Thailand – 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.

Amy A. Smith


Amy Smith is an executive director of Fortify Rights. Previously, Amy worked as a consultant focusing on regional migration and refugee protection issues with the Labor Migration and Trafficking Unit of the International Organization of Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Regional Office for Southeast Asia. Amy served as the Myanmar and Thailand researcher for the International Secretariat of Amnesty International and worked with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Malaysia and Thailand, facilitating research and programming with urban and camp-based refugees from Myanmar. Amy authored numerous reports and publications on human rights and humanitarian issues, including for Human Rights Watch, and has experience providing legal representation and expert testimony for asylum seekers in the U.S. Amy is a licensed U.S. attorney with a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and a B.S. from Northeastern University. 

Dr Zachary Abuza

Email :

Dr. Zachary Abuza is a Professor at the National War College, in Washington, DC, where he focuses on Southeast Asian politics and security issues, including governance, insurgencies, democratization and human rights. He has just completed a manuscript, a comparative analysis of the peace processes in Aceh, Mindanao and southern Thailand, to be published in September 2016 by Rowman Littlefield. In 2015, he authored a major study on the media and civil society development in Vietnam for the National Endowment for Democracy. He is the author of six books, five monographs and numerous articles and book chapters on politics and security issues in Southeast Asia.

Dr Claudia Merli (FGM/C)


Dr Claudia Merli is Lecturer in Socio-Cultural Anthropology (Health) at Durham University, UK. She is a social anthropologist specialising in medical anthropology, the body, and reproductive health, with regional expertise in Southeast Asia, Thailand and Malaysia. She has provided the first detailed account of FGM/C practices in Southern Thailand. She is conducting research on male and FGM/C in different communities in Thailand. She has been consulted by WHO officers in relation to government policies on FGM/C in Indonesia, and by Swedish researchers to be expert evaluator for a research questionnaire to assess knowledge, practices, and perceptions of male and female genital cutting among Somali refugees in Sweden.

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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