11 July 2007
Tashi receiving the certificate for completion of the AYLG Leadership Training of Trainers in September 2007
UNDEF has previously reported on Asia Young Leaders in Governance (AYLG) initiative's efforts to train young leaders of the Asia region in democratic governance processes. The following article reports the success story of Tashi Wangmo, who participated in the UNDEF funded project. As member of the National Council, she will contribute to future steps on Bhutan's path to democracy.
On the morning of 28th January 2008, Tashi Wangmo was at the meeting
discussing strategies to strengthen the technical and vocational education
and training (TVET) system in light of addressing growing youth unemployment
in the country. Amidst the discussion with her colleagues, Tashi got
a much unexpected call from the Secretary to His Majesty, the King.
She immediately excused herself and rushed to the Dzong (the seat of
the central administration) where the office of the King’s Secretary
is housed. Breezing through a series of waiting rooms and what seemed
like a long time later she realized that she was going to be granted
an audience with the King! Overwhelmed with excitement, Tashi was led
into a room only to find herself bowing before the young and dynamic
King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
Tashi Wangmo along with other appointees of the National Council of Bhutan
Bhutan is undergoing a transformation from an absolute monarchy to a parliamentary democracy. Two rounds of National Parliamentary Mock elections were held in March and April of 2007 as a dress rehearsal for the general elections later this March. The yellow party won, hands down, in the mock elections with 40 percent of the Bhutanese people voting. General elections were held on 24th March 2008. The National Council (Senate or Upper House) elections were held for the first time ever in December 2007. The National Council constitutes a total of 25 members with 20 members elected by the people from the 20 districts and 5 members handpicked by the King. These five members act as His representatives in the Council. The National Assembly (Lower House) has 47 members.
Prior to her appointment, Tashi Wangmo was a Chief Planning Officer at the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources in the Royal Government of Bhutan. She was responsible for developing and coordinating implementation of policies and programmes concerning employment, labour administration, and vocational skills development. She previously worked as a Planning Officer at the National Technical Training Authority, responsible for overseeing all activities of vocational education and training in the country. Tashi started her career as an Assistant engineer at the Civil Aviation Division, Ministry of Information and Communications of the Royal Government of Bhutan in 1999. She completed her Masters Degree in Public Policy from the National Graduate Institute of Policy Studies (GRIPS), Japan, and a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wollongong, Australia.