Our Team

OU Virak

Founder & Chairperson

 

OU Virak is one of Cambodia’s most prominent and principled political analysts and human rights activists, with proven expertise in strengthening grassroots movements, conducting political economy analyses, spearheading organizational development and directing risk assessments. Prior to founding Future Forum in late 2015, Virak led the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, one of Cambodia’s premier human rights organizations, where he turned the organization around and rebuilt it from the ground up after significant losses in both staff and funding. He has led successful campaigns to free human rights activists and tackled some of the most controversial issues in Cambodia: rule of law, freedom of expression, racism, LGBT rights, forced evictions and more. He holds an MA in Economics. 

 

Areas of Expertise: Political Economy; Human Rights; Organizational Development

Rupert ABBOTT

Member of Board of Advisors 

 

Rupert Abbott is a British lawyer specialising in the design and development of human rights initiatives and organisations, and in undertaking complex human rights research and investigations. He is a founder and Co-Director of RightsStart, a hub for human rights experts working to strengthen the human rights movement. Rupert has almost a decade of experience working in Southeast Asia. Before co-founding RightsStart, he was the Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Programme and the organisation’s Research Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. He was Amnesty International’s Researcher on Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam, served with the United Nations as the Acting Head of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal’s Defence Support Section, and was previously the Director of Programmes and Organisational Development at the Cambodian Center for Human Rights. Having studied law at the University of Sussex, Rupert trained and qualified as a lawyer at the global law firm Baker & McKenzie LLP. He also holds a BA and MA in modern history from the University of Oxford.

 

Delphine CONSTANTIN

Member of Board of Advisors 

 

Delphine Constantin is a lawyer with an international law firm in Singapore, where her practice focuses on International Disputes, International Projects, International Investments and Global Compliance matters. She advises corporations,funds,multilaterals and governments on transactional and dispute matters. Delphine Constantin has more than 15 years of experience - principally in South East Asia, where she has worked in private practice and with multilateral institutions. She holds an LL.B. from McGill University (Canada), a Master in Law (Magistère) from the University of Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne), and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. 

 

 

Dr PAK Kimchoeun 

Member of Board of Advisors 

 

Dr PAK Kimchoeun is a Cambodian researcher/consultant, with a Master Degree in Public Finance from Syracuse University (New York, 2002) and a PhD in Public Policy from the Australian National University (ANU) (Canberra, 2010). Since 2003, his areas of research have included: decentralization, political economy analysis, public budgeting, public administrative reform, youth development, and social protection. He has provided research and consultancy services to various government agencies, including: National Committee for Decentralization and De-concentration (NCDD-S), Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation (MOSAVY), Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA), and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS). The main donor agencies that he has worked for include: UNDP, SIDA, GIZ, UNICEF, World Bank, USAID, DFAT, OECD, ILO, Save the Children, and a few other development partners. He has been actively engaged in key professional networks, including: the Local Governance Initiative and Network (LOGIN) Asia, the Cambodian Economic Association (CEA) and the Working Group on Partnership for Decentralization (WGPD).

 

Varun AERY

Deputy Research Director 

 

Varun is an American lawyer and legal scholar specializing in international human rights law. He primarily analyzes how the law aims to promote social welfare of those living in extreme poverty. His past scholarship sought to strengthen legal commitments to the fundamental rights to human dignity, work, housing, healthcare, freedom from caste and gender discrimination, healthy environments, and marriage equality. Recently, he served as the Senior Research Assistant to the United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights. Earlier, at the U.S. Department of State, Varun briefed U.S. Foreign Service Officers on global issues, such as the Responsibility to Protect. Earlier still, he assisted attorneys at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission investigate companies that reportedly engaged in abusive and fraudulent financial practices, which led American consumers to lose their homes and livelihoods. He holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the University of Michigan School of Law and a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from the University of California, Davis School of Law. 

 

Areas of Expertise: Public International law; Human Rights; International Trade; International Environmental Law; Rule of Law and Good Governance 

Dr. Marcus MOHLIN

Senior Policy Research Fellow

 

In addition to serving as Future Forum's Senior Policy & Research Advisor, Markus is also a Senior Lecturer/Assistant Professor at the Swedish Defense University in Stockholm where he has lectured on International Relations and Strategic Studies. In that capacity he was also the Head of Education in Strategic Studies with the Department of Strategy, Security and Leadership (ISSL). Dr Mohlin is a graduate of the School of International Futures (SOiF), and has published articles and book chapters on Strategy, the Privatization of Security, the war in Libya and conflict in general. Dr Mohlin is a former submarine officer and has also served with the UN in Angola and in the Balkans with NATO.

