Ivan Somlai, a Canadian, holds an MA in Culture and postgraduate qualifications in International Management. A former Olympian, Ivan has taught mountaineering leadership courses and guided heli-skiing in his home country and also spent two decades working in Nepal, where he taught mountaineering at the Nepal Mountaineering School and established the Himalayan Rescue Post at Manang. In his 18-year Canadian university career, he facilitated public service training programs in several countries, including China, Mongolia, Indonesia, and Russia; co-coordinated a multinational effort to garner resources for launching a health sciences university in Nepal; and improved delivery of social services and governance within the volatile Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region of Pakistan. In his present work as Director – Global Collaboration, Ivan continues participatory project development and coordination, as well as authoring book chapters and articles on insurgencies, cultural effects on crime, and development issues. Ivan has been a WT Trip Leader since 1987 and has helped us create new adventures in Canada, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. Of Sri Lanka, he writes, “My favorite moments in Sri Lanka have included looking down from the mountain-top palace of Sigiriya and imagining being the king who 1,600 years ago oversaw the magnificent, lush city that was the envy of other kingdoms. This is a country where imagination and history effortlessly blend throughout.” Ivan’s passion for sharing culture, mountains, and their inhabitants is infectious and his purposeful linkage of cultural knowledge to peace makes a trip with him a wonderful educational adventure. Ivan is fluent in Hungarian, English, French, and Nepali and has a foundation in Latin, German, Spanish, Russian, and Hindi.
Ivan is an extraordinary leader. His kind and gentle yet firm, steadfast leadership made this trip a most memorable one.Alba L., Ridgewood NJ
Mongolia: The Altai Mountains Trek
Ivan was a great Trip Leader. He was very good at keeping the group organized and he was interesting and fun to be with.Hanni D., Santa Monica CA
Ivan was an outstanding Trip Leader. He worked very hard to make the trip a great experience for all.Tom M., Fairfax VA