Karen Wachtel Nielsen
spent her early years growing up in Manila and Bangkok. She earned an MBA from University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business and an undergraduate degree in business from San Francisco State University. Before working for Wildlife Conservation Society's Cambodia Program, she provided financial services to non-profit organizations in Maine. The work in Cambodia, linking livelihoods to wildlife conservation, began with advising a local Cambodian NGO on setting up a sustainable ecotourism program. The same model is being employed with the Wildlife Friendly Ibis Rice project and the local NGO she is working with is Sansom Mlup Prey (smpcambodia.org).