 

Areas of Expertise: Strategy & Policy Formulation; Future Studies; International Relations/Foreign Policy

CHEM Srey Oeun

Research Fellow 

 

Srey Oeun CHEM, a Research Fellow at Future Forum, has experience in managing local and multi-country research projects with various clients including local, regional and multi-national firms, and local and international NGOs. She is the author of the report “Cambodian Millennial Trends,” which analyses consumer habits of young Cambodians. Srey Oeun was a Senior Research Manager at Kantar TNS Cambodia, where she led various research projects on consumer insights, trends of young people, elections and democracy, gender and other social issues. She was nominated for the Women’s Leadership Academy Program for Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), a US program to connect young leaders from ASEAN countries in 2016. She holds a Masters of Arts in Social Policy and Social Development from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. 

 

Areas of Expertise: Research Project Management, Research Design; Qualitative Research

 

ENG Sokha 

Research Associate

 

Holding an MA in Development Policy, Sokha has held a number of positions with NGOs in Cambodia prior to joining Future Forum, working on women’s political representation and participation and freedom of expression online at the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, and as a trainer at Hagar Cambodia, where she facilitated training courses to vulnerable youth, women and female prisoners at the Correction Center 2. She was also selected by the UN Women Cambodia country office to serve as the Cambodian youth delegate to attend the 58th UN Commission on the Status of Women, in March 2014. 

 

KHUN Bunhour

Research Assistant/ Translator 

 

Prior to joining Future Forum, Bunhour worked as a Media Monitor Intern with the Cambodia Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) and as a Legal Officer with True Money Cambodia Limited. He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws in 2015 and is now pursuing a Master of Laws at the Royal University of Law and Economics in Phnom Penh.

 

 

Areas of expertise: Contract Law; Intellectual Property Law

CHENG Vanda

Finance & Admin Assistant

 

Vanda has worked as an accountant with a local company for the last three years. He graduated from the Royal University of Law and Economics with a Bachelor of Arts in Banking and Finance, and also holds a Bachelors in Chinese Literature from Jip Seng University in Phnom Penh. Vanda has also successfully completed an accountant training course and a credit officer course, both with ACLEDA Bank. 

 

Affiliated Researchers

HOUR Thany

 

Thany Hour has had broad exposure to international development projects, and governmental and non-governmental work, both nationally and internationally.  Thany is currently working as a consultant at Emerging Markets Consulting. She completed a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master of Science in Community Sustainability, specializing in International Development, from Michigan State University, both in the USA. Over years of experience working at the national and sub-national with public and private agencies, development partners, and several NGOs, she has developed her research interests and career across the spectrum of agricultural innovation, value chain assessments, and impact evaluations. 

 

Area of Expertise: Impact Evaluation; International Development; Value Chain Assessment. 

 

 

Sebastian STRANGIO

 

Sebastian Strangio is a journalist and independent researcher focusing on Southeast Asia. From 2008 to 2011 he worked as an editor and reporter at The Phnom Penh Post, and he has traveled and reported extensively on Cambodia, as well as from Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, China, India, Bangladesh, South Korea, and the Russian Far East. Sebastian is the author of the acclaimed book Hun Sen’s Cambodia (Yale University Press, 2014), a path-breaking examination of the country’s history since the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979. He has become a leading commentator on politics in Cambodia, and has published journal articles and book chapters on various aspects of the country’s affairs. He currently splits his time between Phnom Penh and Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

 

Areas of Expertise: Political Economy; International Relations; Freedom of Expression

Dr. Bradley MURG

 

Dr. Bradley J. Murg teaches as an assistant professor of political science and serves as director of the program in Global Development Studies. Dr. Murg is also an affiliate professor in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. He was named by Seattle Pacific students as the 2017 Professor of the Year. Dr. Murg’s research, supported by grants from the Social Science Research Council and the International Research and Exchanges Board, focuses on legal reform, the political economy of foreign aid, energy policy, and economic development in China, Cambodia, Lao, and Vietnam. Dr. Murg graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Emory University where he also completed his master’s degree, focusing on the moral philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas. He also holds an M.Sc. in Economic History from the London School of Economics. Dr. Murg’s doctoral dissertation at the University of Washington focused on the economics legal reform and economic development in China, Russia, and Kazakhstan.

 

 

Robert FINCH

 

Robert Finch is a qualified lawyer and independent legal consultant, who has worked with organisations in Southeast Asia for seven years, predominantly in Cambodia and Myanmar.  Prior to that, he worked for five years as a financial regulatory lawyer with Magic Circle UK law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP and top Wall Street firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP on a range of compliance, banking regulatory, and anti-money laundering issues.  As well as being instrumental in the development of Future Forum and Myanmar policy think tank Progressive Voice, he is one of the founding partners of Amicus Legal and Advisory LLP, a new legal advisory firm which advises NGOs, private sector firms, think tanks and research institutes globally.

