Our Team

Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Pem Wangchuck
Her Majesty the Queen Mother Ashi Tshering Pem Wangchuck is Co-Chair of the Bhutan Foundation. Her Majesty is the President of the Youth Development Fund (YDF) in Bhutan and has pioneered programs that work to create more opportunities for the youth of Bhutan, focusing especially on those with mental and physical disabilities and those with chemical dependence. Under Her Majesty´s leadership, YDF has initiated scholarship programs to ensure basic education for children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and provided recreational amenities at the Youth Development and Rehabilitation Centre for juvenile delinquents.
Hon. Frank G. Wisner
Hon. Frank G. Wisner is Co-Chair of the Bhutan Foundation. Ambassador Wisner is an International Affairs Advisor at Patton Boggs, LLP. Mr. Wisner has served extensively in the U.S. government, including Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and Under Secretary of State for International Security Affairs. He was ambassador to India, Zambia, Egypt and the Philippines. In 2005, he was the special representative of the Secretary of State to the Kosovo Status talks. Mr. Wisner is a member of the Boards of Directors of EOG Resources, Chartis and Ethan Allen, as well as the boards of numerous non-profit organizations. He is an advisor to Kissinger Associates. A native of New York, Mr. Wisner was educated at Princeton University.
Dr. Bruce W. Bunting
Dr. Bruce W. Bunting is President of the Bhutan Foundation. Dr. Bunting was formerly a Managing Director and Vice President of World Wildlife Fund. He first visited Bhutan in 1986 and has been a long time advisor to the Bhutanese government on a variety of issues including the establishment of Bhutan’s national park system, the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation, the world’s first such trust fund, and the Bhutan Health Trust Fund. He has authored several articles, including “Bhutan, Kingdom in the Clouds” for National Geographic Magazine. He received a B.S. in zoology and a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Michigan State University.
Mrs. Lucy Goelet
Mrs. Lucy Goelet is the Vice President of the Bhutan Foundation. Mrs. Goelet began her travels to Bhutan in the 1980’s. Early in her career, she worked as a special assistant and editor to Laurens van der Post, coordinating his writings and many of his expeditions. Lucy later joined Operation Raleigh – a multi-faceted education programme at sea – to manage their selection of potential students. A Fellow of the Royal Georgraphical Society, Lucy worked with Nigel Winser, Deputy Director and Head of the Expeditions, and Shane Winser, Head of the Expedition Advisory Centre. She has previously served on the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries Advisory Council, the board of The Oldfields School, and a member of the New York Botanical Gardens Patrons Committee. Lucy and her husband Christopher have settled with their three daughters on a farm in Baltmore County, Maryland.
Mr. Michael J. Mars
Mr. Michael Mars is the Secretary of the Foundation, and a board member since 2006. Michael is the founding principal of mTerra Ventures, LLC, an early stage venture capital practice focused on catalyzing the development of a sustainable global economy. He serves on the board of Radio Systems Corporation, Echogen Power Systems, Natel Energy, and Hawaiian Oceanic Technologies. He is involved in a variety of philanthropic interests primarily in the area of the conservation of nature, education, and healthcare. He is a trustee of the School for Field Studies, a study abroad organization for college undergraduates. Prior to founding mTerra Ventures in 2007, Michael led business units for Mars Incorporated in North America and Asia. He is a graduate of Duke University.
Mr. Brian J. Menkes
Mr. Brian J. Menkes is Treasurer of the Bhutan Foundation. Mr. Menkes is the secretary and general counsel to the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Mr. Menkes was a member of the tax practice group at the international law firm of WilmerHale in Washington, DC. He is the former chair and vice-chair of the DC Bar Association Taxation Section, Exempt Organizations Committee, and is an author and frequent speaker on issues affecting non-profit organizations. He has served on numerous boards of directors of non-profit organizations and is a current member of the Board of Trustees of the Bhutan Foundation and an officer of Youth Entrepreneurs Kansas. He earned his master’s in law, JD, and bachelor’s degree from New York University School of Law, Western New England College School of Law, and Central Connecticut State University, respectively.
Ms. Sharon Chang
Ms. Sharon Chang is the Founder of Yoxi, a media organization that discovers and elevates social entrepreneurs by leveraging their expertise for shared value business opportunities. Before founding Yoxi, Sharon was the Chief Executive Officer of 19 Entertainment, the company behind popular TV shows such as American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance. She has also worked as a brand strategist and creative director of a number of prestigious global agencies, with over 16 years of experience leading major branding and design initiatives for clients such as Sony, Motorola, Cadillac, Estée Lauder, P&G, TED, Starwood Hotels, Universal Music, CNN, and Hulu. Sharon is the Managing Trustee of TTSL Charitable Foundation and sits on the Board of Trustees of New York University. She holds a BA in Studio Art from NYU and a master’s degree in Interactive Telecommunications from the Tisch School of Arts. Her alma maters also include the Royal College of Arts in London and Columbia University’s School of Architecture.
