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Career Conversation with Michael Lwin, Koe Koe Tech
Michael is the son of two doctors who moved to the United States from Myanmar in the 1970s. When U.S. sanctions for Myanmar were suspended in 2012, he left his corporate law job and came to Myanmar to form Koe Koe Tech with his cousin, Dr. Yar Zar Minn Htoo, a Myanmar citizen, doctor, and software developer. Today Koe Koe Tech has 80 employees, 77 of whom are Myanmar nationals, about two-thirds of whom are women, and nearly 40 software developers, all of them Myanmar nationals (50% women). Koe Koe Tech is building the fundamental software systems for Myanmar in health, law, and fintech, working with USAID, British Council’s MyJustice, Jhpiego, Population Services International (PSI), Worldvision, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, Save the Children, World Bank, GIZ, Nathan & Associates, Pact, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), the International Growth Centre (IGC), Princeton in Asia, The Asia Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, among other organizations. Michael believes that government and development aid should empower the rising, talented young people of Myanmar, providing them with the financing, the opportunities, and the flexibility to allow them to fail and learn in order to improve their country.