Founder and CEO
Founder and CEO
Writing Through was founded in 2010 by the writer and teacher, Sue Guiney. The program grew out of her experiences, positive and negative, from a volunteer trip she took to Cambodia with her family in 2006. That trip led to her writing the first in her collection of novels set in modern day Cambodia, A Clash of Innocents. After the publication of that novel, Sue was determined to bring the fruit of her inspiration back to the people who inspired her. The Writing Workshop now known as Writing Through is her way of giving back to a people and country she has grown to love. From that first workshop grew this international charity targeting underserved and at-risk populations, both children and adults, students and teachers.
Ever since the first workshop was run in the Siem Reap educational shelter, Anjali House, Sue has devoted her writing and much of her teaching to Cambodia. From 2011-2013, she was Writer-in-Residence in the SE Asia Department of The University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), the world’s leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. She has traveled around the globe discussing her experiences in Cambodia and drawing attention to that country’s needs. Her Cambodian novels are among the only literary fiction written for an English-speaking audience about modern day, post Khmer Rouge Cambodia. The second in the collection, Out of the Ruins, was published in 2014.
Sue is also an internationally recognized poet. Besides her own poetry collections, her work has been widely published in literary journals and anthologized in collections devoted to global human rights issues.
Wendee Wolfson is a Leadership Coach and Consultant to both experienced and emerging leaders in corporations and startup enterprises. She has also worked with non-profit boards to develop strategic initiatives and implement leadership transitions as a consultant and as a board member.
Wendee has a particular interest in working with social entrepreneurs, both as a coach to Fellows in the Halcyon Incubator for Social Entrepreneurs, in Washington, DC, and in her role as a lead advisor to the Next Wave Impact Fund, which invests in early stage, high growth social enterprises. She also coaches students in the Georgetown University Executive Masters in Leadership program.
She has worked with entrepreneurs starting high growth organizations for twenty years, advising them on business models, financing, and a variety of management challenges.
Wendee was a co-founder of both Women’s Growth Capital Fund, a venture capital fund that invested exclusively in women entrepreneurs, and
WomenAngels.net, a professionally managed fund of active women angel investors. She is currently one of the lead advisors to the inaugural Rising Tide Fund. She also coordinates and facilitates the annual International Exchange of effective practices among the leaders of angel groups in developed and emerging countries, through the Angel Capital Association.
Wendee began her career and spent several years in the financial services industry. She has an MBA from the Yale School of Management and a Certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University.
Trisha Craig is Dean of International and Professional Experience at Yale NUS, Yale’s new liberal arts college in Singapore. Previously she was director of Wheelock College Singapore. Prior to moving to Southeast Asia, Trisha spent a decade as director of the Centre for European Studies at Harvard University. Trisha is a political sociologist with a focus on institution building and has worked as a policy advisor and taught in many countries including El Salvador, Spain, the United Kingdom, Qatar, China, India, Thailand and South Africa. She is co-author of the book, The Quality of Life in Rural Asia, published by Oxford University Press, the author of many articles and a frequent contributer to the Straits Times and TODAY on issues of early childhood education, demographic trends, education and globalization. Trisha holds a PhD from Yale University and has served on the boards of a number of non-profit organizations and government commissions.
Jenny Pearson has lived and worked in Cambodia since 1995. She has qualifications in social work and public sector management and previously worked in the public sector in England. She arrived in Cambodia as a volunteer and went on to found and direct VBNK, Cambodia’s leading capacity development institution. She has played a leading role in developing the capacity of the not-for-profit sector in Cambodia, introducing creative methodologies into capacity development approaches. She has served on the boards of several prominent development organisations. In 2007 she was a visiting fellow at the Institute of Development Studies in the UK.
Since she stepped down from VBNK in 2008, Jenny spends her time consulting and writing about capacity development, drawing on her years of experience to contribute the voice of practice to the international discourse on capacity development. She is the author of ‘Creative Capacity Development: learning to adapt in development practice’, and a range of other works including the OECD Working Paper ‘Training and Beyond: Seeking better practices for capacity development’. She also works as a coach and facilitator, helping individuals and groups integrate learning into their working practices for enhanced performance. She holds dual British and Cambodian citizenship and lives in a village outside Phnom Penh with her adopted Cambodian family.
Jen Flynn is the Director of Clubs and Shared Interest Groups at the Harvard Alumni Association, where she helps Harvard’s 248 alumni organizations around the world build leadership strength and organizational capacity, define strategy, and tackle tough challenges. Prior to Harvard, she was the Director of Educational Programs and Partnerships at EF Education, developing digital content and new media initiatives, designing academic programs, and building strategic relationships between EF and other educational organizations, including Apple, PBS, and Advanced Placement of the College Board. For more than six years, she worked at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University in a number of positions, most recently as Director of Advancement Outreach and Alumnae Affairs. She has advised universities in Brazil, Poland, China, England, Scotland, the Middle East, Australia, and around the US in alumni engagement strategy and organizational capacity-building, and has served as a presenter at many professional conferences.
She received her Master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, with a dual concentration in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy, and in Technology, Innovation, and Education; and received her Bachelor’s degree with a double major in English Literature and Performing Arts from Colby College.