Mrs. Daphne Hoch Cunningham
Mrs. Daphne Hoch Cunningham served on the National Council of the World Wildlife Fund, the Associates of The Asia Society, the Associates of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, on the Evanston Arts Council as appointed by the Mayor and is currently active with The Explorer’s Club and The Field Museum of Chicago. Mrs. Cunningham studied art history and French at Tufts University and was owner and director of Hoch Sculpture International of New York and Chicago for 15 years. She has a special interest in and friendship with the people of Bhutan, having first visited in 1973, and is particularly interested in environmental and cultural projects.
Mr. Douglas W. Hamilton Jr.
Mr. Douglas W. Hamilton Jr. is CEO of Hamilton Associates, Inc. Mr. Hamilton is very involved with philanthropy and is the President of the Board of Trustees of The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, MD, an internationally renowned museum for its collection of art dating from pre-dynastic Egypt to 20th-century Europe including a very fine collection of Asian Art. Mr. Hamilton has strong ties to the Himalayas, in particular Sikkim where his wife Tsognie is from.
Ms. Jane Hancock
Ms. Jane Hancock is President of the Music of Bhutan Research Center (MBRC), USA. She is a credentialed educator and photographer (B.A.). Since co-founding MBRC in 2008 with Kheng Sonam Dorji and Dr. Janet Herman, ethnomusicologist, she has lived part-time in Bhutan assisting MBRC in Thimphu with many creative projects and fundraising. Ms. Hancock has served as lead photographer on several expeditions and is a consultant and voice-over specialist on MBRC films. In 2011, she helped MBRC establish the Annual Bhutanese Folk Music Festival. Ms. Hancock is also involved in music education in the schools in Thimphu and introduced a vision-screening program for young school aged children.
Mr. Eric Lemelson
Mr. Eric Lemelson owns and manages Lemelson Vineyards, a producer of Pinot noir and other cool-climate wines located in Carlton, Oregon, but his real passion is for the earth. In addition to being co-vice president of The Lemelson Foundation, he manages a small foundation that focuses on climate change impacts in the Himalayas. He received a J.D. in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland in 1992. Eric is a Board Member of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, 1000 Friends of Oregon; Potential Energy; and several other NGOs and private companies.
Mrs. Donna E. Marshall
Mrs. Donna Marshall is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice in New York, specializing in multicultural psychology with adults. She graduated from Stephens College in Missouri, moved to New York to work for the Chairman of a private banking firm in client relations and went on to complete her BA from Marymount Manhattan in Political Science and International Affairs. She served as Education Adviser at the United Nations in the offices of Staff Counselor and did her graduate work at Columbia University, earning an M.A. and Ed.M. She has served on the Board of Trustees at Stephens College where she established the Marshall Lecture Series. She has one daughter, Lee Harper Marshall, who is an artist living in New York. Donna has a deep interest and regard for historic preservation and has been very involved in support of the Bhutan Foundation’s work on cultural preservation. Continuing her involvement in women’s education, she has also established several scholarships in Bhutan.
Hon. Kunzang C. Namgyel
Hon. Kunzang C. Namgyel is the Ambassador & Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Bhutan to the United Nations in New York. During her career spanning over three decades in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she has served in various posts at the Ministry as well as Bhutan’s diplomatic Embassies and Missions abroad. Among others, she has served as the Director of the Multilateral Department, Chief of Protocol, Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Bhutan in Geneva, and as Director for Bhutan at the SAARC Secretariat in Kathmandu. She was appointed the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Bhutan to the United Nations, New York, in February, 2014, prior to that having served as the Deputy Permanent Representative with Ambassadorial rank since September, 2011. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Lady Keane College under the North Eastern Hill University, Shillong, India.
Mr. Michael Philipp
Mr. Michael Philipp is Chairman and Managing Partner of Ambata, a merchant bank that seeks to develop businesses as a positive force for change for the people, communities, and environments in which they operate and to advance sustainability as a core competency and operating principle in businesses committed to solving the world's challenges surrounding energy, food, waste, and water. Michael has over 30 years of experience as a senior banking executive and leader and was a member of the Group Executive Board of Credit Suisse from 2005 to 2008, as well as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Credit Suisse Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Michael joined Credit Suisse from Deutsche Bank, where from 2000 to 2002, he was a member of the Board of Managing Directors, responsible for the Middle East and Africa. From 2000 to 2007, Michael was on the Advisory Board of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) and the Executive Board of the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX).Prior to joining Deutsche Bank, Michael spent over a decade at the forefront of the rapidly expanding global futures and options industry. At Goldman Sachs (1982 to 1990), he held a variety of positions in the Fixed Income and Futures Services departments; and at Merrill Lynch (1990 to 1995), he was Global Head of Futures and Options. Mr. Philipp is also Chairman of Reykjavik Geothermal and is a member of the board of the World Wildlife Fund.
