Our Leadership

Mary K. Yap

Mary K. Yap

Board Chair and President


Peter K. Yap

Peter K. Yap

Board Vice President and Secretary

Nora Y. Yang

Dr. Nora Y. Yang

Board Treasurer

Almaz Negash

Almaz Negash

Board Member

Edward Thaung

Edward Thaung

Board Member

Jason Avraham

Jason Avraham

Honorary Advisor

Aye Thidar

Aye Thidar

Board Member

Victor K. Tan

Victor K. Tan

Board Member

Dr. John Palmer

Dr. John Palmer

Honorary Director

Mary K. Yap

Mary K. Yap

Board Chair and President

Mary K. Yap was born in Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar). She had served more than 26 years at the Trial Court for the City and County of San Francisco as the lead Court Clerk. Since her retirement from the public services in 2005, she has been extremely engaged in the San Francisco Burmese community where she is an active patron of the Burmese American Catholic Fellowship (B.A.C.F) responsible for bringing together many people from the Burmese community.

For the past 14 years, she has been passionately pursuing the betterment of orphaned children from Burma. She is well regarded as one of the key contributors to the “Myanmar Orphans” project which is one the special projects under the Mary K. Yap Foundation. Her contributions and commitments have brought favorable social impacting changes in Burma.

Mrs. Yap studied Law in Yangon Art and Science University for 3 years before immigrated to San Francisco in 1979. She later continued her studies for A.A Certificate in the Paralegal course at City College of San Francisco. Mrs. Yap is a loving mother of two children and proud grandmother of seven.


Peter K. Yap

Peter K. Yap

Board Vice President and Secretary

Peter K. Yap was born in Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar). He brings over 23 years of exceptional experience in both private and public sector management invovling sales, business development, and marketing. He has lived and worked in North America, Africa, and Asia and has a consistent record of leadership in challenging environments. He has held number of executive positions covering both country and regional managemnet assignments.

He was the former Chief Business Officer for a start-up nationwide telecom license operator Ooredoo, a Qatar based company, where he was responsible for building a foundation of the company’s business unit in Myanmar. He served in this capacity for close to 2 years from 2014-2015. Mr. Yap was the Asia Pacific Vice President of sales for Ceragon Networks (CRNT), one of the fastest growing NASDAQ US-listed technology companies from 2008-2013. Other professional experiences on the record included, Managing Director, and Chief Representative roles of Harris Corporation Microwave Division (NYSE – HRS) in Nigeria from 1999 to 2005, where Mr. Yap played a leading role in the start of the country’s telecom buildup. For close to three years (2005-2008), Mr Yap was the President Director for the Indonesia operations for Harris Stratex Networks (NASDAQ: HSTX) which later was named Aviat Networks (NASDAQ: AVNW) where he was responsible for the P&L of the company business in the most populous country in South East Asia. During the early years of his professional career, Mr. Yap was associated with a non profit organization of the World Trade Center San Francisco for eight consequtive years where he was responsible for providing export counselling, trade finance advise, and organizing mission for exhibition services. Mr. Yap is presently the Managing Director of Mandalay Holdings PTE Ltd., a private equity business investment company headquarter in Singapore, overseeing several businesses and startup equity ventures.

Peter holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in International Business from San Francisco State University, a Master of Business Administration Degree from the Monterey Institute of International Studies, and completed the Stanford Executive Program (SEP) at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, USA. He is a proud father of four young children.

Nora Y. Yang

Dr. Nora Y. Yang

Board Treasurer

Dr. Nora Y. Yang was born in Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar). She is a pharmacist with more than 22 years of pharmacy experience of which the past 14 years were spent in various management roles. Dr. Yang has worked in VARIOUS pharmacies, clinics and hospitals throughout the state of California. She started as a clinical pharmacist then got promoted to associate chief inpatient pharmacy and now working as an outpatient pharmacy supervisor at the VA hospital.

