Dr. Le Ngoc Bich Ly
(Acting Head of Department of Peace Studies, Active Lecturer)

Dr. Le Ngoc Bich Ly is the head of the International Ph.D. program in Peacebuilding at Payap University, Chiang Mai, Thailand. She teaches courses related to religion, gender, and peacebuilding. She also coordinates interfaith activities and public presentations at the university. Ly earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Can Tho University, Vietnam in 2004, and a Master of Divinity from Payap University in 2011. She received her Ph.D. degree in Inter-Religious Studies from the Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies in Indonesia in 2017. Her research focuses on gender issues in religion, interfaith dialogue, Buddhism and peacebuilding.

payap peace staff

Dr. Mark Tamthai
(Associate Professor, Founder of the peacebuilding program)

Dr. Tamthai is the former head of the Philosophy Department at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, and the former director of the Institute of Religion, Culture, and Peace at Payap University, Thailand.  He has taught and written in the fields of Philosophy of Science, Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, and Peace-Conflict Studies.  Some of his papers are “Democracy with a Heart”, “The Democratic-Peace Hypothesis and building a Culture of Peace in Southeast Asia”, “Citizenship and the struggle for rights in fledgling democracies”, “The Philosophical and Cultural Dimension of Peacebuilding”, and most recently, “Weaving Patani’s dream non-violently.” He is the former president of the Philosophy and Religion Society of Thailand, was a member of Thailand’s National Reconciliation Commission, and headed the government’s peace talk team with the Patani Movement in Southern Thailand.

Dr. Rey Ty

(Core lecturer)

R. Ty is a faculty member of the Department of Peace Studies as well as the Director of the Religion, Culture, and Peace Lab (RCPL). His peer-reviewed academic publications on youth and interfaith peacebuilding, human rights, environmental action, gender, refugees, migrant labor, statelessness, climate change, and other issues are indexed in Academia | BASE | ERIC | Google Books | Google Scholar| ORCID | Sci-Hub | Scopus| Semantic Scholar | WorldCat. Dr. Ty received his Master’s degree in Asian Studies (Political Science) from the University of California at Berkeley. He received his second Master’s degree in Political Science (Comparative Politics, Political Theory, International Relations, Southeast Asian Politics) and doctorate degree in Education (adult and higher education administration; public policy; human resource development; community development; social movement) from Northern Illinois University. His doctoral dissertation focused on human rights and peace education.

For the Ph.D. in Peace Studies, he teaches Research Methodology, Human Rights and Peacebuilding, and Cultural Dimensions of Peacebuilding. In the U.S., he has taught Political Science courses (American Politics, Conflict and Peace Studies, International Political Economy, International Relations) and Education (International Education, Research Methodology).

He has completed his human rights internship at the Directorate of Human Rights of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France. He has completed research on the relationship among human rights, the laws of war, and international humanitarian law in Geneva, Switzerland. As a member of different international NGOs with consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations, he has been engaged in advocacy before the United Nations offices in Manhattan, New York, U.S.A.; Vienna, Austria; Geneva, Switzerland; and Bangkok, Thailand. He has taught European-wide teachers and teachers all over the world in summer schools in Bossey, Switzerland that a U.N. funded INGO with consultative status with the U.N. over the years. He was part of an international team that gave advice to the Parliament of Nepal when it transformed from absolute monarchy to democracy. In a United Nations organized training program, he has trained judges, police, media, and civil society in Kathmandu, Nepal.

He initiated the Peace Studies Present, the Peer Mentoring Program, and the Annual International Conference on Religion, Culture, Peace, and Education.

Aside from English, Dr. R.Ty speaks Mandarin (Chinese), Fujianhua (Chinese), Tagalog (Filipino), French, Spanish, and basic Indonesian.

Rev. John W. Butt
(Emeritus Lecturer, founder of IRCP)

Reverend John Butt first came to Thailand in 1963 after completing a Master’s degree in Theology at Harvard University. He taught in Chiang Mai for three years prior to returning to Harvard University to pursue additional degrees in the comparative study of religion, especially Buddhism and Christianity.  He had an opportunity to come back to Chiang Mai in 1984, after teaching comparative religion for 7 years at Macalester College in MN (USA).   John has served in Chiang Mai as a local pastor, church district worker, seminary and university professor, and as founding director of Payap University’s Institute for the Study of Religion and Culture (now the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Peace).  Reverend Butt retired in 2007 but has continued to serve as a Senior Advisor and teacher at the Institute.

Dr. Tony Waters

(Professor, Emeritus Lecturer)

Tony Waters is former Director of the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Peace and former Lecturer in Peace Studies Department at Payap University, Thailand. He was formerly Professor of Sociology at California State University, Chico, where he served as Department Chair.  He worked in Thailand as a Peace Corps Volunteer (1980-1982), and later worked in refugee camps in Thailand and Tanzania.  He has written books about humanitarian relief operations, classical social theory, and criminology.

He has a Ph.D. degree in Sociology from the University of California, Davis (1995).

Many of his publications are available at his Academia.edu account at https://payap.academia.edu/TonyWaters

payap peace legend

Dr. Somboon Panyakhom
(Emeritus Lecturer)

Research interests: Social Entrepreneurship.  Dr. Somboon has a Ph.D. in Social Sciences from Queensland, Australia.  His Ph.D. dissertation was about petty corruption in Thailand.  He retired in 2020 and continues to be very active with social entrepreneurship in Myanmar and Thailand, particularly among the Karen people.

Ast. Prof. Suchart Setthamalinee
(Emeritus Lecturer)

Suchart Setthamalinee is the former head of the Department of Peace Studies at Payap University. He has a MA and Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Hawai’i and specializes in Muslim studies, having written several books on the subject.

payap peace leader