hagar is an international organization that rescues women and children from violence, abuse, and trafficking and empowers them to be strong members of their communities.) Varony is on the Board of Directors of the Cambodia Rural Economic Development Initiatives for Transformation (CREDIT) microfinance institution. Varony can be reached at ing.harpswell@gmail.com.





Sophal Som

The manager of the Harpswell Foundation Dormitory and Leadership Center for University Women at Boeng Tabaek, Phnom Penh, is Sophal Som. Sohpal has a bachelor's degree in Archaeology from the Royal University of Fine Arts. As Vocational Skills supervisor at Hagar International/Cambodia, from 2004 to 2008, Sophal managed a staff of 12 people. More recently, she was the assistant for program development at Hagar. (Hagar is an international organization that rescues women and children from violence, abuse, and trafficking and empowers them to be strong members of their communities.) At Hagar, she has worked in everything from financial reports to teaching vocational skills to counselling families in desperate conditions. She has also worked with the Urban Sector Group to develop and administers surveys of people living in the slums of Phnom Penh. Sophal can be reached at somsophal73@yahoo.com



Neil Weinstein

The senior advisor of the Harpswell Foundation is Neil Weinstein. Neil graduated from Harvard Law School and worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan and as a partner at the law firm of Rogers, Joseph, O'Donnell & Quinn before transitioning his career to international development work. He then worked in Zimbabwe, Thailand and India before starting work in Cambodia. Neil has served as a legal advisor for the US Agency for International Development's rule of law and human rights project in Cambodia since 2007. His wife is the Executive Director for A New Day Cambodia, a non-profit organization that works with children from the Phnom Penh garbage dump and has a Big Sister program with the Harpswell Foundation. Neil can be contacted at nhweinstein@yahoo.com.



Kim Henry

The director of English instruction at the Harpswell Foundation Dormitory and Leadership Centers for Women is Kim Henry. Kim received a BA in paralegal studies from Suffolk University in Boston and a certificate of Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the Worldwide Teachers Development Institute in Boston. Before coming to Cambodia, Kim taught English in Nepal, Australia, Ecuador, Vietnam, and Thailand. For several years, Kim has taught English in Phnom Penh at the Australian Center for Education (ACE). Kim has created a rigorous English curriculum for Harspwell that, over the course of four years, should bring our students up to a level where they can score well on the international English examination, IELTS. Kim also teaches English in our Boeng Trabaek facility and supervises all of our volunteer English teachers in both facilities.



Mira Weisenthal

The director of leadership residencies is Mira Weisenthal. Mira received her BA from Wells College and worked as a project manager in New York City before joining the US Peace Corps in 2009. She was sent to volunteer in Cambodia, where she became acquainted with the Harpswell Foundation and later served with the organization as a leadership resident in 2011. Since completing her Peace Corps service, Mira has returned to the U.S. and is currently pursuing an advanced degree in Organization Change Management and Social Entrepreneurship at the New School for Social Engagement in New York City. Mira can be reached at miracule@gmail.com.



Maggie Doyle

The Coordinator of Harpswell - U.S. Fellowships is Maggie Doyle. Maggie received a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire, and a M.A. from Northeastern University in Global Studies and International Affairs. Maggie's introduction to the Harpswell foundation was in 2009 when she was a Harpswell leadership resident. Maggie lives in Boston and works in theatre. She is also an international maternal health advocate and is pursuing her DONA certification for Doula care. Maggie can be reached at margaret.doyle31@gmail.com.



Jannetta Dodson

Jannetta Dodson joins the Harpswell staff as Media Coordinator and is very happy to be a part of the important work of the Foundation in empowering women. Jannetta worked for non-profits for the homeless community, in media, graphic design, and communication roles for many years, where she won awards in newsletter editorship and graphic design. She also has run a freelance media, graphic design, and consulting business of her own for over 15 years and is actively involved with the local Civitan Volunteer Organization (volunteering in the special needs and disabilities community) as the Information Technologist for the Great Southwest District, and at the club level, as President of the Rt. 66 Civitan club. Jannetta lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her husband and five children ages 11, 17, 18, 29 and 38. Jannetta can be reached at jannettadodson@gmail.com.


Tum Yousos

The director of Cham programs is Tum Yousos. Yousos administers Harpswell's primary school, high school scholarship program, and adult education program in Tramung Chrum, which is a Cham (Muslim) village. Yousos grew up in Sreybrey village, Orrussey commune, in the province of Kampong Chhnang, about 15 miles from Tramung Chrum. Yousos received his bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering from ASEAN University in 2006. Yousos has worked on a number of projects to preserve Imam San Cham culture (a form of Islam) in Cambodia and has helped administer grants from the US Embassy to promote human rights and democracy training.



Elyse Lightman Samuels (right) and Son, in Tramung Chrum

Elyse Lightman Samuels is the officer of special projects. She received her AB degree from Brown University and an MFA in creative nonfiction from Columbia University. She has studied and helped document many of the cultural, religious, and social practices of the Imam San Cham. Elyse initiated the adult education and high school scholarship programs in Tramung Chrum. In early 2008, she organized a trip of American publishers and literary agents to Cambodia to begin the establishment of a PEN Center in Cambodia and the consolidation of literary activity in the country. She initiated a sewing course for a young woman who works at a garment factory so that she can eventually open her own shop in Tramung Chrum; she has overseen beginning steps towards a moto-bike repair training course and shop in the area of Tramung Chrum; and she has conducted a needs assessment survey and planning for a health clinic in the area of Tramung Chrum. More about Elyse's activities and experiences in Cambodia can be found at her blog site: elyselightman.wordpress


© The Harpswell Foundation 2008
last revised 4/17/14