READ Bhutan

About Us

Advisory Board


Ms. Thinley Choden, Country Director
Thinley established the READ Bhutan office, building it out from a one-person office in 2008 to a fully staffed team. To do so, Thinley visited with a number of rural communities throughout Bhutan to share the READ model and develop new partnerships, and to strategize about designing relevant need-based programs and activities. Under Thinley’s leadership, READ Bhutan has established the first community libraries in the entire country, and expanded programming. Previously, Thinley served as a program officer for the United Nations World Food Program in Bhutan and New York, a consultant for several US based non-profit and for-profit organizations including the Bhutan Foundation, and a research assistant for the American Enterprise Institute. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Beloit College in Wisconsin, a post-graduate certificate in Asia Pacific Leadership Program from the East-West Center and a master’s degree in public administration from University of Hawaii at Manoa as an East-West Center degree fellow. Thinley has lived in several different countries and loves traveling. She is very good at inter-cultural communication and can work easily in multi-cultural settings. She speaks four languages.

Mr. Tandin Norbu, Deputy Director
Tandin Norbu joined READ Bhutan in February, 2013 as the Deputy Director. Prior to Read Bhutan, he worked in Bhutan’s private sector, namely Samden Equipments (a trading company for heavy earth moving and agricultural equipments) and Taj Tashi (a five star hotel). His first assignment was with the Royal Government of Bhutan as a civil servant where he served the Tourism Council of Bhutan for seven years. He was involved in the process of the opening and development of the curriculum for the Royal Institute for Tourism &Hospitality (RITH). He holds a post graduate diploma in Hotel Management from Mahidol University International College, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand, Bachelors in Arts from Delhi University, Delhi, India and also received training from Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management, Salzburg, Austria.

Ms. Kezang Choden, Program Officer
Kezang joined READ Bhutan in July 2010. She was stationed in Ura for four months to work with the Ura READ Center and its community to strengthen programs and activities. She oversees activities for other upcoming READ Centers across Bhutan. Before READ, Kezang worked for Kuzoo FM, a youth radio station as the program coordinator. She graduated from North Bengal University in India with honors in literature in 2006. She also has a post-graduate diploma in radio journalism from Asian College of Journalism in Chennai, India.

Mr. Ngawang Phuntsho, Development Officer
Prior to joining READ Bhutan as Development Officer in 2012, Ngawang Phuntsho worked at the Head Office of the Bank of Bhutan (in Phuentsholing) as the PR & Media Officer. He blogs regularly on social issues and frequently contributes columns to the local newspapers. He has a Bachelors Degree in English Literature from Sherubste College, Kanglung, via Delhi University.

Mr. Ganesh Chettri, Field Coordinator
Ganesh joined READ Bhutan in January 2011. He is stationed in Gasa and works with the community and grassroots leaders to plan, coordinate and establish the new Gasa READ Center. Before joining READ, Ganesh worked for Civil Society Organization Fund Facility. He also completed internships at Bank of Bhutan, Goeneful Options Consultancy and Ministry of Labor and Human Resources. He graduated in 2009 with a bachelor's in business management from Garden City College in Bangalore, India.

Ms. Rinchen Choden, Field Coordinator
Rinchen joined the READ Bhutan team in August of 2012 as a Field Coordinator with a special focus on Sustaining Enterprises and Livelihood Programs. Rinchen received her BS in Human Ecology with a focus on Social Technology (development studies) from the University of Philippines Los Banos. During her four year stay in the Philippines she worked with several grassroots organizations on community development and livelihood programs. She did on-the-job training with Aboitiz Power Renewables Inc. under their CSR department in the Philippines. She also did a three month internship with the UNDP Environment unit in Bhutan.

Ms. Tashi Pem, Administration and Finance Assistant
Tashi joined READ Bhutan in July 2010. She has a bachelor's degree in commerce from Bangalore University in India. Before joining READ, she interned at Bhutan National Bank.

Advisory Board

Ms. Ugen Choden, Program Director, the Bhutan Foundation
Ugen Choden is Program Director of the Bhutan Foundation, based in Thimphu, Bhutan. Prior to joining the Bhutan Foundation she worked as a national consultant for over ten years for various national and international organizations including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and other UN agencies, as well as the Royal Government of Bhutan, specializing in social issues such as primary education, HIV/AIDS, and gender studies. Her research work in rural communities in remote parts of Bhutan has lead to much insight at micro and macro levels. She attended the University of Delhi, Sherubtse College in Bhutan and briefly the University of Arkansas in Little Rock.

Ms. Kunzang Choden, Author/Writer
Kunzang Choden is the author of two novels, “The Circle of Karma” and “Dawa: The Story of a Stray Dog in Bhutan,” as well as several other fiction and nonfiction works. She is a longtime volunteer at the Thimphu Public Library and serves on several boards including the Council of the Royal University of Bhutan, the Bhutan Narcotics Control and Loden Foundation. Originally from Orgyen Choling in Bumthang, she began her career as an educator which ignited a sustained interest in literacy and creativity.

Mr. Dasho Meghraj Grung, Civil Servant, retired
Dasho Meghraj was awarded red scarf by the fourth King of Bhutan and earned the title of Dasho. While in civil service, he headed various government agencies and a corporation. He helped establish the Permanent Mission of Bhutan to UN and also assisted in the drafting of Bhutan’s constitution. Dasho also spearheaded the taskforce, as the Managing Director of the Bhutan Postal Corporation to set up a postal transportation network, which connects Samdrupjonkhar (Eastern Bhutan) with Gauhati, Assam, India and Phuentsholing. Dasho graduated from North Bengal University, India with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science.

Ms. Chencho Lhamu, Program Director, Teacher Education and Research, Royal Education Council (REC)
Ms. Lhamu received her bachelor's degree from Sherubtse College in Kanglung, Bhutan and her master's degree in educational psychology from University of New England in Australia. Before joining the Royal Education Council, she worked as an associate lecturer at the College of Education, Royal University of Bhutan in Paro. She also taught at Phuntsholing Middle Secondary School in Chukha. She was a visiting Scholar at the University of British Columbia in Canada in 2007.

Mr. Thinley Palden, CEO, RSAP Pvt. Ltd.
Mr. Palden is the CEO of RSA Pvt. Ltd., a mining and minerals company. Mr. Palden also serves as the Vice President of the Bhutan Chamber for Commerce and Industry. Previously, he worked for Bhutan National Bank for 8 years. Mr. Palden received his bachelor's in business administration from Germany.

Mr. Sangay Penjor Senior Program Coordinator, Royal Government of Bhutan
Mr. Penjor is the Senior Program Coordinator, Development Cooperation Division at the Gross National Happiness Commission of the Royal Government of Bhutan. He is a committee member of the Capacity Development for Environment Mainstreaming in National Plans and Programs. Mr. Penjor received a bachelor's degree in Economics from St. Anthony's College, India, and a master's degree in Political Science from Meiji University, Japan.

Mr. Tshewang Tandin, Director General, Department of Adult and Higher Education
Tshewang Tandin is the Director General of Department of Adult and Higher Education at the Ministry of Education in Thimphu. He previously worked as Director of the Department of School Education at the Ministry of Education. Mr. Tandin received a bachelor's degree in Zoology from St. Anthony's College, India, a master's degree in Zoology at St. John's College, India, and a master's of Education (Administration) from the University of New England, Australia.