Nawthet “Clara” Tunwin, Health and Human Services Program Director
Clara Tunwin joined KOM as the director of Health and Human Services in June 2022. She was born in Yangon, Burma (Myanmar). Later immigrating to the United States in 2004 after graduating from High School. From there, she received her bachelor’s degree in Health Science (Public Health Education) in 2011 from California State University- San Bernardino. After graduating from college, Clara decided to move to Minnesota to work with the “Karen” Community, to re-connect with her roots. In May 2021, she received her MPA (Master’s degree in public administration) from Hamline University in Saint Paul, MN.
She traces her “Karen” (K’nyaw) heritage from both maternal and paternal sides. As far as four generations before her via oral history from family members and written history. Her ancestors trace their roots to “Tee Ta Sway” the Irrawaddy Delta region in Myanmar (Burma). Although she was surrounded by the dominant culture since she was a young child, she pursued and learned about the “Karen” language, history, culture, and identity as much as she could. In her free time, she likes to travel, play piano and watch documentaries. Other interests include learning about languages, cultures, history and geo-politics.
For the past ten years she worked in various roles relating to public health and human services. Her experiences include, tobacco prevention, immunization education, adult mental health case management and child support. The “Karen” community is currently facing so many social and health issues and Clara wants to assist, improve, and empower the community in her new role. She is incredibly grateful and humbled by this opportunity to join KOM.