Deputy Minister and Special Advisor to the National Environment Commission, Dasho Paljor J Dorji, fondly referred to as Dasho Benji, is the Founding President of the Bhutan Ecological Society. Dasho served in various capacities in the Royal Government of Bhutan since 1966 and also established the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN), Bhutan’s first not-for-profit environmental organization, in 1987. He spearheaded the establishment of the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation. Dasho is a recipient of the Jigme Singye Wangchuck Environmental Stewardship Award for Policy Leadership in 2010.
Dasho Nidup Dorji began as a lecturer at Sherubtse College in 1991. From then on, he rose in the ranks to become the Head of Department of Sherubtse College in 1995, Assistant Principal of Sherubtse College in 1998, Director of College of Science & Technology in 2005, CEO of Bhutan Telecom and finally the Vice-Chancellor of the Royal University of Bhutan in 2014.
Mr. Phento Tshering is the Director for the National Environment Commission. He began his career with the Royal Civil Service Commission; as a civil servant and has been in the service for the last 22 years.
Dr. Nawang Norbu (PhD) joined Bhutan Ecological Society in 2017 after having served as Director of the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment. He was the pioneer for the establishment of society while at the institute in 2010. As a Director at the UWICE, he helped convene the Climate Summit for A Living Himalayas, a process that brought together civil society, academics and Government representatives from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal culminating in the signing of the agreement in November 2011 to adopt a framework action plan to adapt to climate change. He also initiated the establishment of the School for Field Studies (SFS) in Bhutan. Prior to working at the institute, he also served as Park Manager for the Phrumsengla National Park where he led the drafting of a 5-year management plan for the park and also the adjoining biological corridor.
Nawang received his PhD in Natural Sciences (Magna cum Laude) from the University of Konstanz and International Max Planck Research School (Germany). He is interested in exploring the drivers and consequences of development and how it influences environmental conservation and societal progress.
Pem Lama has several years of experience in development research and project management and coordination in Bhutan. She has worked at the Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Secretariat for the New Development Paradigm (SNDP) and the Bhutan Foundation in areas of economic development, sustainable consumption and production, societal wellbeing and Gross National Happiness (GNH). Pem is passionate about building a more sustainable and inclusive world and enjoys exploring the inner dimensions (individual mind-sets and behaviour) and outer dimensions (systems and institutions) that affect and shape the world we live in.
She graduated with an MBA from Aarhus Business School in Denmark and a BA in Economics and International Relations from Tufts University in the United States.
As Director for Research and Education at the Bhutan Ecological Society, Sonam oversees and provides leadership for all research and education programs at BES. He also serves as Programme Manager at the Center for Himalayan Environment and Development Studies in Paro – an international environmental field program jointly hosted by the BES, UWICER (DoFPS), and the School for Field Studies (SFS), Massachusetts, USA.
Prior to joining BES, Sonam was Senior Forestry Officer at the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research (UWICER) and also served as District Forestry Officer under the Department of Forest and Park Services. Sonam has extensive working experience promoting community based natural resource management programs.
He has a Masters degree in Forestry Science from the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.
Sonam explores linkages between community based forest management practices and their impacts on livelihoods and poverty reduction. In particular, he is keen on understanding the impacts of climate change on forest ecosystems.
Josh grew up in Chicago and developed an interest in ecology through backyard birds and summer vacations to national parks across the western US. He began his research career at the University of Montana, studying songbirds and several species of large mammals, including the leopards and tigers of Bhutan. After sticking around in Montana following his BS, he moved to the University of California, Riverside to complete his PhD, studying coexistence in the freshwater fish communities in the mountain streams of Trinidad. In his research projects, he uses strong quantitative techniques to unravel the complexity and diversity of ecological systems. When not in the field or crunching numbers, he enjoys running, biking, hiking and taking pictures.
Mr. Namgyel Wangdi currently works under the Department of Landscapes for Enterprise, Agriculture and Forest. Prior to joining the Society, he worked as an intern under the Forest Protection and Enforcement Division of the Department of Forest and Park Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Forest.
He received his B.Sc degree in the field of Forestry form the University of the Philippines, Los Banos. His keen interest in research includes forest ecology, environmental forestry and climate change.
Sonam has a bachelor’s degree in electrical Engineer from College of Science and Technology (Bhutan) and has over seven years of experience working as a Senior Engineering/Planning Head in Bhutan Power Corporation Ltd.. While her initial career took off as a planning engineer, over time she found herself drawn to wildlife conservation, sustainable resource management, and climate change studies and therefore decided to pursue her newly acquired passion. Sonam pursued Masters of Science (Msc.) in Statistics and Data Analytics with specialty in BioAnalytics at the University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA). Much of her graduate research experience focused on studying the habitat use and ecology of the iconic and IUCN red listed Golden Mahseer (Tor putitora) as well as other migratory fish species occupying Himalayan rivers. As such, she has a experience and training both in research design and implementation, as well as in the domains of environmental science, biology and data science.
Beyond numbers and data, she is an avid movie watcher and an amateur photographer who loves to spend time with her family.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from St.Xavier’s College, Kolkata, India. Prior to joining the society, I have worked as a student counselor at Chhundu Enterprises Education Consultancy Place Firm, Global Reach primarily looking after the Australian market.
The topics of sustainability, wildlife and climate change has always been a fascination to me and therefore, I am extremely grateful for being a part of the society to actualize this passion.
Mr. Ugyen heads the Administration & Finance department for the Bhutan Ecological Society. He holds a certificate in General Forestry & Conservation from Bhutan Forestry Institute, Thimphu. Prior to Joining the society in 2017, he worked as a research field assistant with the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research for nine years. Ugyen also served Thrurmshingla National Park (MOAF, DoFPS), Bumthang as Assistant Forester from 2004-2009. He holds a firm interest in wildlife conservation. Mr. Ugyen is a recipient of Royal Civil Service Awards from His Majesty 5th King in 2015.
Mrs. Kinley Dema is the Assistant Administrative and PA to the Director for Bhutan Ecological Society, based in Thimphu. Before joining Bhutan Ecological Society, she worked as an Administrative Support staff at Thrumshingla National Park, DoFPS from 2001 to 2011 and later on she joined Ugyen Wangchuk Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research under the same department from 2012 to 2017 as an Administrative support staff. During her 17 years service to the Government, she worked with dedication to serve the Druk Tas wa Sum.