Staff Directory

Dr. Charles Aanenson, CEO:

Dr. Charles Aanenson is Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Peace Winds America. He brings over 35 years of experience in the field of international aid and development. Serving in numerous leadership positions throughout Asia and Eastern Europe, Chuck has carried out projects involving governments (national and local), NGOs, militaries, and the private sector. He recently coordinated the two largest assistance policies and programs of the U.S. and Japan Governments, addressing areas such as disaster relief, health, and education. His experience in disaster mitigation extends from designing and implementing disaster readiness and response training programs to coordinating on-site relief. Chuck earned his PhD in public administration from Indiana University.

John Sanders, Vietnam Field Officer: 

John Sanders manages our field office in Hai Phong, Vietnam; where he launched the Sister Cities disaster preparedness initiative aimed at improving private sector disaster resilience through business continuity planning. With over 25 years of leadership experience in both business operations and human resources development, John brings a unique and valuable perspective to PWA. In addition to his passion for developing individuals and teams, John has a deep and long-lasting commitment to Non-Profits, having served in multiple organizations ranging from volunteer to board president. John received his B.S. in business from the University of New Mexico.

Mari Poorman, Project Officer:

Mari Poorman joined Peace Winds America as a Project Officer, and brings extensive private sector experience in international project management and business development, with a focus on the U.S. and Japan. Mari has implemented and managed various relief and recovery programs in Japan, the Philippines, and Nepal partnering with NGOs and local governments. She has served and led civil-military humanitarian assistance program partnering the U.S. and Japan (Palau and Japan) and with the UN and NATO in the Balkans (Macedonia). During 2014-15, Mari lead a Peace Winds team targeting development and humanitarian assistance in Myanmar. She holds a B.S. in public relations from the University of Utah. [Mari is presently on temporary leave from PWA.]

Penny Carothers, Development and Program Support Specialist:
Penny supports fundraising and programs at PWA. Penny brings a background in non-profit management and communication, having served both as a board and staff member with several international non-profits based in the Seattle area. She holds an M.P.A. from the University of Washington with a concentration in international relief and development and a B.A. in history from Reed College.

Le Thi Nhung, Project Assistant:

Le Thi Nhung serves as the Project Assistant for the Vietnam – US Disaster Preparedness Initiative. Nhung works out of the Hai Phong field office and has previous experience working on development projects in Vietnam. She holds a B.A. in English language teaching and an M.A. in English linguistics from Hanoi National University.

Tuan Ha, Field Officer:

Tuan Ha serves as the Field Officer for the Vietnam – US Disaster Preparedness Initiative at the Hai Phong field office. Mr. Ha is a PhD candidate in agricultural systems management at the University of Adelaide. He previously obtained an M.Sc. at the University of Queensland, Australia, and has done consultancy work for Oxfam America, the Spanish Red Cross, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Rosa Gimson, Research and Program Support Intern:

Rosa serves as the Research and Program Support Intern at Peace Winds America. She is currently an MPA candidate at the University of Washington, where she is studying international development and non-profit management. She has a background in homelessness and addiction services, program development, and immigration research. She holds a B.A. from Linfield College, where she studied Anthropology and Spanish.

Opportunities at Peace Winds America

Internships: If you are interested in an internship opportunity, please submit your resume and a cover letter describing your specific areas of interest to

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General Inquiries: or call 206-432-3712

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