Don Guiney is a retired US corporate finance lawyer, who practiced in London for 26 years. Don was a partner for 16 years at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, a major international law firm based in London. Don has been involved in volunteer and pro bono work throughout his career. He led of the largest youth baseball and softball organisation in the UK for 25 years. He has served as the President of the Harvard Club of the United Kingdom, the largest Harvard alumni organisation outside the US. He was also a member of the Harvard Alumni Association Board of Directors. In addition to his work with Writing Through, Don is a member of the Board of Directors of Anjali House, an educational shelter for at risk children in Siem Reap, Cambodia. He is a volunteer for the International Senior Lawyers Project, focusing on developing legal capacity to support impact investing in Cambodia and Southeast Asia. He is also an independent non-executive director for RSRCHXchange Ltd., a UK-based fintech start-up and OPTE Pte. Ltd., a web design and hosting start-up based in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Don received an AB degree from Harvard College and a JD from Columbia law School.
Don Spencer is a Managing Director and Founding Partner of Siguler Guff & Company, a global private equity investment firm headquartered in New York City. Siguler Guff focuses on finding or creating investment opportunities arising from market inefficiencies, such as market disruptions, capital starvation or government policies.
Don previously was a Senior Vice President and portfolio manager in the Private Equity Group of PaineWebber, Senior Vice President and general counsel of Atalanta/Sosnoff Capital Corporation, an institutional money manager and, prior to that position, was an associate attorney for three years with Atalanta/Sosnoff’s counsel, Shereff, Friedman, Hoffman & Goodman, where he specialized in representing financial services companies. He started his career in 1980 at Sullivan & Cromwell, where he represented financial services as well as investment banking clients.
Don is President of the Board of Managers of Oakwood Friends School, a Quaker boarding school in Poughkeepsie, NY. He served for many years in different capacities on the Board of the Adelphic Literary Society, the alumni association of the Alpha Delta Phi Society of Wesleyan University, a co-ed “fraternity “.
Mr. Spencer holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a J.D. degree from the New York University School of Law.
Jess Blackledge – Assistant Director
Originally from the UK, Jess has been living and working in North and South East Asia for the past 9 years. Her experience lies in ESL teaching as well as NGO work. Jess has experience working for children’s rights and domestic violence organisations. Jess first came to Cambodia 2 years ago and spent some time working as the Communications Manager for Writing Through’s first partner: Anjali House. Through this, she met Sue and began working for Writing Through. She is based full time in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Jess’ educational background is in theatre and performing arts. Her primary interests lie in arts education and literacy. As well as being the Assistant Director for Writing Through, Jess also Facilitates some of the workshops around Cambodia.
Patricia V. Bierley – Singapore Coordinator
Patricia V. Bierley received her bachelor of science in psychology from Purdue University. She has over 15 years of consulting experience in the areas of knowledge engineering and expert systems development, training development and delivery, team facilitation, and program and product evaluation. Ms. Bierley is the co-author of the Working With Others Training Program. Currently, she is the Singapore Coordinator and facilitator for Writing Through having conducted workshops for HOME here in Singapore and Caring For Cambodia in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Martha Scarborough – Singapore Coordinator Emeritus
Martha Scarborough has lived and worked as an expat for the last 17 years in Moscow, Bucharest and Singapore. She is an accredited Solution Focused Coach and has her Masters degree in Counseling. Martha headed Allegro Coaching in Singapore, specializing in Solution Focused coaching and counseling for expat women. During her time in Bucharest, Romania, Martha helped to initiate a diversity awareness program at the American International School of Bucharest and created and ran “Bridges”, a diversity discussion group for international expat women. In Singapore, Martha has volunteered with AWARE, a women’s resource centre, providing face to face and hotline counselling to local women. Martha graduated from Brown University with a BA in Semiotics and has a Masters in Counselling from Monash University in Australia.
Writing Through workshops are provided by specially trained Facilitators. A Facilitator does not have to be a creative writer nor a teacher. All it requires is someone who enjoys engaging and communicating with people, particularly with young people, has a respectful and open-minded attitude, and a sense of humor.
Writing Through has developed a two-step process which leads to becoming a fully accredited Facilitator. The first step is the Introductory Session where potential facilitators-in-training learn, either individually or in a group, about the program, its specific pedagogy and ground rules, and a basic overview of the host countries. All trainees will go home with a specially created Writing Through manual.
The second step is Shadowing. People who have already participated in a training session are qualified to shadow a workshop conducted by a fully accredited Facilitator. The Shadow acts as the Facilitator’s ‘teaching assistant’, and thereby learns the details of how to deliver the Writing Through program. As a result, the Facilitator and Shadow work and live very closely together during the workshop week.
You do not need to make a commitment to travel in order to become involved in the Writing Through family. We understand that not everyone is comfortable or interested in actually facilitating a workshop. But there are many other ways that a volunteer can help, no matter where they are, no matter where they live. We are a small, volunteer-led organization but our small size does not reflect the large amount of tasks required to deliver our programs. For example, we are always looking for assistance with:
- Administration, report writing, financial oversight
- Outreach and client cultivation
- Website and social media management
- Public relations and promotion
- Monitoring and Evaluation supervision
- Volunteer coordination
to name a few. Our volunteers come from all over the world and are all ages. Do contact us if you have an interest, some available time and skills which you believe can be useful.