Robert Cornwell, Founder/Executive Director
Formerly president of CSG Advisors, a financial advisor and consultant to governments and non-profit organizations, Bob structured more than $11 billion in financing and public/private development projects. Bob served in the Peace Corps (Jamaica) and worked as a wilderness ranger in Colorado. He first traveled to Burma in 1996 and founded BSB in 2010.
Andrew Lederer, Co-Founder/Director
A former hospital executive, health care consultant, and Peace Corps volunteer in India, Lederer first travelled to Burma in 1996 with Cornwell. Lederer and Cornwell had previously discussed their desire for philanthropy and volunteerism—“to help people have better opportunities in their lives,” in Lederer’s own words. He continues to work with BSB because, unlike students in the First World, “access to a school is not a given in Burma,” he observed. He is also the executive director and cofounder (with Cornwell) of Build a School in India (BSI), which operates on a similar model to BSB.
Dan Kipp, Director
Dan is a retired CPA, formerly with Arthur Andersen LLP, and regional CFO for the national insurance broker AJG. As an entrepreneur, he founded and grew a manufacturing company to over $6 million in annual sales. His travels to Burma led to his involvement in BSB. Kipp and his wife donated the funds to BSB to construct a new four-room building for Htone Gyi and from that he continued and deepened his involvement. “I have long wanted to use my entrepreneurial, accounting, and management skills to do something meaningful, to really help people,” said Kipp.
Jennifer developed and managed numerous successful hi-tech based consumer businesses for AT&T before retiring in 2000. She migrated from Burma to the United States in 1968 to pursue further studies after receiving a BSc Honors in Statistics. She also earned a MS in Statistics from Purdue University and another MS in Business Policy from Columbia University Business School. Jennifer enjoys gardening, traveling and supporting BSB.
Rose Cornwell, Social Media
Rose began working with BSB in 2011 after her first visit to Myanmar while a sophomore in high school. Two years later, Rose led fundraising efforts for the Nam Maphwe Myitung Kone preschool in a war stricken part of Kachin State, bringing in a total of $26,000 in donations for a new preschool and library for the families of the surrounding villages. While working during the summers fundraising for affordable healthcare in San Francisco with the SFGH Foundation, Rose graduated from Saint Louis University Madrid in 2017 with a B.S. in Political Science. Today Rose spends her time globetrotting around the world while writing about ethical and sustainable travel on her blog.
Frank DeRosa, Solar Energy
Frank DeRosa supports BSB’s renewable energy work at its schools. Frank has had a long career in renewable energy, energy storage, and electric vehicles. He founded and ran the largest independent solar energy development company in North America, NextLight Renewable Power, which was sold to First Solar in 2010. As CEO of NextLight and then General Manager of The Americas at First Solar, Frank was responsible for the development, financing, construction and operation of some of the largest PV solar projects in the world. Frank sees the renewable energy component of Build a School in Burma as a way to provide electricity for the schools in a sustainable, carbon-free manner.
Naing Naing Lin, Country Director
Naing Lin is a community development specialist with over eighteen years’ experience working in different NGOs such as Area Development Programme Manager in World Vision, Operations Manager in Karen Women Action Group, Area Programme Manager in World Concern and Program Manager in Religions for Peace Organization. His working experiences are based on community development, income generation activities, micro finance, anti-human trafficking, health and education interventions, relief and rehabilitation, water and sanitation, child protection and child rights and inter-religious harmony and social cohesion. He lives with his wife and daughter in Yangon.
Sally formerly worked in public health administration and planning in Alaska where the rural experiences for health, education and transportation in villages during the 1970’s to 1990’s had similarities to Burma today. Her roles offer useful skills for the gifts of school support in Burma. She led implementation of the Indian Child Welfare Act for a Native health region, served in state government public policy and did organizational development at the University of Alaska Anchorage. In public health, data collection and management is crucial and thus she guides the BSB Village school database.
Aye Moah/Liaison to Technology & Burmese Communities
Aye Moah is co-founder and chief of product at Boomerang, the most popular productivity app for Gmail and Outlook, enabling millions of people to email more effectively with artificial intelligence. Boomerang’s Respondable is the first real-time AI assistant that improves your writing based on an effectiveness prediction. Moah was born and raised in Burma and graduated from MIT in 2005 with a degree in Computer Science. Boomerang has donated the funds for three BSB-built schools.
Willis is the Group Human Resource Director for Jardine Schindler Group, a joint venture between Jardine Matheson in Hong Kong and Schindler Group of Switzerland, who between them bring over 300 years of experience in business management, regional specialization and engineering excellence. Willis is passionate about developing people. Willis and his wife, Lih Ting, have worked in various countries in Southeast Asia and places priority in making a positive change to people’s lives. They have contributed to various philanthropic activities in Vietnam, Nepal and Myanmar.
Cathryn Thurow, Development/Marketing
Cathryn first traveled to Burma in 1984 and was enchanted by the people, temples and natural beauty of this then-isolated country. She retired a few years ago from her position as UCSF Associate Dean for Finance and Administration at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. Cathryn is pleased to now be able to contribute in such a meaningful way toward educating the delightful and motivated children of Myanmar. She is an inveterate world traveler and enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She and husband Bob Cornwell have two beautiful daughters, Emma and Rose.
Kenneth Wong, Communications/Social Media/Burmese Community Outreach
Born and raised in Rangoon (Yangon), Burma (Yangon), Kenneth Wong is a Burmese-American writer, blogger, translator, and a Burmese language instructor. His short stories, essays, and poetry translations have appeared in Granta, San Francisco Chronicles, Myanmar Times, The Irrawaddy, and Eleven Eleven, among others. He teaches Beginning Burmese at UC Berkeley.