It was over ten years ago that Brett Dakin arrived in Vientiane to work at the National Tourism Authority of the Lao PDR, yet he is more involved with Laos than ever. After his PIA fellowship in Lao, Brett worked at the UN in Vienna before entering Harvard Law School, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Human Rights Journal. His book about his experience in Laos, Another Quiet American: Stories of Life in Laos (Asia Books), is critically acclaimed and currently in its fourth printing. Following law school, Brett clerked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague before joining the law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, where he focused on intellectual property matters. He is currently a research fellow at Columbia Law School.
He remains very passionate about Lao and is currently the chairman of Legacies of War (www.legaciesofwar.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the bombing of Laos during the Vietnam War and helping allocate resources for the clean up of unexploded ordnance in Laos. Laos is the most heavily bombed country in history, on a per capita basis. Today, more than 35 years after the war, this unexploded ordnance poses a significant danger to rural Lao denizens and accounts for an average of 300 Lao people injured or killed annually. However, the bomb removal program in Laos is effective and efficient, and Legacies of War is working diligently to draw as much attention and as many resources as possible to eradicating the issue of unexploded ordnance.