Derin Henderson has over 18 years of experience in the environment sector in tropical and temperate environments, as well as 25 years of experience in project management and program development in multi-sector, multi-disciplinary projects within the private sector, with government, and with Canadian and international non-governmental organizations. Derin first ended up in Lao PDR through a Canadian CUSO International placement in Luang Prabang in 2008. She was involved with a program designed to increase public awareness on water resources and improved waste management under the Provincial Department of Environment and Natural Resources. After working in Luang Prabang, Derin moved to Hanoi to work with Oxfam as their Climate Change Advisor for almost three years, before moving back to Lao PDR in 2012 to work as an environmental consultant.
Derin is currently working with The Asia Foundation in Vientiane, as the Environment Program Advisor. One of the projects she is working on is a community-based water resources management project. The project is taking an integrated approach to help rural communities learn and take ownership over the management of community water resources and ecosystem health. Some of the initiatives under this project includes teaching local government authorities how to use bio-monitoring to assess water quality, working with schools to introduce recycling and composting practices, and working with farmers to implement good agriculture practices (GAP).