Our Leadership Team
Since 2004, M-POWER has been striving to improve water-related governance in the Mekong Region. Our success is dependent upon the leadership of our Steering Committee and the efforts of our network members.
We make every effort to ensure ongoing representation from at least five of the six Mekong countries, and from out-of-region members, while encouraging a gradual rotation of serving members. Our leadership team brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the challenges of democratising water governance.
Kanokwan Manorom (Chair)
Dr Kanokwan is currently an Assistant Professor and a Director of the Greater Mekong Sub-region Social Research Center (GMSSRC) at the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Ubon Ratchathani University in Thailand. She was awarded a PhD in Rural Sociology in 1997 from the University of Missouri-Columbia, USA. Since returning to Thailand, her research has focused on dam issues, social impact assessment, livelihoods, water poverty and water governance.
Professor Xing Lu has been a member of the M-POWER Steering Committee since 2006. He is currently associate professor and director of the GMS Study Center at Yunnan University based in Kunming, China. Xing has worked on natural resource management and environment issues in the Mekong Region for many years. He was a pioneer in the introduction of community forestry and participatory approaches in China in early 1990s. His arenas of interest include water governance issues in the Mekong Region, the linkages between policy and natural resources, payment for environmental services and integrated water resource management. His recent research focuses on cross-border contract farming, land use change, corporate social responsibility and integrated water resource management. Xing provides training on integrated water resource management and education for sustainable development.
Dr Lilao Bouapao worked as a Senior Social Science Specialist at the Mekong River Commission (MRC) Secretariat on projects such as the Social Impact Monitoring and Vulnerability Assessment. He has 20 years experience in statistics and impact assessments, including undertaking censuses, surveys and case studies at both national and regional levels, specializing in social sciences, water resources science, rural development and project management. Lilao has a Bachelor and Master of Economics Science from the Engineering Economic Institute of Kharkove, Ukraine (currently, the State Economic University of Kharkove, Ukraine), a Master of Science degree from the University of Sydney, and a PhD from the University of Minnesota.
Dr Louis Lebel is the founding Director of the Unit for Social and Environmental Research (USER), Faculty of Social Science, Chiang Mai University, Thailand. He has broad research interests including ecology, epidemiology, political science and governance. He regularly contributes to the international global change science programs and, for example, serves as an Editor of Global Environmental Change journal. He has lived and worked in Thailand for more than 20 years.
Dr Bernadette (Babette) has more than 15 years experience in teaching, research and consulting on gender, livelihoods, climate change, mobility, and natural resource management. She has done research on these themes in the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Apart from various scientific papers, she has co-edited Gender and Natural Resource Management: Livelihoods, Mobility and Interventions (Earthscan and IDRC 2008) and Water Rights and Social Justice in Mekong Waters (Earthscan 2011). She has also assessed gender-mainstreaming programs in the Asian region for the ILO, AusAID and UN-Habitat. She served as a member of the management team of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food. Bernadette received her MA and PhD in Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University, Rotterdam. Babette worked for more than 10 years as an Associate Professor in Gender & Development Studies at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand, and is now a Senior Research Fellow with Stockholm Environment Institute.
Dr Sokhem has been a member of M-POWER Steering Committee since 2004, and served as Co-chair from 2010 to 2013. He has over 30 years experience working at a senior management level with national governments, inter-governmental organizations, international multi-disciplinary research consortia and consulting companies both in Mekong Region and North America. His expertise and experience include: law and regulations; institutional and organizational development; regional policy formulation and hydro-diplomacy; multi-stakeholder communication/dialogue and consultation; strategic assessment; dispute management; and knowledge management.
Sokhem understands the way government, private sector, funding institutions and civil society organizations work and brings extensive experience in managing a broad range of governance issues. Sokhem was formerly a senior official in Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He subsequently joined the Mekong River Commission (MRC) as an international lawyer before being appointed as Director of the MRC’s Technical Support Division. After five years with MRC he joined an academic research program in Japan focusing on water policy in the Mekong Region; Sokhem has actively participated in many high-profile international projects and programs and now leads a consultancy firm based in Vancouver, but many Mekong friends presume he is still living somewhere in the Mekong Region because he is so regularly sighted here!
Professor Surichai Wun’gaeo is Director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. He was formerly the Director of the Chulalongkorn University’s Social Research Institute, and has also served as Program Director of the MAIDS initiative (Master of Arts in International Development Studies). He is a member of the National Committee for UNESCO (for Social Sciences), President of the Asian Rural Sociology Association, and Chairperson of the Executive Board for Focus on the Global South. His most recent publications include Marginalization, Key Concepts in Sociology, and Sociology of Tsunami. Surichai is universally respected and regularly drawn upon to moderate multi-stakeholder processes about substantive matters crucial to the future of Thailand and Asia.
Bach Tan Sinh
Dr Bach Tan Sinh is the Director of the Department of Science and Technology Human Resource Policy and Organization, National Institute for Science and Technology Policy and Strategic Studies – a policy advisory institution to the Ministry of Science and Technology in Vietnam. He has more than twenty years experience in policy analysis and governance in science, technology, environment and development in Vietnam. Sinh is also General Secretary of Vietnam’s International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (Vietnam IHDP), and is currently coordinating the scientific research and policy studies for the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network in 3 cities (Da Nang, Quy Nhon and Can Tho) Vietnam.