 

Areas of Expertise: Rule of Law, Democratic Institutions, International Relations

 

 

CHHEAT Sreang 

 

Chheat Sreang has more than 10 years of experience in research management and leadership, development programme management, policy and academic research and teaching. He recently left his program manager post at the Center for Khmer Studies (CKS) to continue his PhD at the University of Queensland in Australia. Academically, he earned two Master degrees--MA degree in Cultural Studies and Global Studies. Sreang has been a part-time lecturer at the University of Cambodia for the last eight years.  He also spent most of his career in policy and academic research. He was a research fellow and program coordinator at the Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI) and has published several articles and working papers on development, local governance, and public sector reform in Cambodia. Moreover, Sreang was a human right advocate at the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) between 2007 and 2009 and a local development practitioner at the Lutheran World Federation Cambodia.

 

Sreang’s research interests include local development, democratization, public sector reform, urban governance, local politics and development, and youth's political participation.

Young Research Fellows-Program Year 2018

CHAN Sam Art 

 

Sam Art obtained his first Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Royal University of Law and Economics in 2015 and his second Bachelor’s degree in International Studies, majoring in International Relations (IR), from IFL in 2017. Previously, he interned at two distinct institutions, the Department of International Studies Project Team and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Cambodia. His research interest includes Cambodia’s foreign policy. 

 

CHHERN Sreyneang

 

Sreyneang received her Bachelor’s degree in law from Norton University in 2016. She has volunteered at Transparency International Cambodia and for various NGOs. Here, she discovered her passion for studying immigration issues. Her research interests include improving the effectiveness of immigration law in Cambodia. 

CHRIN Bunsamkaneka 

 

Kaneka is a recent graduate from the Royal University of Phnom Penh. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies. Aware that costal areas are extremely relevant to future development in Cambodia, Kaneka aims to conduct her first research project on improving marine water quality and water governance in costal areas. 

LOR Samnang 

 

Samnang is a recent graduate holding dual degrees in Economics and Management by University of Luminère Lyon 2 (France) and Royal University of Law and Economics (Cambodia). Samnang is interested in researching ways to expand Cambodian Economic Growth. He anticipates that his work will contribute to sustainable economic development and social welfare in the nation. Moreover, he hopes this project inspires other young economists to pursue further projects in this field. 

 

LY Sievlong 

 

Sievlong received a Bachelor’s degree of Law from the Royal University of Law and Economics in 2016.He worked as volunteer for one year at Youth Star organization on education in a community in Kampong Thom province. He also worked as a legal intern with Equitable Cambodia organization to promote housing rights. Sievlong decided to join Future Forum as a young research fellow to further his research interest on the rule of law. 

 

 

MOM Aroun

 

Aroun has earned his Bachelor Degree of Arts in International Studies in 2017 from Institute of Foreign Languages at RUPP. Aroun has worked as the Head of the Human Resource Unit at LED Microfinance Institution for several months. Prior to that, he has also completed an internship at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Aroun has also spent his time volunteering for NGOs and academic institutions, which include education, charity, humanity, and cultural preservation.His research interests include public policy, international political economy, and critical thinking.

 

 

 

NGOR Kavhong 

 

Kavhong, originally from Siem Reap province, holds dual Bachelor’s degrees in Development Economics and English Literature from Royal University of Law and Economic (RULE) in 2014 and University of Cambodia in 2015 respectively. 
His research interest involves political economy. 

 

 

PHATT Mern

 

Phatt Mern, originally from Prey Veng province, is a recent graduate in International Relation from Khemarak University. His research interest is on social media as a tool for Cambodian development, voter’s decision making and freedom of expression. 

 

 

 

SRUN Socheata 

 

Socheata received her Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations in 2017 from the University of Cambodia. She has worked as an English Teacher for several years. Moreover, she also interned as a sponsorship translator. After graduating, she became very interested in researching public policy issues.

 

 

 

TAY Sovannarun

 

Sovannarun received his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the Royal University of Phnom Penh. He completed a number of training courses including ‘‘the writers training course on poetry, romances, stage’’ organized by Khmer Writer’s Association, ‘‘professional program for radio writing and reporting’’ organized by Radio of Free Asia, and ‘‘training in ethnographic research’’ organized by Center for Khmer Studies. His academic research interests are social movement, civil resistance and men’s rights movement.

 

 

THOK Bory

 

Bory holds a bachelor's of Law from the University of Cambodia. Previously, she served as a Research Assistant for a professional researcher from Oxford University at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). Currently, she is a junior community officer in Mondulkiri. Bory is mainly interested in the consequences of legalizing commercial surrogacy in Cambodia. She expects that the research will benefit policy makers since the Royal Government of Cambodia is currently drafting the act. Her project will cover the current development of surrogacy in the country and identify ways to protect surrogate women and children. 

 

 

 

YUN Pengtakpitou


Pengtakpitou is a recent graduate in International Relations at Institute of Foreign Languages, Royal University of Phnom Penh. His research interest involves education policy. 
 

 

 

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