Carolyn Smyth, Board Co-Chair
Carolyn Smyth has 15 years of experience working in San Diego’s nonprofit sector. With an MA in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the University of San Diego, she has designed and implemented numerous programs targeting San Diego’s most vulnerable populations- women, youth and families. Currently she is the Executive Director of the Impact Young Adults, a non-profit organization providing services to young adults with mental illness, ages 18 – 35, to enrich their lives with experiences of acceptance, personal growth, and accomplishment. She brings to the Karen organization her skills in grant writing and program evaluation. She joined the KOSD Board in 2014 and currently serves the KOSD as a Board Secretary.
Sierra Visher Kroha, Board Co-Chair
Sierra Visher Kroha joined the KOSD Board in February 2014 and has served KOSD as Board Treasurer since then. For the past several years she has lived in Nairobi, Kenya helping to start, scale and then manage a national public health program with Innovations for Poverty Action. The program successfully dewormed 5.9 million children in the first year of operations, and continues to be on track to eliminating intestinal worms as a public health problem in Kenya. She is excited to use her skills in program and operational development at KOSD and support the refugee community to thrive. She is currently the Executive Director at San Diego Social Venture Partners, an organization that empowers engaged philanthropists and local mission driven organizations to make a positive change in San Diego.
Claire Henry Enemark, Board Treasurer
Claire Henry Enemark has been working with the Karen community since 2011. Her work began with the International Rescue Committee as an ESL Teacher for newly arrived refugee students in High School. From there her role expanded to advocacy for the specific learning needs of refugee youth and working as a Liaison between San Diego schools and refugee families. This work has made her deeply engaged in the lives of the members of the Karen community. She brings a keen focus on the role of cross-cultural communication and bridge building between the Karen community and the San Diego public institutions that serve them. Claire holds a degree in Spanish and International Development Studies from Point Loma Nazarene University.
Kristy Drake, Board Secretary
Kristy Drake has worked with New Arrival youth in the City Heights community since 2008. She opened the first New Arrival Center classrooms at both Hoover High School and Clark Middle School, teaching refugee and immigrant students new to the country. Through this work, she developed positive working relationships with community members and business owners. During her time at Clark Middle School, she worked closely with both the International Rescue Committee to implement an after school youth program, and with a local artist to engage students in urban gardening and cultural expression through art. Kristy is currently working in an elementary school and completing her doctorate in education, specializing in issues affecting the refugee population in San Diego Unified School District. She joined the KOSD Board in December 2015.
Andrew Rae, Board Member
Andrew Rae was elected as Board Chair to KOSD in 2014 for a three year term. He lived and worked in Mae La Oon, a Karen refugee camp on the Thai/Burma border from 2008 to 2009. While in the camp, Andrew taught as an English Language Instructor for The Northern Karen Junior College (NKJC) and also served as a Program Manager and Instructor for the participatory photography-based Record of Truth program (ROT).
Yaw Lay Htoo, Board Member
Yaw Lay Htoo has been involved with the Karen community in San Diego since 2011 and has served the KOSD as Chair of the Community Leaders Board Sub-Committee since 2014. He has been recognized as a great leader in the community since then. His deep insight and wisdom have helped KOSD improve its programs. He lived in Mae La Oo Karen refugee camp until 2011 where he served the community as a section leader.
Ta Aye Wha, Board Member
Ta Aye Wha has been one of the most dedicated female leaders from Burma in San Diego. She lived in Mae La Karen refugee camp for more than 15 years before moving to the U.S. For cultural events for public education, Ta Aye Wha has been teaching Karen ethnic dances to younger generations since she moved to the U.S. in 2007. She serves the Community Leader Committee as Vice Chair.
Law Mae, Board Member
After living in Mae La Oo Karen refugee camp for more than 15 years, Law Mae has been involved in the community of refugees from Burma since 2012, right after his family was resettled in San Diego. As a father of 6 children, he has motivated and encouraged other fathers in the community. In Mae La Oo camp, Law Mae severed his section as a security.
Crown Htoo, Board Member
Crown Htoo has been involved with the Karen community in San Diego since 2008. He lived in Umpiem Karen refugee camp until 2007 where he was supporting his family through farming. As a leader in the community, Crown Htoo voluntarily help other community members who live in City of El Cajon by providing transportation and interpretation.
Maung Tin Win, Board Member
Maung Tin Win has been involved with the Karen community in San Diego since 2007. His family was one of a few Karen families resettled in San Diego for the first time. He lived in Mae La Karen refugee camp before moving to the U.S. where he was active working with community. He is one of the most dedicated leaders who really care about the community.
Bu Lai, Board Member
Bu Lai is another strong female Karen leader in San Diego. Since she was resettled in San Diego in 2008. As a mother of three children, she also has been encouraging and empowering mothers and female refugees in San Diego. She lived in Umpiem Karen refugee camp for more than 15 years where she was a elementary school teacher.
Nue Nue, Board Member
After living in Mae La Karen refugee camp for more than 15 years, Nue Nue has been involved in the community of refugees from Burma since 2008. In Mae La camp, he was operating a family business to sell items in the community. As a father of 4 great children who have graduated or are currently attending local colleges, he brings wisdom and insights on how to involve children’s education when parents have language barriers.
Hanh Tran, Board Member
Hanh joined the KOSD board in 2017. She has more than a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector and currently works in youth development. Hanh has volunteered abroad in various communities, including working with rural artisans in Burundi, women entrepreneurs in Vietnam and aspiring youth filmmakers in India. She received her M.P.A. from New York University and her B.A. in journalism and marketing from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Gregory Stone, Board Member
Gregory Stone graduated with a BA in International relations and has foreign volunteer and travel experiences as a passionate supporter of international dialogue and immigrant communities. He has always been interested in Burma and dreams of traveling there one day. He works in the college education sector and served as Secretary and Co-President of the non-profit Impact Young Adults in San Diego.