Staff, Directors and Advisors
Meredith Potts, Executive Director, Re-founder and Interim President
Meredith has been the executive director of FIRE since 2003, when she revived the organization from a 3-year hiatus. She is also currently serving as the president of the Board of Directors. Cumulatively, she has spent more than 2 years in Mongolia since 2004 and one year in Southeast Asia since 1997. Her strong knowledge of Mongolian culture, politics, and logistics allows her to navigate an often-challenging system to establish efficient, sustainable and empowering communication and programs. Her leadership has given FIRE a unique focus in rural Mongolia as well ensuring that program deadlines and expectations are met. Meredith leads the Flagstaff office and the teams in Mongolia and Nepal to research, implement and evaluate ongoing and future programs. She develops and maintains FIRE’s strategic plan and partnerships with donors and international organizations, overseeing the implementation of donor and grant funded programs. She orchestrated the final six volunteer distribution trips in Mongolia. She has worked closely with the local team in Mongolia to establish FIRE’s current campaigns, making them as dense and comprehensive as possible. Meredith has made five trips to India, Bangladesh and Nepal researching aid and development programs, volunteering, and studying yoga. Her appreciation and understanding of life on the Indian sub-continent prompted the start of FIRE’s work in Nepal following the April 25, 2015 earthquake. Meredith is also a photographer and filmmaker. She has volunteered more than 9,000 hours in various capacities and countries since she was 7-years-old. She is a member of the Flagstaff Rotary Club.
Dr. Munkhjargal Ayurzana, Medical Director, Mongolia
Dr. Munkhjargal has been with FIRE since December 2010. She is currently leading FIRE’s of ce in Ulaanbaatar and directing FIRE’s medical programs. Dr. Munkhjargal is a qualified medical doctor with a degree from Health Sciences University of Mongolia and almost 20 years of experience in diverse development contexts and settings, including civil society and private and government sectors. Dr. Munkhjargal also has a master’s degree in business administration, and serves as the medical waste management consultant for FIRE’s cooperative project supporting the Asian Development Bank funded Fifth Health Sector Development Project. For more than two years prior to joining FIRE, Dr. Munkhjargal served as executive director for the National AIDS Foundation (NAF), one of Mongolia’s leading non-government organizations (NGOs), working on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS. Prior to NAF, she also worked as a coordinator for health emergencies and disaster preparedness, and as a monitoring and evaluation officer at the Ministry of Health in Mongolia. Dr. Munkhjargal specializes in working partnerships with international and government organizations, local coordination of donor-funded programs, and assisting capacity building of community based organizations. Dr. Munkhjargal is a member of the Ulaanbaatar Rotary Club and will serve as the Club’s president in the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
Dr. Munkhnasan Myagmarjav, Program Coordinator, Mongolia
Dr. Munkhnasan has been with FIRE since August 2011. She graduated from the 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. Now she is pursuing a master’s degree in health administration.
Baasantsetseg Baatar, Administrative Officer, Mongolia
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. Ms. Baasantsetseg regularly takes courses in her own time to further develop her knowledge.
Dexter Albert, Office Manager, Flagstaff
Tashi Tsering, Country Director, Nepal
Sonam Tamang, Program Assistant, Nepal
Board of Directors
David Edwards, Founder and Board Member
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.
Susan Bigley, NP, Board Member
Susan Bigley resides in Flagstaff, Arizona, where she is the associate medical director at North Country Health Care, a clinic designed to meet the needs of the under insured and the uninsured. Her current role as a family nurse practitioner and administrator of a community health center exemplifies her commitment to delivering health care to the underserved. Prior to joining North Country, she spent over 20 years on the Hopi and Navajo Reservations, first as a public health nurse then as a nurse practitioner. A majority of her work was with diabetes prevention and education. She has always been drawn to public health and working with communities, especially with disease prevention and self-management. She earned her Master of Science degree from Northern Arizona University. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, she has called Arizona home since 1989. She lives there with her beautiful daughter and a few too many pets.
Troy Levitt, MD, Board Member
Dr. Levitt is board certified in emergency medicine and serves as chief of the emergency medicine department of Chinle Hospital, deep on the Navajo Reservation, outside Flagstaff, AZ. She has been at Chinle Hospital since 1998 and moved to Flagstaff on a part-time basis in 2005. After more than two decades of working in emergency medicine, Dr. Levitt knows first hand the role it often plays as the first point of contact in patient treatment. She is currently working with FIRE to develop a first-aid training program to begin to address the almost non-existent area of emergency medicine in Mongolia. The cultural similarities between the Navajo and the Mongolians make her experience and expertise a great match for FIRE’s programs. She has two teenage sons who keep her busy when she is not on the reservation.
Mongolian Advisory Board
Nepal Advisory Committee
Ed Fund Steering Committee