David Feingold

Ophidian Research Institute; Ophidian Films, Ltd.

(Ph.D. Anthropology; Columbia University) Dr. David A Feingold is the director of the Ophidian Research Institute.  For fifteen years, he served as International Coordinator for Trafficking and HIV/AIDS in the Office of the Regional Advisor for Culture, UNESCO, Bangkok. He developed the UNESCO HIV/AIDS and Trafficking Program with two mandates: intensive research and ethnic minority populations. The program developed the only research-based culturally and linguistically appropriate prevention materials, authored in minority languages. These focus on preventing HIV transmission and preventing trafficking and unsafe migration, as well as promoting stigma reduction regarding HIV positive people and victims of human trafficking.  The program also developed the UNESCO Trafficking Statistics Project that tracked and evaluated trafficking numbers.  He developed and directed the UNESCO Highland Citizenship Project. He organized and directed the two largest vulnerability surveys of highland people in Thailand, and the first GIS-linked epidemiological mapping of HIV and AIDS for Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos.  In addition, he coordinated the UNESCO project on cultural factors in the prevention and promotion of gender-based violence.

Educated at Dartmouth, Yale, and Columbia, he is a research anthropologist and award-winning documentary filmmaker.  He has conducted extensive field research in Southeast Asia over four decades, particularly among the Akha and Shan peoples, and in Cambodia.  He has represented UNESCO at numerous international fora on human trafficking, including as the representative to ICAT. He also chaired the Statelessness Working Group. He served on the management board of UNIAP. His films have been made for PBS, NBC, ABC, BBC, CH-4 (U.K.), FR-3(France), and the National Geographic. Most of his films are distributed by Documentary Educational Resources (www.der.org). He served as a Visiting Professor at the American University of Paris, is a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological  Institute, and a Fellow of the Centre d’Anthropologie de la Chine du Sud et de la Peninsule Indochinoise (CACSPI).