About Us

The Bhutan Network was founded by Kristel Josel and Ulrike Čokl, who share a great interest in the Himalayan region, especially in Bhutan. Kristel and Ulrike have always had a talent and passion for connecting people who share similar visions and ideas. They also share well-established contacts extending from the community level to the decision and policy-making levels in Bhutan and Austria. The strong link to the grassroots level in Bhutan is prerequisite for the unique approach of Bhutan Network.

Kristel JoselKristel Josel (Executive Director, Austria)

Kristel is based in Austria and is the owner of artsprojects, an international consulting and management company. She has traveled to Bhutan many times since 2006. In recent years she mainly lends assistance in capacity building for the management of family-owned businesses in Central and Eastern Bhutan.


portrait-ulli-2016Ulrike Čokl (Programme & Project Manager, Bhutan)

Ulrike has a M.A. in Social- and Cultural Anthropology. She  has been researching and living in Bhutan on and off since 1999, predominantly staying in remote communities. This has deepened her insights into rural livelihoods and community related issues. Over the years, Ulli has worked with local communities and government institutions alike, and is very familiar with operating principles and procedures in the country.


 Karma Lhazom (Local Representative, Bhutan)

Karma Lhazom has a M.A. in Lifelong Learning: Policy and Management from the UCL Institute of Education in London, an M.A. in Public Policy from the KDI School of Public Policy and Management in Seoul, South Korea. Karma is committed to promoting learning beyond traditional schooling, learning that is flexible, diverse and available for everyone. She spent over a decade as a civil servant in the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources advancing Vocational Education policies and system. Currently Karma Lhazom works as director of READ Bhutan Country office. She is also pro bono representative of Bhutan Network, providing valuable insights into VET (Vocational Education & Training).

sonam_wangmo2 Sonam Wangmo (Local Representative, Bhutan)

Sonam, a business woman and social worker, is our local representative in Bhutan. Sonam has worked in the tourism industry for decades and she is also involved in various social enterprises and charity projects.



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