The Golden West Humanitarian Foundation is a United States based non-profit charity dedicated to the development of innovative technologies, training, and techniques that are used to enhance the global effectiveness of the humanitarian mine action community.
Our team has a wealth of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), physical security stockpile management, training, and technical experience. Golden West personnel are community-minded, highly qualified, and well versed in the challenges faced in countries worldwide.
By working collaboratively with governments, the UN, National Mine Action Centers, and our peer NGOs, we address the needs of the mine action community and strive to ensure the widest dissemination and the application of innovation to save lives.
Al is a Master EOD technician with over 50 years of experience in Munitions Management, Ordnance Disposal, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), Humanitarian Demining, Safety, and Technology Assessments and is a retired US Army Colonel.
John came to Golden West following a thirty-year career as a Combat Engineer in the United States Marine Corps. His experience with Program and Project Management of the US Marine Forces Pacific Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) program and the Exercise Related Construction Program adds depth to the Golden West team. His efforts ensure logistics and technical advisory support to the USINDOPACOM and MARFORPAC HMA program in Thailand and Cambodia.
Cj is a tactical academic with more than 30 years of Navy EOD experience. He holds eight graduate degrees, including multiple doctorates, and is a multilingual global expert in crisis innovation. He has served in critical technological roles supporting the location and recovery of ROKS Cheonan ship in Korea, post-tsunami disaster response in Japan, and scores of large scale ordnance disasters. CJ is doctoral faculty at four major universities, helping develop next-generation EOD tools and inform strategic studies research involving Explosive Remnants of War (ERW). At Golden West, he acts as the primary link between academia and field operations to develop, validate, and bring new ideas to the mass market.
Jim joined the Golden West Humanitarian Foundation in February of 2020, following his retirement from the United States Marine Corps (USMC). Jim is a Master Level Explosive Ordnance Disposal & Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Executive Leader with 32 years of USMC service, 27 of those as an EOD Technician. Jim uses his knowledge and experience to build and grow Golden West Humanitarian Foundation’s Thailand Operations as IMAS EOD Mentor and EOD Instructor to Thailand Mine Action Center and the Royal Thai Armed Forces. Additionally, he frequently provides Technical Advisor support to US MARFORPAC HMA training missions in Thailand and Cambodia.
Simon joined Golden West in 2018 and currently serves as a Physical Security and Stockpile Management (PSSM) Technical Advisor. Before joining Golden West, Simon gained over 20 years of experience in ammunition management and EOD. Simon’s technical qualifications were gained from serving as an Ammunition Technician in the British Army in countries like the UK, Balkans, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Simon provides long-term technical support and training to national authorities to help adapt and implement International Ammunition Technical Guidelines. Simon brings detailed knowledge and experience to the team.
Arben Braha (or Beni as he is known by), is a known veteran within the HMA sector. Formally a Military Engineering – EOD Officer in the Albanian Armed Forces since 2010, he held the position as Director of the National Mine Action Authority (AMMCO) until March 2021, supporting HMA efforts in Albania. Beni recently represented Albania at a Forum implemented by Golden West in 2018, and Beni assisted USEUCOM in establishing the current PSSM Program.
Nina joined Golden West in May 2021, providing essential support to the PSSM Program implemented on behalf of USEUCOM. Fluent in Georgian, Russian, Ukrainian, and English, Nina joined us after years working for a US Commercial Company, NATO, and as Assistant to the Chief of General Staff, Georgian Armed Forces. Educated in Kyiv, Ukraine, Berlin, Germany, and Tbilisi, Georgia, Nina holds a bachelor’s degree in law.
Andrii joined Golden West in August of 2021 as an interpreter, translator, and local support officer in Ukraine. He has a degree in physics and vast experience in technical translation and interpreting for numerous infantry, EOD, CIED, and humanitarian mine action courses in Ukraine. Andrii provides local linguistic, administrative, and logistical support for the Golden West PSSM and EOD projects.
Adan joined the Golden West Humanitarian Foundation in March of 2020 following his retirement from the United States Marine Corps. He serves as Project Lead in Quang Tri, Vietnam. Since joining the team, Adan has used his EOD experience and organizational management skills to mentor and train the Provincial Military EOD team in Quang Tri.
John comes to Golden West with a combined 30 years of experience as both a US Army Combat Engineer and EOD Technician, including civilian law enforcement and EOD contracting time. With deployments to Somalia, Bosnia, and Iraq, John brings a well-rounded and experienced perspective to the Golden West team.