Sinh serves as editorial board member of the Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management; the International Journal of Development, Learning and Innovation; and the Asian Journal of Technology and Innovation. He has been involved in more than 20 research projects, as well as authored journal articles, book chapters and conference papers.
Dr Chayanis Krittasudthacheewa has more than ten years of academic and professional experience in developing countries in southeast Asia. Chayanis holds a PhD in Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering from the University of Tokyo, Japan. She specializes in the field of hydrology, water resources engineering, integrated water resources management, hydro-climatic prediction, as well as modelling related to hydrology and water resources at a regional scale. Chayanis also has extensive experience in multi-partner and transboundary project management in the Mekong Region. Chayanis is currently the Deputy Director of Stockholm Environment Institute – Asia Centre and also the project manager of the Sustainable Mekong Research Network.
Dr John Dore is Senior Asia Regional Water Resources Specialist to Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, working across East and South Asia from a base at the Australian Embassy in Bangkok. He is a political economy writer with particular interest in deliberative water governance.
John’s publications include:
John serves on the editorial board of the Water Alternatives journal, and has also edited the following books and journal special editions: Social challenges for the Mekong Region; Democratising water governance in the Mekong Region; Negotiate: Reaching agreements over water; and The World Commission on Dams + 10: Revisiting the large dam controversy.
Kate Lazarus has worked in the Mekong Region for many years on water resources management and environmental governance issues with Oxfam, IUCN and served as M-POWER coordinator. Based in Laos, Kate now works as Senior Operations Officer for the International Finance Corporation, focusing on raising environmental and social standards in the hydropower sector across the Mekong Region.
Dipak Gyawali is currently Pragya (Academician) of the Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and research director of the non-profit Nepal Water Conservation Foundation. He also serves as chairman of Interdisciplinary Analysts, a research and consulting firm. By profession, he is a hydroelectric power engineer (Moskovsky Energetichesky Institute, USSR) as well as a political economist studying resource use (Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley). Dipak previously served as Nepal's Minister of Water Resources (responsible for power, irrigation and flood control) between November 2002 and May 2003. In that position, he initiated reforms in the electricity and irrigation sectors focused on decentralization and promotion of rural say in governance. Dipak has been working with M-POWER for many years, providing the network with an experienced South Asia perspective.
Yang Saing Koma
Dr Yang Saing Koma is President of the Cambodian Center for Study and Development of Agriculture (CEDAC), which he established in 1997. CEDAC is a leading Cambodian NGO in the field of agriculture and rural development. Koma has 15 years experience in agriculture and rural development (especially in participatory action research), training, education, publishing, and organizational development and management. Prior to CEDAC, he worked with the Japan International Volunteer Center and as a lecturer at the Royal University of Agriculture. Koma set up the National Farmer Association, known as Farmer and Nature Net (FNN), in 2003; for which he currently serves as an advisor. In addition to working with CEDAC, he also served as a chairman and member of the Board of Directors of six local NGOs. In 2012 Koma was a recipient of Asia's Magasaysay Award for services to community and agriculture in Cambodia and her neighbouring countries.
Professor Jianchu Xu is a senior scientist at the World Agroforestry Centre and a professor at the Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Science. Prior to his current position, he was Head of Water and Hazards at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu.
Xu established and led the Center for Biodiversity and Indigenous Knowledge (CBIK), a NGO based in Southwest China. The Center works with indigenous peoples in the arenas of cultural survival, inter-cultural dialogues, forest management, land use transition, ecosystem and human health, community-based biodiversity conservation, sustainable livelihood, hydrology and watershed governance.
Xu has travelled extensively and has a particular interest in the Himalayan-Tibetan Plateau and the Mekong Region. Through his photography, he captures indigenous people’s perspectives on climate change impacts and local adaptations. He is an ecologist and has published widely.
Dr François Molle is a senior researcher at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France, and holds a joint appointment with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). He has 25 years experience in irrigation and water management in South America, Africa, Asia and the Middle-East region.
François’s current research activities focus on institutional and political aspects of river basin development and management, irrigation water pricing, water governance and water policy; he is editor of the Water Alternatives (WaA) journal (www.water-alternatives.org).
Currently based in Egypt, François is in charge of developing the research portfolio of IWMI in the Middle East and North Africa region. His publications include 80 book chapters or articles in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes such as Thailand's rice bowl: Perspectives on social and agricultural change in the Chao Phraya delta; Irrigation water pricing: The gap between theory and practice; River basins: Trajectories, societies, environments; and Contested waterscapes in the Mekong region: Hydropower, livelihoods and governance.
Dr Marko is a lecturer at Aalto University, Finland, responsible for Masters' programs. He has been working on Mekong Region issues since 2002, and his research interests include water-related livelihood analysis, impact assessment processes, integrated water management and water governance. His areas of research have included Cambodia's Tonle Sap area, the Mekong Delta and Mekong-wide regional studies.