Matt Schissler, a native of Washington State, USA, has been working in Thailand and Myanmar since 2007. He first began working with ethnic community organizations from Myanmar’s ethnic rural areas, and is now based in the country’s former capital, Yangon. In Yangon he works for the local non-governmental organization Paung Ku, which is dedicated to helping develop the strengths of other community organizations, networks and individuals so that they can make positive changes in their communities and country.

Feeling that he needed to further develop his professional skills, but not wanting to leave work in southeast Asia, in 2011 Matt began studying for a Master’s Degree in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford. As one of the youngest members of a program designed for mid-career professionals, he continued to live and work in Myanmar while meeting his academic commitments to Oxford on evenings, weekends and by traveling between England and southeast Asia. He completed the two-year program in August 2013.