Dr. Yang was responsible for Pharmacy Operations for approximately 1000 beds for various hospitals within the VA Health Care System. Her key responsibilities included management of procuring/preparation/dispensing and education of dispensed medications. She worked with different service care providers and patients to satisfy their individualized health care needs. She was also responsible for providing practical and hands-on training for students/residents/physicians/nurses and patients.

As the Operation manager, she brings wealth of management experiences which included development of management reports, customer/patient care management, procurement policies and guidelines compliance, budget controls, reconciliation work of department sales and expenses, close monitoring of highly controlled medications, as well as recruitments of key staff personnel.

Dr. Yang graduated from the University of Pacific, School of Pharmacy, where she received her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. She is a devoted wife and a mother of 3 grown up children.

Almaz Negash

Almaz Negash

Board Member

Ms. Almaz Negash is the founder of African Diaspora Network (ADN). In 2010, she founded ADN to inform and engage Africans in the diaspora in order to facilitate direct collaboration with social entrepreneurs, innovators and business leaders to invest and improve the lives of everyone on the continent. Under her leadership and vision, ADN is now the home of The African Diaspora Investment Symposium (ADIS), a market place for investors and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.

Negash also serves as the Senior Managing Director of Step Up Silicon Valley, a social innovation network utilizing disruptive, research-based strategies to reduce poverty and increase economic opportunity in Silicon Valley. The latest of her contributions to community economic development include her leadership in exploration and incubation of Pay for Success (aka Social Impact Bond), a new model of social innovation financing that resulted in a $6 million project to reduce homelessness in Santa Clara County.

She is a frequently sought out speaker on regional and global development and has authored several articles and serves on many organizational boards and advisory boards She holds an MBA from Golden Gate University and a BA from University of San Francisco.

Edward Thaung

Edward Thaung

BOARD MEMBER

Edward Thaung is from Yangon, Myanmar. He brings an abundance of experience in the area of legal taxation and international investment.

Mr. Thaung currently serves as the legal adviser to Petronas Myanmar (Hong Kong) Ltd in Yangon. As a Senior Lawyer for the Attorney General’s Office in the Legal Counsel Department, Mr. Thaung drafted new laws and performed legal translation of existing laws. He was also an Assistant Director for the Environmental Affairs Office for the National Commission for Environmental Affairs.

Mr. Thaung attended the United Nations Environmental Program as the National Ozone Officer for Myanmar and was appointed Secretary to Aviation Consultative Committee. He was also appointed Secretary to the Board of Directors at Air Mandalay Ltd. As a visiting law professor, Mr. Thaung taught commercial law subjects in the MBA program at the Institute of Economics, Yangon.

Mr. Thaung holds a Bachelor of Law and an LL. B degree.

Jason Avraham

Jason Avraham

BOARD MEMBER

Jason was born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. He graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a BS in Business Management and a Juris Doctorate in Law from the University of Bridgeport School of Law. Prior to serving as the CEO and Founder of TieBam, Inc, Jason spent 18 years working on China related projects where he held numerous senior advisor and consultancy roles involved in assisting US corporations with their market entrance strategy and expansion of their international operations. Prior to that, he taught business and management-related classes at the University of Texas, Arlington and Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Jason’s own experiences inspired him to get involved with the Mary K Yap Foundation. In 2000, Jason was the only single male known to the Romanian government to formally adopt an older female child from Romania. His biological son was 10 years old at the time, and his first adopted daughter was eight. He later adopted his daughter’s sister when she was 18 years old.

Jason has taken several trips to Yangon during Myanmar’s transitional periods beginning in 2015. He believes that every child deserves an opportunity to succeed and that education plays an important role toward long-term success. His hope is that once pioneering orphans learn English and study abroad, others will see a path toward reaching their own potential.

In his leisure time, Jason enjoys cheering his favorite San Francisco Bay area sports teams, traveling, and spending time with his three children and two grandchildren.

