Channapha Khamvongsa, Executive Director
Channapha Khamvongsa is founder and executive director of Legacies of War, an organization that seeks to address the problem of unexploded ordnance in Laos, to provide space for healing the wounds of war, and to create greater hope for a future of peace. The organization uses art, culture, education, and community organizing, especially among the Lao diaspora, to create healing and transformation out of the wreckage of war. Legacies has successfully advocated for an increase in U.S. funding for bomb clearance in Laos, from an annual average of $2M in 2008 to $30M in 2016. In September 2016, President Barack Obama acknowledged Channapha’s advocacy efforts in Laos, where he became the first U.S. President to visit the country. Channapha has written and spoken widely about the secret war in Laos and its aftermath and has appeared in the New York Times, Democracy Now!, CNN, ABC, PBS and CBS News. She previously worked at the Ford Foundation and NEO Philanthropy on immigrant rights, civil society, civic engagement, capacity building, and transformational leadership. She has served on the Seattle Women’s Commission, as well as on the boards of the Refugee Women’s Alliance and the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL). She was born in Vientiane, Laos and came to the U.S. as a refugee at the age of seven. Channapha received her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Public Administration from George Mason University. She received her Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University.
Aleena Inthaly, Development and Operations Manager
Aleena worked on facilitating international exchange programs while at World Learning, an international nonprofit organization that focuses on international development, education, and exchange programs. Since then, she has spent time around the world including Thailand, Turkey, Moldova, and India. Aleena returned back to DC to become more involved with immigrant communities in the Washington DC area, specifically a community that hits close to home, the Lao community. Aleena’s main passion in life is to connect people through conversations of memories, history, culture, and the traditions that come with meeting people in new places and is using that passion in her work at Legacies of War. In her spare time, Aleena is a Washington DC food tour guide and takes groups through the U St. and Shaw neighborhoods discussing the incredible history of the city, its communities, and the amazing places to eat on each block. Aleena graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.A. in Political Science concentrating on International Relations and also started the first student chapter of Legacies of War during her time in school.
Alejandra Ureta, Communications and Development Project Intern
Originally from Spain, Alejandra lived in Switzerland for 9 years before moving to Washington DC to pursue her undergraduate degree in International Affairs at the George Washington University and has just returned from her semester abroad in Paris, France. Alejandra is extremely passionate about development and human rights and has participated in multiple volunteer projects around the world. At GW Alejandra is the director of fundraising and membership of GW UNICEF and has coordinated many events to raise money for the children. After graduation, Alejandra plans to obtain a dual master’s degree in International Relations and Business Administration in the hope that this will help her achieve her long term goal of returning to Geneva, Switzerland and working at the United Nations division of Global Health.
Victoria Liu, Graphic Consultant
Victoria Liu is a recent graduate of Princeton University, where she studied International Law and Institutions within the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She is fascinated by macro-level examinations of the movements of institutions, nations, and individuals. She is the past Director of Marketing at Princeton’s Advertise This, Princeton’s only marketing and advertising club, seeking to explore the abstract construction of image and its effect on audience reception and interest.