Our approach is bottom-up rather than top-down. We believe the most effective and lasting solutions come from local communities rather than outside experts. Our role is to strengthen these efforts not to design them. We partner with visionary local leaders and organizations with the determination to help their communities thrive and support them through capacity building, technical support, networks, and financial resources. Learn more about community-driven development.


We are committed to an evidence-based approach to development. We work collaboratively with communities and local organizations to continually improve our projects and test what solutions work best. Our latest initiative is to establish a network of affiliated local researchers that can conduct cost-efficient, high-quality evaluations and research.


We offer transformative educational opportunities to learn about village cultures, indigenous knowledge, and grassroots development. These programs strive to create lasting cross-cultural relationships built on mutual respect and reciprocity. Grounded in principles of responsible travel, they maintain the welfare of the communities and the integrity of the environments we visit. Travel with us.


Ashley Hollenbeck

Executive Director

Alex Martin

Director of Travel Programs

Bipin Lama

Trip Leader | Project Coordinator

Lobsang Tenzin

Trip Leader | Project Coordinator

Lobzang Wangtak

Trip Leader | Project Coordinator

Shirley Osterhaus

Trip Leader

Tenzin Dhonyo

Community Development Advisor

Vindy Garcha, MD

Trip Leader | Medical Advisor

Won Pen

Project Coordinator

Yardain Amron

Learning & Communications Facilitator

Yotaka Martin

Trip Leader


Frank James

IVS Board President             Health Officer, San Juan County; Health Officer, Nooksack Tribe

Marie Eaton

IVS Board Secretary         Director, Palliative Care Institute

David Curley

IVS Board Treasurer      Professor Emeritus,        Western Washington University

Jason Davis

Family Support Case Manager, Brigid Collins | Whatcom Children's Advocacy Center

Jackie Brown

Elementary School Teacher, Bellingham School District

James Loucky

Professor of Anthropology, Western Washington University

Liz Mogford

Associate Professor of Sociology, Western Washington University

Shalini Singh

Instructor | Academic Advisor, Western Washington University

Jack Herring

Dean of Fairhaven College, Western Washington University