David is a freelance documentary photographer and guide, having made Flagstaff his home since 1982. He has led river trips around the world and continues to lead horse trips throughout Mongolia. His story about the Kazakh eagle hunters of western Mongolia appeared in the September 1999 issue of National Geographic. Dave took his first trip to Mongolia in 1992 for a self-assignment covering the horse culture. Moved by the poverty he saw, specifically in orphanages and among the street children, Dave began carrying duffels of warm clothes to Mongolia and personally distributed them on his following trips. In 1997 he founded the Mongolian Orphans Association, which is now called FIRE Projects.
Meredith has been the Executive Director of FIRE since 2004, when she revived the organization from a multi-year program hiatus. She has grown FIRE’s programs from delivering aid door-to-door in Mongolia to helping lead Mongolia’s fight to eliminate hepatitis. Her leadership has given FIRE a reputation for integrity; diverse and strong working relationships with local, international, public, private, and government organizations; and efficient, empowering, and innovative programming. She is responsible for grants management, program planning, scheduling, budgets, and reporting. Meredith leads the Flagstaff office and the teams in Mongolia and Nepal to research, implement and evaluate ongoing and future programs. In 2017, Meredith was named one of 18 Hepatitis C Change Makers and one of 6 Hepatitis C Change Maker Honorees by The Economist Intelligence Unit. Change Makers were recognized as innovators doing exemplary work to inspire and guide their peers on the path to HCV elimination. She has been a member of Rotary International since 2011 and served as President, 2022-2023 of the Flagstaff Rotary Club. She is also pursuing a Master’s in Public Health from UC Berkeley.
Dr. Munkhnasan has been with FIRE since August 2011. She graduated from Health Sciences University of Mongolia with advanced degrees in dermatology and venereology. She worked as an emergency doctor at the Emergency Medical Service Center of Ulaanbaatar City, and as a physician doing voluntary counseling and testing for sexually transmitted diseases at the Songinokhairkhan District Health Center. Dr. Munkhnasan served as program manager for the National AIDS Foundation in Mongolia, supervising the design, development, implementation, reporting, monitoring, and evaluation of community-based programs. She serves the same roles at FIRE. Additionally, she coordinates FIRE’s trainings and workshops, creating curricula and building relationships. FIRE values her extensive experience in working with patients and community- based organizations.
Ms. Baasantsetseg has been with FIRE since April 2011. She attended university in Ulaanbaatar, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She went on to serve the chief accountant at Boroo Mining Co. Ltd., one of Mongolia’s largest mining companies, for three years. From 2009 until 2011 she served as the accountant and office manager for World Growth Mongolia, an international non-governmental organization (INGO) working in Mongolia. Ms. Bassantsetseg enjoys working for NGOs and feels that it gives her a greater purpose in life. She lived in London, England for seven years and Russia for two years, giving her an excellent understanding of Western accounting practices and the ability to bridge the professional and cultural gap between Mongolia and the West. She works diligently to ensure that both United States and Mongolian accounting practices and laws are strictly adhered. She uses her mastery of logistics to steer the general operations of FIRE’s office and program administration and budgets.
Mary Williams brings years of experience in Communications and Graphic Design to FIRE. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Advertising and Public Relations from the University of Utah and a Masters Degree in Art Education from Boise State University. Having held professional roles in the outdoor recreation industry as a Snowbird ski patroller, Mt. Rainier climbing guide, Grand Canyon river guide and Idaho river outfitter, Mary employs a team player approach to working with FIRE. She also runs her graphic design business, Mary Williams Design, serving clients in the non-profit and outdoor industry, service industry, start-up, and business sector.
Tashi was born and raised in Langtang, Nepal. Before the earthquake in 2015, he built and ran a guest house in Kyanjin Gumpa with his wife and two daughters. He lost his wife and youngest daughter in the earthquake. After the earthquake Tashi began to focus on social work, committing to improving the lives of all who survived in Langtang. In December 2015, Tashi started working with FIRE and was elected Chairman of the Langtang Buffer Zone User Committee, within the Langtang National Park. He was reelected to this position again, in May 2017, for an additional five years. Tashi manages the development budget for Langtang National Park and all grants for the National Park from USAid, UNICEF and the World Wildlife Federation. Tashi holds regular meetings with his community in Langtang. Tashi is also the Treasurer of the Kangin Gompa Langtang Society. His selfless commitment to serve his community allows FIRE to assist the most vulnerable members and better design long-term projects.