Our Team

Steve Galster – Founder, Executive Director

steveSteve has helped develop five organizations, including Global Survival Network (USA), Phoenix (Russia), WildAid, ASEAN-WEN, and Freeland. Steve has served as a Chief of several USAID-sponsored programs between 2005-2012 and now works closely with the ASEAN Secretariat, NGOs, Police, Customs, and environmental agencies of 14 Asian countries to develop multi-agency task forces and public awareness initiatives that address transnational organized crime.  His background covers investigative research, media campaigning, and program development relating to counter-human and wildlife trafficking programs in the former Soviet Union, USA, China, Afghanistan, Africa and Southeast Asia.

Kraisak Choonhavan – Freeland Chairman

Kraisak ChoonhavanKraisak Choonhavan has been working actively to protect the environment and natural resources of Thailand for many years. He has been a committee member and advisor for the Government and NGOs in this field. Recent appointments include: 2000-2006: Advisor of the Senate Standing Committee on Environment, 2004: Chairman of the Advisory Board for the CITES 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP13) by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. 1996: Advisory Board Committee of Bangkok Metropolitan Governor, Dr. Bhichit Rattakul, on Environment, Art and Culture. Chairman Kraisak is often invited by institutions and organizations to give lectures on human rights and environmental management. 

Kasit Piromya – Freeland Board of Director

1200px-Kasit_Piromya_NY_2009-9-28Educated in Europe and Washington, DC, Kasit Pirom boasts a long and distinguished career in Thailand’s diplomatic corps, serving as the Thai ambassador to the United States, Germany, Japan and the Soviet Union. Between 2008 and 2011, he was the Foreign Minister of Thailand. Keenly interested in the issues of wildlife and human trafficking, Kasit brings these decades of experience on the world stage to his role as Freeland’s Honorary Advisor and Member of the Board of Directors.

 

Sulma Warne – Deputy Director

SulmaSulma is an Australian national with over 16 years of experience in Asia working on biodiversity conservation and illegal wildlife trade issues. He has worked for numerous other organizations including IUCN, TRAFFIC, The Nature Conservancy, the Elephant Conservation Network, and was also a United Nations Volunteer. In addition to almost five years in Thailand, Sulma’s working career has spanned a number of other countries including ten years in Vietnam, two years in Lao PDR, and one year in Bangladesh. While only based in a handful of countries, Sulma has worked with a broad variety of government and non-government stakeholders, and on a wide array of conservation issues across the Asia region.

Chanadda Thanikulapat, Assistant to Executive Director


Administrative & Finance Team

Dawan (Art) Sofiani  – General Manager & Human Resources Manager

Art has over 20 years of experience with non-government organizations. Art has been with Freeland since 2007. She played a significant role in establishing the ASEAN-WEN Program Coordination Unit in 2007 as well as conducting and organizing Freeland major events, such as the international workshop “A Forgotten Crisis: Arresting Wildlife Depletion in Asia through Strengthened Regional Cooperation and Effective Partnerships.”

Team Members

Choorit Kiativutikul, Accounting Manager
Saruta Vongroong, Cashier
Sunun (Kae) Kaewmakean, Procurement Officer
Mala Koopthavonrerk, Procurement Manager


Behavior Change and Communications Team

Josie Raine – Director of Behavior Change and Communications

Josie is a British national with over 14 years’ experience working in behavior change and communications strategy. She is currently based in Bangkok. Josie previously worked with the UK government’s public information department on counter drink-driving campaigns, drugs awareness and road safety campaigns. Josie most recently worked for a New York based communication and media agency on their Procter and Gamble account where she led communications planning for Procter and Gamble’s Oral Health Care brands across North America. Josie has advised on communication strategy for the World Health Organization (Kabul, Afghanistan), Medicin Du Monde (USA), UNICEF (USA) as well as for countless household brands and services. Josie is a guest lecturer at City University New York on communications strategy and branding. 

