The Vientiane International School Board of Trustees is a nine-member volunteer group of parents committed to the mission of the school which is to challenge, inspire and empower students to develop their unique potential in our changing world.
The purpose of the Board of Trustees is to ensure that the school delivers on the mission, vision, values, and destiny plans while maintaining the resources and capacity to secure long-term sustainability.
The Board helps to ensure that as a school we provide a safe, respectful, collaborative and sustainable learning environment for not only students, but the entire VIS community.
VIS Board of Trustees School Year 2023 - 2024
Sophia joined the VIS Board in 2020 as a member. On 2022, Sophia was elected Board Chair, with Sandra Seastedt as a Co Chair in order to ensure proper succession planning. She is currently working in Laos as the Chief of Party for the USAID Legal Aid Support Program at the Asia Foundation. She previously worked as an access to justice advisor and in a number of other positions for government and UN agencies and NGOs in Timor-Leste and Australia. In Timor-Leste she also served on the board of some local NGOs.
Sandra joined the board in 2015 as Vice Chair and has held the Board Chair role since 2016. Currently, she holds the Co Chair role in transition to Sophia Cason. She is a practicing psychotherapist. Raised in Switzerland and educated in the US, she lived in Ethiopia and the Dominican Republic before arriving in Vientiane in 2014. She has enjoyed learning about good board governance and feels lucky to be surrounded by such a compassionate group of colleagues as they support the school in fulfilling its mission.
Ariya (Pop) Khamvongsa has a BA in accounting, and a Masters Degree in International Hospitality and Hotel Management from the University of Western Sydney. He returned to his home country of Lao, 10 years ago. He brings with him 10+ years of experience as the CEO of Naked Espresso. Pop has a child who attends VIS.
US Embassy Representative
Christopher Dumm is the Management Officer at the US Embassy in Vientiane. He previously worked in Chengdu, China; New Delhi, India; Milan, Italy; and most recently in Washington DC. Prior to joining the Department of State, he worked in the non-profit world and for a member of the US House of Representatives. Chris attended the University of Virginia. He and his wife Danielle have two children who are excited to attend VIS.
Hani moved to Vientiane in August of 2018 and brings his experience as an accountant, former member of a board. He was previously a Board of Trustee member of a Church in the UK and worked closely with the Treasurer & Finance committee. As a former VIS parent he was involved with swimming events and One World Day. Currently, he works closely with the VIS Operations and Finance Manager from the UK, where he has recently relocated with his family.
Lauren is Laos's Senior Australian Defence representative to Laos. Her deep understanding of the need for diplomacy and the operational construct of running a business/ office are some of the assets she brings to the board. While Lauren’s undergraduate education was as a Nurse, she has a master's in Business and Strategic Logistics Management, which includes content in strategic asset and infrastructure experience along with years of operational experience.
MoonYoung (Bona) Kim
Bona has been a long-standing community member, educator, and a Parents and Friends Volunteer and Coordinator since 2014. Bona has a background in comprehensive education and welfare, the Korean language for foreigners, and multiculturalism, which has allowed her to engage deeply in all those areas in our community. Her social nature and ability to network have been an incredible asset to the VIS community. Her experience in general management will offer an excellent opportunity to the board to benefit from her background, experience, and commitment to our school.
Rupert was the Vice-Chair of the Banjul American International School, The Gambia, for 4 years. He has been an engaged parent in our community, and his wife, Bessy, is an active Parent and Friends Association member at VIS. Rupert brings a strong background in policy from a long career in management and the UN system, including child protection, human resources, community engagement, communications, and contracting. He has extensive experience managing multi-million dollar budgets and representing at the highest level for policy change.
Yasuo (Ya) Philaphandeth, a Lao national, brings a wealth of board experience with him. He is currently a board member in 4 other companies. He holds an MBA with a major in Finance from Meijo University and has been back to Laos for the past 12 years. Yasuo is the parent of 2 students at VIS.