About Us‎ > ‎

Board Members

Dr. John R. Eriksson is President of Global Peace Services USA since its founding in 1997 as a non-profit organization devoted to the peaceful resolution of violent conflict.  He previously spent 25 years with the U.S. Agency for International Development  (USAID) –- positions included: Deputy Director of the USAID Program in Sri Lanka; Director of the USAID Program in Thailand, 1986-1990; and Director of the Center for Development Information and Evaluation in Washington, 1990-1995.  Dr. Eriksson has been consulting for the last 18 years, in the field of development evaluation, mainly for the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank; Danida, the Danish Aid Agency; the Department of International Development (DFID – the British aid agency); and the African Development Bank.  Dr. Eriksson holds a PhD in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley; and BA and MA in Economics from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

Dr. Stephen Gardner is the Herman Brown Professor of Economics and Director of the McBride Center for International Business at Baylor University. Dr. Gardner holds a B.A. in economics and Russian Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of three books, the editor of one conference volume, and has published numerous articles in academic and professional publications.  A member of the Baylor faculty since 1978, he was a recipient of the university's "Outstanding Tenured Professor" award in 1994 and its “Outstanding Professor for University Service” award in 2005. Under his leadership, Baylor has developed relationships with universities and research institutes throughout the world, and has offered business education programs in Russia and China. He is chairman of the business school curriculum committee and a member of the university faculty senate and the library dean’s advisory board.  Dr. Gardner is a member of the American Economic Association, the Association for Comparative Economic Studies, the Academy of International Business, and the American Association for Advancement of Slavic Studies, and is a Fellow of the Salzburg Seminar and Senior Research Fellow of the IC2 Institute.

Nick Jivasantikarn is a co-founder of Emerging Infrastructure Partners, an infrastructure investment and advisory firm that focuses on emerging markets.  Previously, he was at the World Bank, where he led strategic programs to provide capital to and develop capacity of governments to boost private investment in infrastructure development.  Prior to the World Bank, Ekapon was a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, where he advised executives at Fortune 500 corporations as well as international public-sector organizations on strategic and operational matters.  Mr. Jivasantikarn holds a BA in Economics from Stanford University, an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and an MA in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. 

Suzan Kiepper is Governing Member and Project Chairman of Women's Leadership Forum of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.  She was previously president of SRK Consultants, vice president of public affairs and corporate communications at The Methodist Hospital System of Atlanta, Georgia, and executive director of the Committee for Responsible Health Care in Washington, DC.  A trained therapist, Susan received an MSW from New York University and holds a BA in Sociology/Anthropology and Psychology from Mills College.

Ronald Krannich is CEO of Impact Publications.  For nearly three decades he has pursued a passion -- assisting millions of individuals, from students, the unemployed, and ex-offenders to military personnel, international job seekers, and CEOs, in making critical job and career transitions.  Ron is one of America's leading career and travel writers who has authored more than 100 books.  Ron is a former university professor, high school teacher, management trainer, and consultant. As a trainer and consultant, he has completed numerous projects on management, career development, local government, population planning, and rural development in the United States and abroad.  A former Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand and Fulbright Scholar, he received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Northern Illinois University.

Paul J. McKenney of Vienna, Virginia served as Yonok University’s Director of International Affairs from 1994 to 1997.  In this capacity he helped foster and develop key international relationships including those with Okinawa International University, Babson College, and Baylor University. Additionally, he was responsible for the recruitment and staffing of the university’s English Department and served as an Assistant to the President.  He currently works as a Director in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA’s) Market Regulation Department.  In this capacity, among other duties, he represents FINRA on a national industry-wide initiative- the Consolidated Audit Trail.   Mr. McKenney holds a B.A. in English from Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland and an M.B.A. from Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia.   

Dr. Suzanne Nesmith is a professor of Curriculum & Instruction at the Baylor University School of Education.  She has published numerous pieces on education, including “Mathematics and literature: Educators' perspectives on utilizing a reformative approach to bridge the two cultures” in The Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table.  Dr. Nesmith’s research includes the integration of literature in the content areas, integration of mathematics and science, impact of field experiences on pre-service teachers, and writing as a means of building, supporting, and understanding children's thinking.  She holds a Ph.D. from Texas Tech University.

Dr. William Petty is Professor of Finance, and the W.W. Caruth Chairholder of Entrepreneurship, at Baylor University, where he is designated as a University Master Teacher. Before entering the academic profession, he worked in the oil and gas industry, and currently serves on the board of a publicly-traded independent energy firm. He has published in numerous finance journals and is the co-author of two leading corporate finance textbook, Financial Management, and Foundations of Finance, and co-author of a widely used text, Small Business Management. He has also co-authored a book, Value-Based Management: Corporate America’s Response to the Shareholder Revolution, published by the Oxford University Press. In 2008 Dr. Petty was awarded National Entrepreneurship Teacher of the Year from the Acton Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence.  Dr. Petty holds a PhD in Business Administration and MBA in Finance, both from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dhiravud (Joe) Pumhirun, P.E., has more than 40 years of professional civil engineering and consulting experience in extensive practical engineering, construction supervision, and managerial and coordination experience in the development of mega-infrastructure projects and transportation facilities, as well as residential and commercial complexes.  In addition to design tasks, Khun Dhiravud's responsibilities have domestically and internationally included project management, marketing, strategic planning and teaming, contract administration/coordination, construction management, and overseas local office establishment for the American engineering consulting firm Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) in Bangkok in 1992.  Khun Dhiravud was president of PB Asia Limited, Bangkok, Thailand, from 1992 to 1999.  He retired from the PB Office in Sacramento, CA, in 2011, as Deputy Regional Manager, CA HSR Project -- Fresno to Palmdale.  Khun Dhiravud received a BS in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University, and a MS in Urban Environmental Engineering from George Washington University.

Mary St. George has been a long-time friend of Thailand, including serving as Director of the Thai SUPPORT Foundation, under patronage of HM Queen Sirikit.  She has been active in international relations, serving has Director of UNICEF Children of the World Coin Collection; Director of UN Decade for Women Coin Programme; Deputy Director of UNICEF International Year of the Child Coin Programme; and Project Originator and Director of IUCN/World Wildlife Fund Conservation Coin Collection.  Ms. St. George holds a BA in Art History from Smith College, with a minor in Italian.