I was once asked, “What’s a nice Asian gal like you doing in forestry?” In fact, I am the daughter of a plywood mill manager. For 20 years my father ran a small mill, first in Singapore and then in Malaysia. My father never wanted his children to be a part of his business. After seven banks turned him down for a loan, he sat my twin sister and me down at the ripe age of 10 and said: “Promise me that you will never run your own business.” Taking on the interim directorship of the World Forestry Center is as close as I have ever been to breaking that pinky promise.  

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