Mr. William Tacon
William Tacon is a UK Chartered Accountant and formerly Managing Partner of Ernst & Young and, later, Zolfo Cooper in the British Virgin Islands, where he specialized in Corporate Finance, Insolvency, and Restructuring until he returned to the UK in 2012. William first visited Bhutan in 1996 when he completed a traverse of the country by mountain bike. He has been actively involved with Bhutan ever since and works frequently with the Bhutan Foundation’s partner organization, Loden Foundation, promoting entrepreneurship and advises the Bhutan Foundation on financial management. William is currently working with several Bhutanese CSOs in developing their program strategies and governance.
Mrs. Sukey N. Wagner
Mrs. Susan Nichols Wagner (Sukey Wagner) is a former educator and has spent much of her career doing philanthropic work with a number of organizations including schools in the Transkei, a rural district in South Africa, where she provided over 180,000 books and served on the board of the Vela School there. She has also worked with PWA (People With AIDS) in Brooklyn, New York and co-founded a center for women with HIV/AIDS in Harlem. Ms. Wagner served on the board of Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts for 10 years. She has also been involved with the World Wildlife Fund where her late husband and international banker, Rodney Wagner, served as a member and officer of the board for a number of years. Ms. Wagner sits on the board of Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey and the Colebrook Land Conservancy.
Ms. Rebecca Winsor
Ms. Rebecca D. Winsor lives in San Francisco, where she works as a special needs therapist, and studies clinical psychology. She currently serves on the board of the William H. Donner Foundation and the Donner Canadian Foundation. Her abiding interest in Southeast Asia led her to help establish long-term medical initiatives in India (focused on cleft care), and Bangladesh. From 2007-2008, Ms. Winsor worked for the Bhutan Youth Development Fund- an experience that provided her with an enduring respect for Bhutan and its people. Previously, Ms. Winsor worked as a consultant for Inspired Philanthropy Group, where she advised philanthropists and non-profit organizations on fundraising, marketing and branding for a number of years. As a donor organizer, Ms. Winsor served on the board of Resource Generation, an organization that mobilizes young donors. Ms. Winsor holds a BA from Brown University, and an MPhil from Cambridge University. She regards the example of Gross National Happiness as an important influence in her practice and study of integrative health.
John and Henrietta Goelet
John and Henrietta Goelet founded the Bhutan Foundation in 1986 and are Director Emeriti of the Bhutan Foundation. They have shared their passion for education and agriculture with Bhutan for over 60 years. Mr. Goelet is a renowned vintner with four wineries: Clos Du Val in California, Clover Hill and Taltarni in Australia and Domaine de Nizas in France. His oyster company Satmar is one of Europe's largest. Mr. John Goelet and his family are involved in various business interests and a number of philanthropic endeavors.
Mrs. Lisina M. Hoch
Mrs. Lisina M. Hoch is the co-founder and Director Emeritus of the Bhutan Foundation. She and her family have a long history of involvement with the Kingdom of Bhutan dating back to the 1940s when she went to school in London with Her Majesty Ashi Kesang Choeden Wangchuck. In the years since, she has been involved in numerous development projects in Bhutan. As board members, Mrs. Hoch and her late husband, Mr. Frank Hoch, advised among others, the Asia Society, World Wildlife Fund, the Smithsonian Institution, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Scenic Hudson and Phelps Memorial Hospital.
Lyonpo Om Pradhan
Lyonpo Om Pradhan is cofounder and Director Emeritus of the Bhutan Foundation board of directors. He has served in the Royal Government of Bhutan since 1969 in various capacities including twice as Ambassador and Permanent Representative at the United Nations in New York and as Minister for Trade and Industries. In 2007, His Majesty the King appointed him Chairman of Druk Holding and Investments. He is also author of "Bhutan the Roar of the Thunder Dragon.”
Pema Lektup
Pema Lektup Dorji is the Deputy Permanent Representative of Bhutan to the United Nations in New York. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in June 1992 after graduating from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He has a Masters degree in Political Science from the University of Delhi and Masters degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. Since 1992, he has worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thimphu, Bhutan, in various capacities. He also served at the Royal Bhutanese Embassy in New Delhi, India; the Royal Bhutanese Embassy in Dhaka, Bangladesh; and as Bhutan’s Representative at the Secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) in Kathmandu, Nepal. Pema is married to Deki Yangzom and they have two children.