Diep joined Golden West in 2015, serving as an interpreter/translator. Diep is certified to IMAS levels 2 and 3 and holds a Bachelor’s of English. Diep brings more than 15 years of experience to Golden West’s Demining Program.
Cuong joined Golden West as a translator in May of 2017. Cuong brings many years or experience in the private, non-governmental and government service to Golden West.
Charlie retired from the US Army in 2006 after serving as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technician conducting combat deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. Following his time in the military, Charlie undertook several commercial EOD roles before joining Golden West in 2013. As the QRF Task Manager, Charlie plans and deploys teams within 48hrs to undertake short-term conventional weapons destruction and mitigation activities designed to reduce or eliminate threats posed by explosive hazards to civilian populations. Charlie has deployed on over 26 emergency response missions in 22 countries in support of the QRF program providing technical assistance to host nation officials ranging from emergency munitions clearance following unplanned detonations, disposal of excess/obsolete munitions, Physical Security and Stockpile Management, and recovery/disposal of unexploded ordnance threatening civilian communities.
Mark retired from the US Marine Corps in 2005 after 20 years as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technician with US Navy SCUBA qualifications and combat deployments to Iraq and the Horn of Africa. Following his service, Mark stayed within the EOD sphere and undertook various roles primarily in Iraq and Afghanistan before joining Golden West. As the QRF’s Senior EOD Technical Specialist/Team Leader, Mark is responsible for the on-site management of deployed teams of technical specialists who mobilize within 48hrs. Mark has significant experience as part of the QRF, having deployed to 26 emergency response missions in 21 countries.
Joe has extensive operational experience involving EOD operations, Humanitarian Demining, rendering safe U.S. and foreign munitions, IEDs, and other explosive hazards. Joe is also a Master Level Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician and a retired Master Sergeant from the U.S. Marine Corps. His background includes training host nation personnel in demining/ordnance identification and educating EOD personnel on operational functions and responsibilities.
Khean has 18 years in the Demining, UXO, and EOD community, and is a Master Level EOD Technician. He holds a Bachelor’s in Business Administration and is the Senior EOD Training Officer at the Cambodian Mine Action Center.
Heang has a master’s degree in Business Administration from Build Bright University in Cambodia, 13 years in Landmine and UXO Detection Research and 2 years in Explosive Harvesting Program. He is an experienced manager, leader, and an asset to the Golden West team.
John served as an apprentice mechanical engineering production technician and holds an honors degree in design engineering. John’s work experiences range from teaching maintenance of outboard engines to mechanics in the fishing villages in Sierra Leone to under-ice operations on nuclear submarines. John has more than 40 years of experience in various aspects of mechanical and electrical engineering.
Tongly holds a Bachelor’s degree of Mechanical Engineering and has been working at the Design Lab for two years on the OrdHUB project. Tongly specializes in ordnance classification and information systems.
Asia Johnson is a UCLA graduate who began working with Golden West in 2013 as the Head Accounting Manager. Asia leverages almost a decade of experience in small business accounting and administration to maintain the highest level of fiscal responsibility.
Maggie holds a BA in Humanities and over 20 years of experience working as a staff accountant. She joined the Golden West team in 2018 as Bookkeeper for the headquarters office in California. Her experience and enthusiasm is a great contribution to Golden West, particularly her efforts to ensure the finance department operates efficiently and accurately.
Reaksmey Chan has both a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a Master of Business Administration degree. She possesses seven years of experience in accounting, finance, administration, logistics, and planning.
Gekhorng Sreng has a bachelor’s degree in finance and banking and a Master of Finance degree. These educational merits have equipped her well in her 7+ years working as an accountant with Golden West.
Manurith Sann has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and is currently studying for a master’s degree in public administration. He has multiple certifications, including a Bronze Medallion certificate from the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia. These certifications, combined with his experience as a swim coach, lifeguard, and administrator, have equipped him well for his work at Golden West.
Mai Thi Tuyet is an administrative officer with Golden West, and she is a great example of the leading ladies who work behind the scenes to keep the organization’s operations running down range. Her 25 years of administrative experience in various environments has made her one of the most important members of the Golden West team.
Lieu holds a B.A. in Accounting and an M.A. in International Trade in finance. She also has over 10 years working with NGOs on international developement.
After graduating with a major in Accounting, Linh joined Golden West as an Intern looking to gain experience in the NGO sector. Subsequently, after proving her ability, Linh became a full-time employee in 2017 and serves as an Accounting Assistant. Supporting both the HMA and Swim For Life programs from the office in Hanoi and on the ground in Quang Binh and Quang Tri, Linh values the range of experience Golden West offers, helping to ensure our work is carried out on time and under budget.