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.
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.
Tumen is a South Gobi native, with a sense of humor typical of the region. (When asked to offer a short bio for inclusion here, he simply replied: “I was born in the Gobi and I will die in the Gobi.”) We know, however, that he has been working in the tourism sector of Mongolia since 1993 and is a head of the Amazing Gobi Tourism association. He also founded the Camel Association and Thousand Camel Festival with a purpose of protection of the decreasing number of Bactrian camels. He is one of the driving forces behind middle school Eco-Clubs around the South Gobi province. While serving as a member of the Civil Council of the region he had initiated a series of conservation projects around the South Gobi to protect wildlife and restrict development of mining explorations. He loves nature photography and his wildlife photos have been featured in solo exhibitions. Author of the Guidebook to South Gobi and Birds of the Gobi books Tumen runs Tum-Eco-Tours a boutique tour operator specializing in birding and wild-life trips around Mongolia. Tumen graduated from the Mongolian State University of Education in Fine Arts and holds a master’s degree in Tourism Management.
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.