The Team

190524 EK 2019 Org chart 01


Yasmin RasyidPresident

Yasmin Rasyid


Biologist by profession, environmentalist by passion, Yasmin has 20 years of experience and knowledge in environmental management, community development, and social responsibility in Malaysia. She is also involved in community mobilisation and research-based programs on issues related to sustainability. Yasmin has experiences in organisational and personal development and serves as a mentor for various national programs on entrepreneurship, leadership, sustainability, youth empowerment, women empowerment, and environmental research and human health. Yasmin also provides consultation for business transformation towards sustainability. As a national influencer, Yasmin's credentials can be easily found online including press coverages and releases. In her spare time, Yasmin indulges in creative projects and activities. She also volunteers regularly for local environmental and social NGOs.

She founded EcoKnights in 2005 with the aim of assisting communities in the areas of sustainable development. She has a B.Sc. in Biology (Marine) and a minor in Contemporary Religion from Duke University, and also a M.Sc. in Biotechnology from University Malaya. Yasmin has worked in the non-profit sector for 20 years having served as a Scientific Officer and subsequently a Communication Officer in WWF-Malaysia between 1997 and 2002, and now leading EcoKnights as its president. She also served as the chairperson of a national coalition, MENGO, for four years from 2012-2017. She was also the head of research and development for Profound Vaccine Sdn Bhd spearheading research and product development for animal vaccines. Yasmin has also been serving as the Chairperson of the Malaysian Duke Alumni Association since 1998.


EcoKnights Advisors

Dr Rasidah Hashim - Sustainability and Sustainable Development

I grew up in the 1970s in a village in Peninsular Malaysia. Being a Minangkabau means acknowledging that women play central roles in a community, such as owning land and managing family and clan affairs. These values have proven to be very essential in providing a good sense of self-worth throughout my life.

In 1980 I started school at a nearby primary school (Sekolah Kebangsaan Jempol) and in 1986 I became a student at Tunku Kurshiah College. I did very well for my Sijil Penilaian Malaysia but luck was not on my side as I contracted Tuberculosis in 1991 and so had to wait for a year before furthering my studies.

In 1992 I flew to the United States. Being far from the family and outside of the country for the first time I learned to appreciate many things Malaysian. It was also a time for many self-discoveries and my professors at Duke University were some of the great teachers of my life. It was at Duke that I started to enjoy interdisciplinary learning because my undergraduate program encouraged it. The courses I took included primatology, human evolution, cellular and molecular biology, history and philosophy of science, Islamic mysticism, art history, and microeconomics.

Upon graduating from Duke University I was ripe for new adventures and so I went to Borneo to conduct mostly independent fieldwork. This was when I picked up tropical forest taxonomy and GIS analysis. I also began to appreciate the diversity of peoples in Malaysia.

Then in 2001, I set myself up for another challenge; I enrolled at the University of Cambridge and earned a PhD degree in 2006. Since then I have been a lecturer on the Faculty of Environmental Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia. Supervising and teaching students are my main responsibilities - these responsibilities have allowed me to grow and mature as a person as I enjoy learning and sharing knowledge/ experiences with my students.

My research interests are diverse but all of my research activities are linked to the theme of sustainability / sustainable development. These broad-ranging research and intellectual interests are due to the fact that I have always been interested in understanding how humans have shaped and managed our environment, particularly our natural resources. I have worked mostly in the tropics: firstly an MSc research on inland forest ecology in Sarawak (Borneo), and this was followed by a PhD research on the diversity of riparian forest ecosystems in the Malaysian peninsula. To address the research objectives I employ various techniques including field surveys and geographic information system (GIS) spatial analysis.

Unlike during my student days when I was working mostly alone, my current projects are carried out with the help of post graduate students. I am also increasing aware of the need for academicians to make their contribution to ensure that development is sustainable in Malaysia. For this reason, I have been involved since 2006 in several of projects (headed by Dr. Naziaty Mohd Yaacob of Universiti Malaya) to raise awareness and accessibility for the disabled and elderly people and it is my conviction that when we create an inclusive and learned society we will achieve a good quality of life for everyone, including for other species.

Mr. Amlir Ayat - Community-Based Conservation/Education Advisor

Amlir started his career at WWF Malaysia as an education officer designing and implementing educational programs at schools, universities, local communities, and government and corporate sectors. He has many years experience in capacity building of rural communities, particularly in biodiversity, ecotourism and water management. Some of his projects include Projek Penchala, a river management community project, Kenong Community Development Project, a biodiversity management and ecotourism initiative, and Human - Tiger Conflict Resolution Project in Terengganu. Apart from being a guest environmental writer in some magazines and newspapers, he has also appeared on the television to rant and mumble about about the local environment scene. At EcoKnights, Amlir serves an advisory role on all matters related to community-based conservation. He can be contacted at

Mr Khaidi Kamaruddin - Strategic Business Advisor

Khaidi is a marketeer extraordinaire and helps EcoKnights in setting the strategic direction for all our programmes. Khaidi also represents EcoKnights in seeking for strategic partnerships with key business players to synergize efforts to embark on renewable energy efforts. In his spare time, Khaidi reads and indulges in motorsports. Khaidi is also a big fan of renewable energy and has adopted some of the technology in his projects. Khaidi is currently the Managing Director of Bulb Malaysia and offers his professional expertise in the field of advertising, branding and marketing.

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