Founder & Co-Chair
Before founding the Mongol Ecology Center, Ono worked with Women’s Funding Network (USA), Institute of International Education (USA), the Asian Development Bank urban development projects, and with several environmental projects in Mongolia. She is also a co-founder of “Ger” Youth Center, a non-profit organization that serves Mongolian children in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ono graduated from California State University, East Bay in International Relations & Economic Development. She completed the Executive Leadership Program of the National Parks Institute, USA.
Badral Yondon is the CEO of Mongolia Quest and oversees the company’s operations. His career in tourism began while he was a university student working as a porter at a hotel in Ulaanbaatar during the democratic revolution in 1990. Since then, Badral has emerged as a leader in the tourism industry of Mongolia and is committed to supporting the culture and heritage of his country while also protecting the bio-diversity of its fragile ecosystems. He graduated from the Foreign Language Institute in Ulaanbaatar and the Klessheim Tourism and Hotel Management School in Saltzburg, Austria. As one of the founding members of Mongolia Quest, Badral has explored much of Mongolia’s vast countryside, sharing his knowledge of Mongolia’s unique culture and biodiversity with many hundred visitor over last 25 years. He served on the board of the Mongolian Tourism Association and the Arts Council of Mongolia. Badral speaks fluent Russian and English.
Batsaikhan is a native of Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. He is the founder and General Director of Platinum Gate Architecture and Interior Design Corporation. In partnership with the Mongol Ecology Center and experts from the US National Park Service, Batsaikhan is spearheading the signage system and architectural theme project of Lake Hovsgol National Park. He has been an avid motorcycle rider for the last 17 years and is the Vice President of the Harley Davidson Owners Club in Mongolia.
Gary, Director of Earth Island Institute’s Russian programs, has worked to nurture the growth of the Russian environmental movement as a whole, offering particular support to the many activists that are fighting to protect Lake Baikal. Over the last 20 years, Earth Island and Gary have helped with the establishment and support of several dozen environmental groups located throughout Russia. In addition, Gary has served as advisor and partner for many other organizations working in Siberia, including the World Bank, the Global Environmental Facility, the United States government, numerous western NGOs (including the Tahoe-Baikal Institute, Earth Corps, Pacific Environment, etc.) as well as each of the eight national parks and nature reserves located within the greater Baikal region. Earth Island’s partners in the former Soviet bloc have used this help to lead a number of campaigns that protect the Siberian wilds, while promoting non-industrial development throughout the region. Earth Island has already conducted some 40 international eco-tours to Russia. In so doing it has brought profits to the nation’s struggling national parks, as well as to local environmental groups. Earth Island has also been in the forefront of confronting oil and gas developments in northern Asia, as well as the many uranium and gold mining projects that are spreading to all parts of eastern Russia. Finally, given the fact that over 40% of the Baikal watershed is located upstream in Mongolia, Gary and Earth Island have promoted greater trans-boundary cooperation between Russians and their Mongolian neighbors to the south.
Robert retired from the National Park Service as an Associate Regional Director, Northeast Region where he directed planning, natural resource, historic preservation, capital construction and community partnership programs for the region. He has served on international projects in China, India and Mongolia. Robert served as the General Superintendent, Gateway National Recreation Area in New York/New Jersey and held various planning, policy and senior management positions throughout the country in the Department of the Interior – Bureau of Outdoor Recreation and later as the northeast regional director for the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service. Robert serves on the Boards of Lowell’s Boat Shop, the Mongol Ecology Center, the New Bedford Whaling History Alliance, and is a member of the Essex National Heritage Area Commission. Bob is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Interior’s Distinguished Service Award.