Dr. Desh Raj Sonyok is a civil/geotechnical engineer and social entrepreneur based in the Washington DC metro area. He earned his master’s degree in civil engineering with specialization in tunneling from Kyushu University, Japan and Ph. D. in civil engineering with specialization in geotechnical engineering from New Mexico State University, USA. He has extensive research and professional experience in the areas of experimental geotechnics, tunneling, pavement engineering, construction quality management, instrumentation and monitoring, geo-structural analysis and design, infrastructure economics, and engineering project management. His work experience includes diverse and challenging infrastructure projects ranging from residential developments to large industrial facilities as well as public sectors such as cities, municipalities, and state and federal agencies. Additionally, he has an extensive leadership experience in various social, political, and professional organizations with proven track record of defining vision and ability to plan, prioritize and implement projects.
Dr. Sonyok is deeply interested in diaspora knowledge networks and diaspora engagement in economic development through knowledge flows, technology transfer, investment, etc. He has been actively engaged in various Nepali diaspora organizations in Japan and USA. He was former Chairman of “Science, Technology, and Economic Policy (STEP) Committee” of Non-Resident Nepali National Coordination Council of the USA. As a chairman of STEP committee, his work was directed towards harnessing Nepali diaspora intellectual and financial resources to support development efforts in Nepal. His committee’s policy work directed toward democratizing investment opportunity by reaching out to untapped resources from millions of small scale NRN investors in the USA and across the globe. His committee actively lobbied for the bilateral tax treaty between the USA and Nepal to avoid double taxation and improve investment environment. Currently, he is collaborating with experts and pioneer members of NRNA on the concept of Knowledge City in Nepal.
He is an active stock trader and avid martial artist with extensive background of various forms of martial arts. He holds black belt in Taekwondo and purple belt in Judo. Interestingly, he represented Nepal in “Mr. and Miss University International Beauty Pageant 2000” in Soul, South Korea. Currently, he lives in Washington DC metro area with his wife, Sarita Limbu, a Ph.D. bio-information, and a son in preschool program.