Team Members

Kayleigh Ghiot, Graphic Designer Communications Officer
Sariyaporn Srisuksawad, Communications Campaign Officer
Jim Algie, Communications Support Officer


Empowerment Team

Prompen Wattanabud, Training Coordinator and Operations Support

Surviving Together
Aphirak (Art) Wipawin, Alternative Livelihood Team Leader
Sayan Raksachart, Community Outreach Team Leader
Tim Redford, Surviving Together Program Director/Training Coordinator
Waraporn (Jib) Raksachart, Field Administrative Officer
Wilaiwan (Tik) Kalyakool, Senior Field Coordinator


Governance Team

Brian Gonzales – Liaison, Monitoring, Evaluation and Development Team Leader 

brian gonzales smlBrian Gonzales’s work experience has been wide and varied. With 14 years of experience in project and technical assistance management, and conservation and enforcement policy, Brian has also worked on program monitoring and evaluation, as well as political and capacity building/networking in Asia and Europe. For eight and a half of those years, he has also supported the development of the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN) in Bangkok, Thailand. He is currently a Team Leader for Research, Monitoring, Evaluation and Development (RMED), and Program Liaison Officer to ASEAN for the USAID-funded ARREST Program (Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking) implemented by Freeland in Bangkok, Thailand.  Previously, he was engaged by TRAFFIC, a joint program of WWF and IUCN, as the Bangkok-based Regional Project Officer of the ‘US Support Program to ASEAN-WEN’. Brian also worked for WWF and the Asian Development Bank in Manila. He holds a Master’s degree in Management of Development from the University of Turin, Italy and, a B.A. from De La Salle University – College of Saint Benilde, Manila. In December 2013, Brian was named an “Asia 21” Young Leader by Asia Society – Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Bussara (Pim) Tirakalyanapan- Senior Research and Development Officer

Bussara (Pim) TirakalyanapanBussara (Pim) Tirakalyanapan has been working for Freeland since its establishment in 2002. Currently with Freeland’s Liaison, Monitoring, Evaluation and Development (LMED) Team, supporting Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) of the USAID-funded ARREST Program (Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking), government relations with Thailand, parliamentary and legislation outreach and ASEAN-WEN Program Coordination Unit support. In 2010, she was awarded “Honorary Special Agent of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service” for her contributions to a transnational investigation on illegal ivory trade between Asia and the U.S. From 2013-2014 she served as Senate Advisor to the Sub-Committee on Forestry and Wildlife (under Senate Standing Committee on Environment) which was tasked to improve forestry and wildlife policies in Thailand. She is also a member of IUCN Commission on Education and Communication (CEC) In 2014, the U.S. State Department awarded her a fellowship on Biodiversity Conservation for the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) . Pim received her Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Natural Resources and Environmental Management from Mahidol University, Thailand. 

Sallie C.W. Yang – Senior Program Officer and Legal Support Program Coordinator

Sallie coordinates the ASEAN Legal Studies and Support Program to Fight Transnational Organized Wildlife Crime, a partnership between Freeland, ASEAN-WEN, UNODC, USAID, USFWS and APCEL-NUS. She is a lawyer, qualified both in the UK as a barrister-at-law and Singapore as an advocate and solicitor. She has more than 18 years experience as a litigation lawyer and as lead counsel for MNCs in infrastructure, environmental and renewable energy sectors. Sallie has lived and worked in Singapore, Thailand, the UK, Spain, Italy, Denmark and Argentina. She holds a law degree (LLB, Hons) from the University of London, UK and a Masters (MSc) in Environment Management from the National University of Singapore.

Team Members

Dariya Suebkraisorn, Program and Administrative Assistant


Trafficking Free Enterprises

Matthew Pritchett – Director of Trafficking Free Enterprises

Matthew PhotoMatthew is a dual British Canadian citizen who has been with Freeland since 2013. As the Director of Trafficking Free Enterprises, he engages the private sector to build awareness and capacity to combat wildlife trafficking and human slavery. Matthew has more than 10 years’ experience in corporate training and uses these skills to create and implement courses that empower the private sector, such as the aviation industry, to play their role in protecting people and the environment. Matthew also works closely with companies to integrate conservation and human rights initiatives into their CSR programs.


Freeland Across the World

Brazil
Alex Petroff, Advisor
David Castañeda, Project Implementation
Dimas Marques, Director of Communications
Leandro Bondar, Director of Education
Janaína Monteiro, General Coordinator
João Morgante, Advisor
Juliana M Ferreira, Executive Director
Nádia Moraes-Barros, Director of Scientific Research
Railiane Abreu, Project Implementation

India
Onkuri Majumdar, Managing Director
Vijay Kumar Dhawan, Training Consultant

Kenya
Jack Marubu, Technical officer
Sean O’Regan, Chief Technical Officer
Eric Njuguna, Finance Officer

South Africa
Joy Meglasson, Partnership Development Officer

USA
Gretchen Peters, Crime Convergence Analysis
Evelyn Galster, Administrative Assistant

Vietnam
Ha Thi Minh Thang, Project Officer