Aye Thidar Chin

Aye Thidar

Board Member

Aye Thida Chin was born in Laputta township in Myanmar which is located in the delta of the Irrawaddy. She attended Hua Zhong High school where she developed keen interests and connections for linguistic skills development. From the young age of 12 to 16 years, to the time when she graduated from High School, Aye Thida Chin was already Trilingual with the command in both speaking and writing Chinese, English and Burmese languages. She passionately continued her love for language speaking until she completed her B.Sc Degree in Math major from the Yangon Arts & Science University.

Aye Thida Chin has been a resident of the San Francisco, California since 1979. Prior to her retirement in 2004, she had previously held number of corporate positions in San Francisco Bay Area for more than 25 years. She has been extremely active in the community development initiatives on behalf of the Hua Zhong Alumni Associations for more than 8 years as the President of the Association before becoming closely involved with several charity activities including her devotion as one of the Directors of the Burmese American Buddhist Association (BABA) as well as her association with the Mary K. Yap Foundation where she spend her free time supporting the orphan community of Myanmar as a fundraising committee member.

To date, she lives with 3 children, 4 grandchildren in San Francisco, U.S.A. Aye Thida hobbies include reading, spending time with grandchildren, and volunteering to improve all around.

Victor K. Tan

Victor K. Tan

Board Member

U Tin Aung a.k.a Victor K. Tan was born in Mawlamyine, Myanmar. Among the youths from the writer community, U Tin Aung is a well-known author for many classical poems.

Mr. Tan love for the language landed him number of nationally recognized acclaimed awards in the writing competition since his childhood when he developed his innate passion for writing.

Deploying his masterful collection of thoughts and illustrative imaginations, Victor has literally translated hundreds of novels ranging from wide range of subjects. People come to know U Tin Aung as an author who first started martial arts novel. Over the past 4 decades, Mr. Tan had captured many followers and admirers from all walks of life, including the renowned international personality, Mr. Bill Gates who Mr. Tan had the opportunity to inspire the billionaire philanthropist through the delivery and extension of his poetic translations.

Mr. Tan is a graduate of Shwe Myaing College with the B.Sc (Chems). He had previously worked in the U.S as Chemist. He was also a successful business man after owning a Print Shop. Now Retired, he spends his free time helping the Mary K. Yap Foundation on fundraising activities while inspiring young children to reach their potential.

John Palmer

Dr. John Palmer

Honorary Director

Dr. John brings abundance of experience in the area of global management, innovation, business development, and strategy formulation to the Foundation. He has served as a business adviser and consultant to several Fortune 500 corporations, public organizations, advisory firms, and academia establishments. Among his many achievements and highlights during his 40 plus years of professional career is the development of the International Space Station Habitat and Laboratory where he served as a key member in the Innovation and concept design team.

John has built new ventures and changed initiatives for employers and government clients in energy, technology, high tech research and development, telecommunications, aerospace and transportation sectors in 30+ countries. John is a Doctoral Candidate in International Business, holds an MBA from Monterey Institute of International Studies, which is a distinguished International Management University in the United States of America, and a BSEE from a leading European University (University of Sevilla – Spain). John attended technical and business seminars at Stanford University and other esteemed United States of America Universities.

John is an accomplished commercial pilot with active commercial ratings. Served on several corporate boards including Sigma Solar Energy Inc., SJ Air Cargo, KAM International Ltd., CEO, Sigma Consulting Group LLC, a botique consulting firm with more than 150 years of combined practices in the area of defense, healthcare, education and IT consulting practices. During his spare time, John enjoys providing humanitarian support to charity organizations where he extends his generosity and care to orphned children.

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The Mary K. Yap Foundation is a not-for-profit organization recognized as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S Internal Revenue Code, with the legal company registration in the State of Delaware, U.S.A with Tax I.D (472687230). Donations are tax deductible to the extent of the law under section 170 of the code.