Sera Koulabdara, Executive Director
Sera serves as Executive Director of Legacies of War, the leading U.S.-based educational and advocacy organization working to address the impact of conflict in Laos during the Vietnam War-era, including removal of unexploded ordnance (UXO). Prior to this role, Sera was a long-time volunteer and served on Legacies’ board in multiple leadership positions including Vice-Chair.
Sera began her non-profit career with The United Way of Central Ohio where she served as Sr. Relationship Manager for four years. In this role, she acted as a philanthropic thought partner and trusted advisor to major central Ohio corporations. Sera also has tenure working at national non-profits like The American Heart Association, Make-A-Wish and Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.
Sera also has a passion for the world’s economy, and first launched her career in Lommel, Belgium as an International Business Consultant. Sera specialized in helping emerging markets and completed projects in over 10 countries including Kuwait, Ghana and South Africa. While in Botswana, Sera discovered her passion for helping others while volunteering with the Clinton Foundation.
Sera received her undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University and graduated with a double major in International Finance and Marketing. She also has a minor in Spanish and speaks four languages.
Aleena Inthaly, Chief of Staff
Aleena worked on facilitating international exchange programs that focus 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.
Brendan Stewart, Chief of Mission Advancement
Brendan originally comes from the small island nation, Singapore, but relocated to the United States as a teenager. He served in the Republic of Singapore Air Force for two years, supporting unmanned aerial vehicle operations, before attending Columbia University in New York. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Earth and Environmental Engineering, with a minor in Anthropology.
Most recently, Brendan served with the Peace Corps for two years in Cambodia’s northeastern Kratie Province, where he taught English at a public secondary school and conducted project work to support the nutrition of local students. He extended his service and assisted with program development, training, and monitoring and evaluation of Peace Corps’ English teaching project within Cambodia before being evacuated due to COVID-19 in March, 2020.
Brendan is an avid fly-fisherman and outdoors enthusiast. When he is not outside, Brendan enjoys playing chess, learning about musical instruments, and cooking.
Danae Hendrickson, Marketing and Communications Specialist
Originally from North Dakota, Danae and her family live in Bellingham, Washington. With over a decade of experience in the specialty coffee industry, Danae specializes in researching stories, putting in the time to learn the craft, and sharing her findings in ways that empower and cause action. Danae’s mother was sponsored to relocate to the US during the war and passed away in January of 2013 from ALS. Since then, Danaehas been inspired to reconnect with her Lao heritage and that is what led her to Legacies of War.
Megan Lombardi, Senior Advocacy and Communications Intern
Megan is the Advocacy and Communcations Intern at Legacies of War and a recent graduate of the George Washington University with a B.A. in International Affairs and conflict resolution. Megan hopes to spend her career advocating for nonviolence and justice anywhere in the world from the community level to the international level. Additionally, she is interested in the field of conflict intervention and peacebuilding at NGOs around the world. Personally, She plans to travel the world as much as possible, and live abroad. She is excited to be part of the Legacies of War team!
Anna Phommachanthone, Senior Executive Intern
Anna is a rising junior at Franklin and Marshall College studying Business and International Studies with a minor in Environmental Studies. Born in Laos and later moved to America at a young age, she has been able to see the stark contrast between the two countries. With passion and pride for her culture, she hopes to eventually move back to Laos and bring a positive impact on the development of the country. In her free time, Anna enjoys taking photos, cooking authentic food, and learning different languages. She has taken four years of German in high school and is currently studying Chinese in college. Anna hopes to travel the world and be able to use her language skills.
Pro Bono Consultants
S. Bay Koulabdara, Designer
Bay comes to us with rich experiences in fine arts, design, and architecture. Educated at The Columbus College of Art and Design(CCAD) and The Ohio State University, Bay ventured to the DC Metro area to begin his career after earning his Architecture degree. Bay has worked in Architecture, Exhibit Design, as well as Environmental Design, he has successfully brought major architecture and museum exhibit projects to life by leading the design process and using his expertise in building systems to coordinate with architects, engineers, and contractors. He has completed projects ranging from local, state, and federal projects including the Smithsonian Institution and National Park Service.
After over a decade in the DC Metro area, Bay moved back to his home state of Ohio and is currently working as a Senior Industrial Designer for a Building and Environmental Signage Firm. When Bay is not working his day job, he uses his skills and hobbies to help non-profit organizations, including us. Bay has donated his drawings and paintings for auctions to benefit fundraisers, he has also donated his time to provide photography and graphic design services to us and many other non-profit institutions. See some of his work on his Instagram: @bay_zooka