Mr. Lee Yam Ming holds a Bachelor of Arts from the National University of Singapore. Prior to becoming the Executive Director of the AHA Centre, he held several Director posts in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), such as Director of Training Department, Director National Service Personnel Department, and Director of Strategic Planning Department.
In 2003, he was awarded the National Day Commendation Medal due to his outstanding contribution in the management of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) crisis in the same year, heading the Secretariat Team of the Ministerial Task Force of Singapore, which coordinated and monitored the national planning and response to SARS in the country.
Having been involved in ASEAN matters since 2004, Mr. Yam Ming represented SCDF at various international and regional platforms such as the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), United Nations International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (UN INSARAG), World Humanitarian Summit, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF and exercises such as ARF DiREX, ARDEX). He was also part of the Singapore team involved in the negotiation, drafting and ratification of foundational agreements for ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM), such as the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) and the Agreement on the Establishment of the AHA Centre.
He was also Singapore’s focal point for the drafting and adoption of the ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN One Response and ASEAN Vision 2025 on Disaster Management. Most recently, he was involved in the drafting of the AADMER Work Programme 2021 – 2025, which was endorsed by ACDM in November 2020. He also played a key role in the conceptualisation and organisation of the Strategic Policy Dialogue (SPDDM) and Senior Executive Programme (SEPDM).
Krishna Putra Tanaja
Deputy Executive Director
Mr. Krishna Putra Tanaja joined the AHA Centre in December 2021 as the Deputy Executive Director.
Prior to joining the AHA Centre, he worked as Operations Director and Senior Resource Management Officer in various international organisations including World Resources Institute, World Bank and Save the Children. Previously, he also worked with the ASEAN Secretariat as a Chief Internal Auditor. He has more than 15 years of experience working in development sector and six years in private sector focusing on audit, operations and risk management. He has demonstrated history of working with community, civil societies, private sector, and government.
Mr. Tanaja is a chartered accountant and skilled in financial management, strategic management, business planning, and project analysis. He holds a Master of Commerce (Accounting) from the University of Sydney and a Master of Business Administration (International Business) from the University of Technology, Sydney, in Australia, and a Bachelor Degree in Economics (Accounting) from Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia.
Director of Corporate Affairs
Mr. Somsanith Ninthavong is the Director of Corporate Affairs at the AHA Centre, and took on this position in July 2020. Within this role, he is responsible for the AHA Centre’s administration, financial management, human resource management and ICT.
Before joining the AHA Centre, Mr. Ninthavong was the Chief Financial Officer of the Mekong River Commission (MRC). He also previously worked as a financial advisor for the Aid for Trade and Trade Facilitation Project (the World Bank multi-donor trust fund) funded by AusAID, GIZ, SDC, UNOPS, and the World Bank based at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of the Lao PDR. Prior to that, he served as Chief Financial Officer for the HG Group, a construction, quarry mining and property development group of companies in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Also worked as a senior accountant for Range River Gold Ltd and Oxiana Ltd, which are gold and copper mining companies in Melbourne, Australia.
A Lao national, Mr. Ninthavong holds a Master of Commerce (Information Management) from Deakin University, a Master of Business Administration (Information Systems) from Central Queensland University, and a Bachelor of Business (Accounting and HRM) from the Swinburne University of Technology in Australia. Mr. Ninthavong is a Certified Public Accountant, and he is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) and an active member of CPA Australia and Lao CPA.
Dr. Sithu Pe Thein
Director of Operations
Dr. Sithu Pe Thein joined the AHA Centre in July 2021 as the Centre’s Director of Operations.
Dr. Sithu received his medical degree (MBBS) from the Institute of Medicine 1, Yangon in July 2000. His post-graduate work includes diplomas in business and development, as well as a Masters Degree in Social Work. He is certified EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Therapist for the treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) as well as a President of a EMDR Myanmar Association.
Dr. Sithu is also a Fulbright Alumni, the University of Hong Kong Alumni, East-West Center Alumni, Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) Alumni as well as a member of Myanmar Medical Association.
Before joining to AHA Centre, Dr. Sithu worked in many positions including as Liaison Officer/Head of Naypyitaw Office of the World Bank; Assistant Director and Head of the Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance Division of the ASEAN Secretariat, and; Senior Humanitarian Affairs Specialist in UNOCHA Myanmar. He has also been extensively involved in local and regional responses to various natural disasters, ethnic conflicts in Kachin State (2011), the communal conflict in Rakhine State (2012), and also flood relief efforts in 2015. He has worked intensively with government agencies, local NGOs, international organisations and donor agencies, as well as provided training in humanitarian civil-military coordination on behalf of UNOCHA in the Asia Pacific Region.
Dr. Sithu’s research interests include civil-military coordination, disaster management, children’s issues and psychological trauma. He has conducted research into the civil-military coordination during HADR operation and its applicability to ASEAN countries, children’s poverty, community-based child protection systems, assessment of the psychological status of children in Monastic Schools, and challenges to girls’ education. His policy research includes a study of the anti-trafficking system in Myanmar, and a capacity needs assessment of civil society organizations conducting disaster relief in Myanmar.