Board of Directors

Kathleen Allden, MD

Kathleen Allden, MD is a faculty member of the Department of Psychiatry at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. She is an expert in psychosocial and neuropsychiatric consequences of war, forced displacement and torture in a career bridging the fields of humanitarian assistance, clinical intervention, and human rights. She has worked in multiple refugee, post-conflict, and natural disaster settings in Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and Haiti. Dr. Allden has over twenty five years of experience working with war affected Southeast Asian communities and since its inception in 1999, has helped developed Burma Border Projects, a program dedicated to the mental health of war affected Burmese populations. She has provided mental health services, training, technical assistance, and consultation for numerous non-governmental, governmental, health care, and academic organizations including the International Rescue Committee, International Committee for the Red Cross, Physicians for Human Rights, Partners in Health, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UN High Commissioner for Human rights, and the US, Mexican, and Danish governments. She was Medical Director of the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma and directed two clinical programs for refugee, asylum seekers and survivors of torture in Boston, the Indochinese Psychiatry Clinic and the International Survivors Center. She was Program Director for the Peter C. Alderman Foundation and co-chaired Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s working group on mental health and psychosocial support. Dr. Allden is co-author of the UN protocol on medical legal documentation of torture and other cruel and degrading treatment-the Istanbul Protocol and has provided training and expert medical-legal testimony on this topic. During her career, Dr. Allden has written extensively on the psychological consequences of war and human rights abuse, and on developing effective psychosocial humanitarian responses. She has trained a broad range of health and mental health providers around the world including community health workers, indigenous medics, mental health professionals, physicians, and students.

Stephen Brake

stephen_brakeStephen Brake is a partner and trial lawyer at the Boston law firm of Nutter McClennen & Fish LLC, where he has practiced for almost thirty years. He is a graduate of Duke University and Boston College Law School. He has a longstanding interest in civil rights, civil liberties and development issues , including those issues as they pertain to Southeast Asia in general and Burma in particular.

Dr. Elizabeth Call

elizabeth_callDr. Elizabeth Call is a licensed clinical psychologist in independent practice in Cambridge, MA. She received her Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Denver and was a Clinical Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Call was a staff psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and clinical supervisor at Bessel van der Kolk’s Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute. She specializes in trauma and loss and integrates the scientific understanding of trauma and attachment with contemplative practices, EMDR and Internal Family Systems Theories. She practices the Vipassana and Tibetan traditions of meditation and has meditated for traditional three month silent retreats in Burma, India and the United States. She met Dr. Cynthia at the Mae Tao clinic on the Thai-Burma border, while searching for a way to give back. BBP was founded in response to Dr. Cynthia’s request to address trauma and loss and the psychosocial needs of the Burmese refugees. Dr. Call is also a photographer and has exhibited her photos of the Burmese refugees to
raise awareness.

Phyllis Deutsch

Michelle Engles

Anita Fabos

Anita Fabos is an anthropologist and Associate Professor at Clark University who has worked with refugees and other forced migrants in urban settings in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States. Formerly the Director of the Forced Migration and Refugee Studies program at the American University in Cairo, and Programme Coordinator for the graduate program in Refugee Studies at the University of East London, Fábos has been involved in developing integrated teaching, research, and praxis that incorporate refugee and forced migrant perspectives into collaborative work with scholars, practitioners, refugee organizations, policy makers, and international organization.

Christina Fink, PhD

Dr. Christina Fink is an anthropologist and the author of Living Silence in Burma: Surviving Under Military Rule (2009). She received her BA in International Relations from Stanford University and her MA and PhD in Social/Cultural Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley.  Christina has worked as a coordinator for the Open Society Institute’s Burma Project, a trainer and project consultant for an Internews oral history project, and a program evaluation consultant for the Canadian International Development Agency, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the Dag Hammarskjold Foundation. Between 1995 and 2010, she taught for the International Sustainable Development Studies Institute in Chiang Mai, Thailand and ran educational courses for members of Burmese civil society organizations. She is currently Professor of Practice of International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Michael Forhan, BBP Founder and Executive Director

Michael Forhan has spent much of his life working in the international arena. He successfully established two companies in Rangoon, Burma from 1994 to 1997. Prior to his time in Burma, Michael had built a career for himself in the international educational travel industry. In the summer of 1998, Michael traveled to the Thai-Burma border, where he met Dr. Cynthia Maung for the first time and received her permission to feature her in a documentary film. Meeting Dr. Cynthia, coupled with his growing awareness of the enormous needs of the Burmese refugees and migrant workers living along the Thai-Burma border, inspired Michael to enlist the support of several Boston-area trauma therapists to establish Burma Border Projects, Inc. as a tax-exempt, charitable organization in May 2000. At the time of assuming the role of Executive Director of BBP, Michael was Director of Special Projects in the Northeast and in Asia for NASA’s Center for Technology Commercialization in Westborough, MA. He presently serves as Director of Corporate Development for Passports, Inc., a Massachusetts-based international educational travel company.

Lucinda Lai

Lucinda Lai joined BBP and moved to Mae Sot in 2011 to coordinate the writing of Trauma and Recovery at War’s Border. She is currently a medical student at Harvard Medical School.

Dennis Paustenbach

Peggy Paustenbach

David Schmahmann

david schmahmann pictureDavid Schmahmann was born in Durban, South Africa, and is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Cornell Law School. For many years he was a partner in a large Boston law firm, and he has also practiced law in Rangoon and published analyses of Burmese corporate and securities laws. He is the author of four novels, and lives with his daughters, Olivia and Annabel, in Weston, Massachusetts.

Henry Thein, MD

Dr. Thein was raised in Burma and graduated from the Institute of Medicine 2 in Rangoon, Burma in 1977. He practiced medicine in Burma until 1983, when he started working in Thailand for the UNHCR-affiliated agency COERR as a medical practitioner in refugee camp hospitals. Since immigrating to the United States in 1988, Dr. Thein has specialized in refugee mental health and mostly works with Cambodian and Laotian refugees. He is currently employed by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.

Meredith Walsh

meredith_walshMeredith Walsh, MPH, NP-C: Ms. Walsh has been working on the Thailand-Burma border since 2005 as an independent consultant. She has served as technical advisor for reproductive health at Mae Tao Clinic, Burma Medical Association, and the Adolescent Reproductive Health Network. Her current work involves conducting translational research and applying evidence-based outcomes to improve the quality of facilities-based and community-based health care for displaced people from Burma on the Thailand-Burma border. She is co-founder of a non-profit that assists refugees from Burma newly resettled in Worcester, MA. She received her master of public health with a focus on international health and development from Tulane University and advance practice nursing degree from the University of Massachusetts. She currently works in primary care as a family nurse practitioner at a community health center in MA.

Dr. YiDing Yu

YiDing Yu - BWHDr. YiDing Yu is a physician, designer, and entrepreneur. Born in northeast China and raised in Orlando, Florida, she received her degree in Economics magna cum laude from Harvard College and her M.D. from Duke University as an Anlyan Scholar. Dr. Yu is published in numerous academic journals and winner of the Diane Becker Prize in Clinical Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Yu is a passionate innovator in health care delivery and has received numerous prizes for her work in healthcare technology. Prior to medical school, YiDing spent a year on the Thai-Burma and China-Burma borders with Community Partners International (formerly Global Health Access Program), working on health information systems, local health programs, and human rights documentation in Eastern Burma with the Karen Department of Health and Welfare, Back Pack Health Worker Team, Mae Tao Clinic, Burma Medical Association, and the Kachin Department of Health.