Senior Fellows

Dr. Ganesan Balachander currently serves as a Director on the newly constituted Consortium Board of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). He is also working on a book dealing with conservation and development issues and initiating a green business venture. He was the Ford Foundation’s South Asia Representative for six years until late 2008. Prior to joining the Ford Foundation, he was the Director for Asia Programs at The Mountain Institute in Washington, D.C.. He also served as Regional Director and then as Director of the Biodiversity Conservation Network, a USAID-funded program for promoting conservation of vulnerable ecosystems in Asia. Before charting a career in conservation and sustainable development, he worked for many years in the banking sector, holding senior positions with Citibank and Marine Midland Bank in New York and Standard Chartered Bank in Europe and in Chennai, India. He holds an MBA from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh and a Ph.D. in Ecology from Rutgers University. He was also a post-doctoral Bullard Fellow at Harvard

Edwin Bernbaum holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Harvard College and a Ph.D. in Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, where he is a Research Associate. A scholar of comparative religions and mythology focusing on culture and the environment, he worked with TMI on a program in the Indian Himalayas to involve pilgrims in reforestation, and he initiated TMI's project to develop interpretive materials for US National Parks based on the cultural and spiritual significance of mountains. He is the author of the award-winning Sacred Mountains of the World, the basis for a photographic exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution, and The Way to Shambhala, a study of Tibetan myths of the hidden valleys resembling the fictional Shangri-La of Lost Horizon. He has climbed and conducted research in mountain ranges throughout the world, and he leads seminars and lectures on mountains, leadership, culture, and the environment for organizations and audiences such as the Smithsonian, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Wharton School, and the American Museum of Natural History.

J. Gabriel Campbell, Ph.D., has spent most of his life in the Himalayas. He was born and grew up in the mountains, and he conducted his Master's degree research for Wesleyan University in the Indian Himalayas. He conducted his doctoral research for Columbia University in far northwestern Nepal and has spent the majority of his last three decades based in Kathmandu. Ten of these were as TMI's Asian Director and the last seven were as Director General of the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). His research and development work have focused on community-based natural resource management, land use and climate change, institutional development, agricultural and economic strategies for mountain peoples, capacity development, adapting mountain policies, gender, and shamanism. He has worked with USAID, FAO, UNDP, the World Bank, and Mountain Travel and has spent considerable time in the mountains of Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, Myanmar, and Pakistan, as well as India and Nepal. He is a mountain climber and continues to travel to the world's remote mountain regions.

Bob Davis, Joining TMI in 1979, Bob Davis held numerous leadership positions at The Mountain Institute in his thirty-three years at the organization. He served as TMI’s CEO from 2004 to 2009 and has worked in many of the organization's programs and regional projects over the years. He has extensive international conservation and development experience.  Bob holds an M.S. in Organization Development from American University, and an M.A. in Religious Studies from Yale University. He currently teaches organizational development and management courses at Eastern Mennonite University, and serves on the board of directors of a number of non-profit organizations.  Bob is long time resident of Pendleton Country, West Virginia.

Rodney Jackson, Ph.D., is Director of the Snow Leopard Conservancy and spends most of his time in the Himalayas, where he is conducting a population count of this rare and beautiful species, described poignantly in the best-selling book "The Snow Leopard" by Peter Matthiessen.

Wendy Brewer Lama holds an MES from Yale University, and has worked in ecotourism development throughout Asia for the past twenty years. While living in Nepal from 1984 to 1999, she managed TMI’s Langtang Ecotourism Project and co-authored Community-Based Tourism for Conservation and Development, built upon the Appreciative Participatory Planning and Action (APPA) framework. With the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Wendy led some of the first ecotourism planning in China at Wanglang panda reserve in Sichuan; introduced Community-Based Tourism (CBT) to Kyrgyzstan; and brought eco-adventure tourism to Mongolia with USAID. From 2002-07, she advised the UNESCO Cultural and Ecotourism in Mountain Regions of Central and South Asia program. As owner of KarmaQuest Ecotourism and Adventure Travel, she organizes ecotours that support wildlife conservation and community-based conservation and operates academic travel programs for Stanford and other universities. At home in Half Moon Bay, California, Wendy introduced ecotourism to farmers, fisher-people, and Main Street entrepreneurs. Wendy is a former California Coastal Commission planner, and she enjoys bicycling and backpacking.

Johan Reinhard, Ph.D., is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, famous for his discoveries of Inca mummies, frozen sacrifices on the peaks of the Andes in Peru and Argentina. He also has explored the sacred valleys of the Himalayas and performed underwater archaeology in some of the world's highest lakes. His web site is

Lhakpa Norbu Sherpa received a Ph.D. in Forest Resources from the University of Washington. He is the first person from the Sherpa community to receive a doctorate. He began his education from the Sir Edmund Hillary Schools in Nepal's Khumbu region. His higher education was achieved through a Colombo Plan scholarship to Lincoln University in New Zealand followed by a Fulbright student scholarship to the United States. Dr. Sherpa joined the Government of Nepal in 1980 to work as Park Superintendent in Rara Lake and Sagarmatha (Mt. Everest) National Parks. He collaborated with TMI in 1989 to carry out planning of the Makalu-Barun National Park, and later joined TMI on a full time basis as Manager of the Qomolangma Conservation Program in the Tibet Autonomous Region (China). He also served as Co-Director of The Mountain Institute's Himalayan Program from 2005 to 2009 during which he developed and implemented an integrated cultural conservation and livelihood improvement project in the Sagarmatha National Park. Presently, Dr. Sherpa is a Visiting Fulbright-Post Doctoral Fellow at Yale University, USA and a Senior Fellow with The Mountain Institute.

Robert Wampler, Ph.D., has worked on U.S. foreign policy, federal R&D and technology transfer strategies, and high technology business development issues. His current research interests include sustainable development and design, community- and regionally-based environmental protection and management, and ecological restoration. He plans to pursue these interests in support of The Mountain Institute's programs, particularly in connection with TMI's Major Mountains of the World initiative; sustainable development, environmental conservation, and cultural preservation for mountain towns and cities; and TMI's overall education and training program. 

Miriam Torres Angeles:  Former Protected Areas and Ecotourism specialist with the Andes Program, joined TMI in 1995. She graduated from the National Parks and Wildlife Management program of Peru's National Agrarian University in 1987. Her professional history includes working with mountain protected areas in Peru, particularly conducting participatory management plans. Miriam was a member of the team that produced the first management plan of Huascaran National Park in 1990, the lead in developing its Ecotourism Plan in 1997, as well as the lead on the second Management Plan initiative and the National Master Plan for the Peruvian protected areas system in 1995. Before joining TMI, from 1988 - 1995, she was a staff member of Pro Naturaleza, supporting several of Peru's protected areas. She is a member of the Andes Chapter of the International Mountain Society (IMS) and the IUCN Commission on Protected Areas, Mountain Areas and Non Material Values. 


Research Associates

Jeremy Spoon, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Applied Anthropology at Portland State University. His research focuses on the influence of political economy on local ecological knowledge in and around protected areas. Dr. Spoon has conducted research with the Khumbu Sherpa inside Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park, Nepal; the Southern Paiute/Chemehuevi around the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, Nevada; the Keekonyokie Maasai and Dorobo around Hell's Gate National Park, Kenya; and Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) around Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii. His research interests also include environmental sustainability, spirituality, public anthropology, non-governmental organizations, participatory methodologies, ethics, and linked quantitative and qualitative methods. Dr. Spoon also has 12 years of experience (nine with TMI) collaborating with international non-governmental organizations on participatory interpretation/education and environmental management in Nepal, the United States, and Kenya.