Laos – COI

Dr Ian Baird 

Work phone: 1-608-265-0012

Dr Ian G. Baird is a US citizen, now a full Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has extensive experience working, living and conducting research in Laos and Thailand. He lived in both countries full-time between the mid-1980s and 2010. He speaks, reads and writes Lao and Thai fluently. He continues to travel to both countries regularly to conduct research. He also has extensive experience working with Lao and Hmong refugees from Laos living in the USA, Canada and France.

Karen Coates


Karen Coates is an author, journalist and media trainer with more than 20 years of reporting experience in Southeast Asia. She is co-editor/producer on the forthcoming film, ETERNAL HARVEST, which documents the lasting effects of the US bombing campaign in Laos. The film is a follow-up to the book Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos, which was a finalist for the Investigative Reporters & Editors Book Award. Her book Cambodia Now: Life in the Wake of War, winner of the August Derleth Award, is an examination of Cambodian life in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge. She also authored the award-winning travel book This Way More Better: Stories and Photos from Asia’s Back Roads. Coates is a fellow with the International Women’s Media Foundation, contributing editor for Archaeology Magazine, former Ted Scripps Fellow in Environmental Journalism, and former senior fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism (which closed in 2018). Her multimedia journalism has appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Christian Science Monitor, Pacific Standard, NPR, and many others. Her work in Southeast Asia began in 1996, through a graduate exchange program with Vietnam National University in Hanoi. In 1998-99, Coates worked as a reporter and editor for The Cambodia Daily in Phnom Penh. She routinely returns to the region to report on health, environment and social justice.

Joshua Kurlantzick


Joshua Kurlantzick is Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he studies Asian politics, rights, and economics. He also has done extensive work on asylum cases for nationals from Vietnam, Myanmar, the Philippines, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand, China, Indonesia, and other Northeast, Southeast and South Asian nations. His work has included analyses of the political environment, judiciary, and state of political and civil rights in many South, Southeast, and Northeast Asian countries, as well as assessments of criminal syndicates and trafficking in these states. He has worked with more than ten U.K. firms and multiple U.S. firms on nearly thirty asylum cases. He is the author of five books on Southeast Asian politics, institutions, rights, and economics. Kurlantzick also has been a Visiting Scholar in the China program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a Fellow at the Pacific Council on International Policy, a Columnist for Time, a Special Correspondent for The New Republic, an Asian Correspondent for The Economist, and a Contributing Writer for Mother Jones, among other positions. He has twenty years of experience covering events in Asia, and writing about rights issues in Asia, for a range of periodicals including The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic Monthly, Rolling Stone, the London Review of Books, The Washington Monthly, The Washington Quarterly,  and Foreign Policy, among others.

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