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Dr Mark W. Post / Co-Director

Dr Mark W. Post is a linguist specializing in the languages of mainland Asia, with a special focus on Indigenous languages of the Eastern Himalayan region. He is author and/or editor of 10 books, including A Grammar of Galo, The Tangam Language, A Galo-English Dictionary, Language and Culture in Northeast India and Beyond, and 5 volumes of the North East Indian Linguistics book series, in addition to dozens of academic papers. Post has been actively involved in community language work in the Eastern Himalayan region for about 20 years, through partnerships with the Galo Language Development Committee, the Apatani Language Development Committee, and the Milang Welfare Society. The CCLD has grown out of his work with Dr Yankee Modi, with whom he founded Training and Resources for Indigenous Community Linguists in 2015. Post is currently Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Sydney.

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Dr Yankee Modi / Co-Director

Dr Yankee Modi is one of the world’s foremost community linguists, representing the Milang community of Holon Village in Arunachal Pradesh, India. Previously Assistant Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Modi completed her PhD thesis A Grammar of Milang in 2017 at the University of Berne under supervision of    Em. Prof. Dr. George van Driem, and was shortlisted for the 2019 Pāṇini Award. The CCLD has grown around Modi’s collaborations with Mark W. Post, which began with a fieldtrip to Peki-Modi village in 2008. Co-Director of the CCLD, Modi is also a Research Associate at the University of Sydney Department of Linguistics.

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Asst Prof Zilpha Modi / Associate Program Coordinator

Zilpha Modi is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Tribal Studies in Rajiv Gandhi University, Arunachal Pradesh, India. She holds an MA from Jawaharlal Nehru University, an MPhil from Oxford University and a PHD from Rajiv Gandhi University, and has conducted extensive fieldwork among Yobin (Lisu) communities in far eastern Arunachal Pradesh. An Indigenous member of the Milang tribe and native speaker of Adi, Modi has served as Associate Program Director within Training and Resources for Indigenous Community Linguists since its inception in 2015. 

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Dr Kellen Parker Van Dam / Associate Academic Director

Dr. Kellen Parker van Dam is a linguist specializing in the languages of East and Southeast Asia. His primary research interests are in historical linguistics and documentation, with additional interest in minority language representation regarding planning and policy. He is currently an editor of Languages and People’s of Languages and Peoples of the Eastern Himalayan Region, an annual special issue of the journal Himalayan Linguistics. In addition to academic work, Kellen has been involved in Training and Resources for Indigenous Community Linguists since 2019, and is one of the creators of Phonemica, a crowd-sourced platform for linguistic documentation and the preservation of oral histories from many of Mainland Asia’s linguistic communities. He is currently a researcher at the University of Zürich in the Department of Comparative Language Science.

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Thomas Smith / Assistant Academic Coordinator

Thomas Flanagan Smith is an early-career linguist with experience in the languages of the Indo-Myanmar border regions. He has been involved with the Chin diaspora community in Indianapolis, USA, for several years, also leading research at the Burmese American Community Institute and helping produce educational materials for several South-Central Tibeto-Burman languages at the Chin Languages Research Project. He is a recent graduate of the B.A. programs in both Linguistics and India studies at Indiana University, where he conducted original research on Lutuv, an under-documented Chin language of Myanmar, and was on two National Science Foundation-funded teams working on Tibeto-Burman languages of Northeast India. Thomas joined the CCLD in 2024