We feel lucky to have a great team including two, part-time paid staff members in Kathmandu and a strong Board of Directors. Please note that all Board members serve as volunteers and receive no compensation from WOV for their time and services. Nor are any expenses (travel, meals, or other costs) covered for board members. This helps keep our administrative expenses below 5%.
Sudeep Kandel leads the development of Wide Open Vistas' programs, checks the implementation side and monitors programs impact. Before Sudeep became a country director he was looking at operations at WOV since 2015. Previously he has worked in non-profit, banking and leisure sector. Sudeep is a graduate of Development Finance from Kathmandu University. In 2015 Sudeep ran the length of Nepal, along with two other friends to support a charity called Sano Prayas which helps orphans go to school.
Sonam Shah Thakuri
Chief Field Officer
Sonam Shah Thakuri is our Chief Field Officer. Sonam was born in Pokhara but now lives in Kathmandu. She started running with the Himalayan Hash House Harriers in 2013 and quickly fell in love with trail running. She felt that running changed her perspective of life which resulted in a belief that running and other outdoor activities helps empower girls. Since then, she has completed many organized trail races, and also worked as an assistant guide on two fast-packs around the Annapurna Circuit for Himalayan Adventure Labs. If you browse through our posts, you will see Sonam in many of the pictures as she is an integral part of the team.
Nikita was a Teach for Nepal fellow and worked with a school and kids in Danusha for 2 years. She has a B.Sc. Environmental Science degree from Patan Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University.
Dr. Seth Wolpin
Executive Director (PhD, MPH, RN)
Seth was born in Canada but grew up in northern New York. He fell in love with Nepal when he was 21 years old after hitch hiking across Tibet and trekking in the Annapurna Region. He has been back many times since then, conducting research designed to help high altitude porters and exploring the mountains and trails of Nepal as a climber and trail runner. He is a clinical associate professor at the University of Washington where he conducts NIH funded research on interventions that help people with low health literacy. Seth co-founded WOV in 2011 after a successful Everest expedition organized by Dorjee Sherpa who also serves on our board.
Dorjee Sherpa, MA. Dorjee grew up in the Khumbu valley which leads up to Everest. Dorjee was a Buddhist monk for 19 years and holds a masters degree in Buddhist Studies. His good karma, kindness and positive disposition keep us focused and his expertise help guide us on the ground. Dorjee has a trekking and climbing company and he co-founded WOV after working with Seth on an Everest expedition in 2011.
Dr. Pranav Koirala
Medical Advisor (MBBS)
Pranav is a licensed Nepali physician now training in the US for Emergency medicine. He has a love for the mountains and rural health. Passions include the outdoors, emergency medicine, healthcare in Nepal. Some of his experiences include work with Everest ER, High altitude expeditions, Ultraraces and filming projects among others as an expedition doctor. We thank Pranav for overseeing the medical component of our educational program.
Tania was born in El Salvador, Central America, and moved to Australia with her family in the early 1990’s as a result of the Salvadorean 12-year civil war. Tania recently completed her PhD, during which she travelled to Nepal to carry out her research on women living in slum areas of Kathmandu. She has worked for various non-governmental organisations in Australia primarily focusing on children’s environmental health, maternal and child health, and healthcare provision. Tania can’t cook and would love to learn to sew one day. For now, she collects fabrics from around the world and is planning a more touristy visit to Nepal in the near future.
Alysha Fung Koehler
Alysha visited Nepal in 2010 and was struck by its' beauty and how kind and hardworking the people there were. As the founder and former Director of the UW Mindfulness Project, Alysha has an extensive history in grassroots work, fundraising, and public outreach. She looks forward to connecting with individuals, communities, and businesses who wish to support WOV.
Janet T. Peterson
Trustee ( DrPH, FACSM)
Janet spent six weeks trekking in and falling in love with Nepal in 2010. Janet met Seth during a Wilderness First Responder Training in Seattle later that year. Janet and Seth are like minded when it comes to a passion for improving education and health outcomes - especially in Nepal. In 2012, Seth, Janet and Dorjee completed follow-up data collection in the Khumbu region as part of an ongoing research study. Janet is passionate about public health and is an outdoor, human powered enthusiast. Janet has recently returned from a bicycle trip around the world.
Courtney Kopec, CPA, lives and works in NYC where he owns an accounting company: www.kaliriver.com. For WOV, Courtney volunteers accounting and finance expertise.
Former Member (MPH)
Kathleen has an MPH in Epidemiology with an emphasis in infectious disease. Kathleen has 15 years of experience working in the areas of infectious disease, workers’ compensation, on the job injuries, opioid dosing trends and mortality, and health outcomes research. In May 2013, Kathleen and her husband John Fiddler left their deadlines, steady paychecks and possessions behind in exchange for backpacks and started chasing their dreams of trail running, trekking and volunteering their way around the world. Most recently, Kathleen, John Fiddler, and Seth Wolpin raised over $4,000 for Wide Open Vistas as they traversed the Nepal Himalaya opening her eyes to the need that is there.