Keng BunChhoeuth aims to make a more lasting contribution to the strengthening of governance and democracy in his country through cultivating space for constructive dialogue between civil society and government in Cambodia. He served as Cambodia Country Director and Asia Regional Advisor of CORD, an international organization based in the United Kingdom that promotes sustainable peace in post-conflict countries through the capacity development of civil society and government agencies. Its activities enable more constructive engagement around issues of public concern.
BunChhoeuth and his family survived the genocide and starvation that plagued Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge regime, and they fled to the Thai border during the years of civil war and occupation that followed. While living in the refugee camps from 1980-1992, he received his formative education and served as the assistant camp officer as well as a school teacher during the latter part of his stay there.
Following the Paris Peace Agreement, BunChhoeuth was among the first group of Cambodians to return to the country to begin rebuilding their society, and he first worked as an electoral team interpreter for the United Nations Transitional Authority to Cambodia. He then became involved in development by working in CORD’s community development programs from 1994 to 1998, eventually serving as the Executive Director when the program was localized to a Cambodian organization.
BunChhoeuth then worked with many different international non-governmental organizations, including donor agencies such as Forum Syd, Church World Services, and Tearfund UK.
Eventually, he returned to work with CORD after it re-established a Cambodia-based program aimed at strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations through institutional development and programmatic support in human rights and conflict sensitivity.