Advisory board

richard hirsh_

Dr. Richard Hirsh has more than 38 years of experience in diagnostic radiology. He is the President of Radiology Mammography International (RMI), a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the mammography and breast cancer education needs of developing and underserved regions around the world, through technical assistance, donations and hands-on training. In 1999, he was recognized with a leadership award from The Cancer Research Foundation of America.

Jo Anne S. Pandey

Jo Anne S. Pandey (Ph.D.) first went to Nepal in 1992 on a study abroad program with Pitzer College where she first started to learn about Nepali culture and language. After graduating from Pitzer College with a B.A. in Psychology and Anthropology, she went on to the University of Hawai’i at Manoa for her M.Ed. in Educational Psychology and her thesis was about differences in attributions of Hawaiian and Nepalese children. Jo Anne received her Ph.D. in Psychological Studies in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2003. Upon returning to Los Angeles, Jo Anne has been active in the Nepalese community there. She was one of the founders and the first president of Friends of Nepal, Los Angeles. She currently is teaching at California State University, Northridge.

Jo Anne became involved in Gorkha, Nepal in 2015 after the earthquake. In 2016, the whole family traveled to Gorkha to see the school their efforts helped to rebuild, and also to see the work that was still left to be done. During that same trip, Jo Anne conducted training for teachers in mental health issues following natural disasters and writing therapy to help mitigate those problems. The training turned into a wider project to create a manual to help more teachers who could not be at the training session with information from the training, and a research project to measure the effectiveness of using writing therapy in Nepalese school contexts.

Chris Cluett

Chris Cluett (Ph.D.) served as a Peace Corps volunteer in a community development program in the Gorkha District of Nepal from 1963 to 1965. For the next three years he extended his community work as an intern with the Rural Development Division of USAID in Nepal. He speaks and reads Nepali.

Dr. Cluett also serves on the Board of The Pine Cobble School in Williamstown, MA and is a Trustee Emeritus of Future Generations, an international local development organization that provides a Masters Degree in community change. Dr. Cluett has a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Washington. He retired from the Battelle Seattle Research Center in 2013 after working for that organization as a Research Leader and social scientist for 37 years.

For the past decade he has traveled across the globe with groups of photographers and has developed a portfolio focused on portraits of people and images of natural landscapes from the Arctic to Antarctica and China to Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal and numerous other locations. He has traveled and photographed in remote parts of Tibet. He has two grown sons and five grandsons. He is currently living in Seattle, WA. Recreationally he enjoys downhill skiing, hiking, fishing and rowing.

Don Messerschmidt

Don Messerschmidt (Ph.D.) is an anthropologist, writer and educator with many years experience in Nepal. He first went there in 1963 as a Peace Corps volunteer assigned to the central Nepal district of Lamjung, adjoining Gorkha. During the two years as a volunteer, he undertook community development work and spent considerable time at Amppipal, visiting the former hospital staff and building rapport with local villagers and development workers.

Don has a Bachelors Degree in Education/Social Science from the University of Alaska, and a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Oregon. He has taught at many levels in both public and private schools, and in colleges and universities in North America and Asia.

Don is Deputy Director of Health & Development Consulting International (HDCi), and is currently semi-retired, but still very active on international rural development; conducting in-depth research in Nepal for articles and books on various topics, and leading numerous Himalayan tours and treks.


Carlos Buhler is a globally recognized mountaineering expedition leader and a highly experienced management consultant, meeting facilitator and executive coach. His 30 years experience leading international climbing teams has given him unique insight into the delicate challenges of multicultural communication, leadership development and team dynamics.

Carlos is one of the most accomplished mountain climbers in the world, having climbed for 44 years with major ascents on five continents, completing 40 expeditions. In 1983, he climbed to the summit of Mount Everest with the American team that made the first ascent of the Kangshung (East) face. It was Everest’s last unclimbed face and its most technically demanding route. The climb has never been repeated.

Buhler is a graduate of the Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.

Dinesh Pariwar

Dinesh Pariyar is the former Executive Director of Livestock and Fisheries of the Nepal Government. Before that he was the Chief of Pasture and Fodeder Research Divison for 10 years. He has more than 30 years fo experience in Livestock Planning and Management, Veterinary Agro-forestry and Pasture and Fodder Development. He is a founding member of the Society for SustainableDevelopment (SSD), Nepal. He has a master’s degree in Grassland Science from University of Reading, United Kingdom.