The ACTS MA Faculty

Dr. Emma Leslie

Executive Director – Emma Leslie, an Australian – Cambodian, is the founder director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, supporting peace processes and conflict transformation in Asia. She developed the MA and Ph.D. programs in Applied Conflict Transformation Studies (ACTS), launched the Cambodia Peace Museum and for a decade has served the Philippine Government – Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace talks as a member of the International Contact Group (ICG).


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Betchak Padilla

Transformative Peace Leadership (TPL) Program Director – Betchak Padilla hails from Mindanao, Philippines. A peace leader and has many years of experience in process facilitation and peace leadership development. She is passionate and dedicated in cultivating experiences and connecting interdisciplinary work of peacebuilding and conflict transformation to deepen strategic peace work and practices.


Soth Plai Ngarm

Soth Plai Ngarm is a Cambodian peace activist and researcher who holds a Masters degree in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford, UK. Having worked throughout South East Asia on post-conflict issues, nationalism, and ethnic identity, Ngarm has accrued vast experience in the field as a peacebuilder, facilitator, and researcher.

Dr. Trond Gilberg

Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and International Relations at Paññāsāstra University – Dr. Trond Gilberg is the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and International Relations and Director, Peace and Conflict Studies Institute at Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia. Dr. Gilberg holds a PhD in political science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and has an academic career that goes back 40 years, in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Joseph Ajero

ACTS Course Manager – Joseph is the Course Manager for the Applied Conflict Transformation Studies (ACTS) Master’s and Ph.D Programme of CPCS.