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Staff and Board


STAFF

Jennifer Quigley, President
Jennifer Quigley has worked on the movement for freedom and justice in Burma in different capacities for ten years. Prior to joining the U.S. Campaign for Burma, she worked for the Women’s League of Burma and its member organizations on international advocacy and capacity building both while living in Thailand and in the U.S. Her work included advocating for and with women from Burma at the United Nations to both ensure the U.N. Security Council and other UN bodies pressure the military regime to end violence against women and bring peace and democracy to Burma and guarantee women from Burma are full participants in all stages and decision-making levels of the peace-building process.

As the President for the U.S. Campaign for Burma, she works to ensure international policymakers, including the US government, support the movement for freedom and democracy in Burma, provide support for human rights and humanitarian needs, as well as seek to bring justice and an end to crimes against humanity and impunity in Burma.

Simon Billenness, Executive Director
Simon founded and led the New England Burma Roundtable from 1994 to 2006. He organized the successful grassroots lobbying for the passage of the Massachusetts Burma Law and spurred groups throughout the country to enact 20 similar municipal Burma selective purchasing laws. He has also led efforts to push shareholders to put pressure on corporations in Burma through shareholder resolutions and action at corporate annual shareholder meetings. Over 100 companies from North America, Europe and Asia withdrew from Burma under the pressure from these campaigns. Simon worked as a Senior Analyst at Trillium Asset Management, a socially responsible investment firm, Senior Policy Advisor for Corporate Engagement at Oxfam America, Senior Advisor for Special Projects and Shareholder Advocacy at the AFL-CIO Office of Investment, and Senior Campaign Representative for the Sierra Club. Before joining US Campaign for Burma as Executive Director, Simon founded and directed the CSR Strategy Group, which helps investors and NGOs develop and implement shareholder activism campaigns.


Myra Dahgaypaw, Campaigns Coordinator
Myra Dahgaypaw is a Karen human rights activist from Karen State, Eastern Burma.  She was an internally displaced person for about 12 years and a refugee for 17 years until she resettled to the United States. Myra has lost many family members and friends to the brutality of Burma’s military regime. Since the age of 13, Myra has played a strong role in her community as an organizer and a human rights advocate.

As a member of the Karen Women’s Organization and a board member of the Karen American Communities Foundation, Myra has testified before Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. She assists and advocates for refugees from Burma who are resettled in the US. Myra has participated in many panel discussions and conferences on Burma.


Brianna Oliver, Consultant


Mariam Mehter, Advocacy Fellow

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Larry Dohrs
Larry Dohrs's first visit to Burma was in 1982. In 1985 he completed an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from University of Michigan, with a particular focus on the agricultural economies of Thailand and Burma. Throughout the 1980s he wrote economic updates on mainland Southeast Asia for the journal Southeast Asia Business. He travels to Southeast Asia every year, and has had the privilege of meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other leaders of the democracy movement. He leads the Seattle Burma Roundtable in his hometown of Seattle, Washington State on a monthly basis for more than 10 years. He is currently an adjunct Professor for Economics at Antioch University in Seattle and Vice President of Newground Social Investment, also in Seattle.

Sam Gregory
Sam Gregory is a video producer, trainer, and human rights advocate, and is currently the Program Director of WITNESS, the non-governmental organization that uses video and online technologies to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations. He has been an activist on Burma for the past decade, and over the past five years has worked extensively with the grassroots organization, Burma Issues to support their work documenting and advocating around the situation in eastern Burma, including supporting the production and distribution of the videos "Shoot on Sight', 'Season of Fear' and 'Always on the Run' to audiences worldwide. In 2005 he was the lead editor on Video for Change: A Guide for Advocacy and Activism (Pluto Press), and he has conducted trainings on how to use video in campaigns for groups worldwide.


Gordon Welty
Gordon is the Executive Director of Burma Community Builders, a nonprofit organization which focuses on building schools and educating the internally displaced people of Burma. He founded the organization as a means of responding to Aung San Suu Kyi’s call to “use your liberty to promote ours.”

A former Marine in the infantry, Gordon developed a strong conviction toward peace while preparing to invade Iraq after the September 11, 2001 attacks. He is a Buddhist, and it was his experience with the destructive power of violence that led him to work for democracy and human rights in Burma. His other experiences include the position of Aide to the President at TreePeople, where he was a founding member of the organization’s award-winning strategic visioning team. Gordon is a graduate of UCLA. 


Byron Rushing
Byron serves the Ninth Suffolk district in the Massachusetts House of Representatives representing the South End neighborhood of Boston. A Democrat, first elected in 1982 , Representative Rushing, serves as the Majority Whip. Representative Rushing's priorities are human and civil rights and liberties; local human, economic and housing development; environmental justice and health care.

Representative Rushing was an original sponsor of the gay rights bill and the chief sponsor of the law to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in public schools. He is a spokesman against the restoration of the death penalty in Massachusetts and for a moratorium on executions in the nation. He leads the effort for size acceptance and anti-discrimination on the basis of height and weight. He led the Commonwealth's anti-apartheid efforts and was the co-author, with Simon Billenness, and chief sponsor of the Massachusetts Burma law that was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000. He was the chief sponsor of the health reform law ending pre-existing condition refusals by insurance companies. He is a chief sponsor of legislation for needle exchange programs and over-the-counter sale of sterile needles.

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