The Asia Foundation Appoints Gareth Aicken as Country Representative in Pakistan

San Francisco and Islamabad, February 16, 2010 — The Asia Foundation recently welcomed Gareth Aicken as its new Country Representative in Pakistan. Mr. Aicken brings a deep knowledge of development issues in Pakistan and the region, with extensive on-the-ground experience in both Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Mr. Aicken comes to the Foundation from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) where he most recently led the London-based Growth Research Team in designing and managing research programs. He has over seven years of experience working on development issues in Pakistan, beginning in 1990 when he joined DFID as the London-based head of DFID’s Pakistan program. He remained in this position for three years and traveled frequently to Pakistan in this capacity. From 2001 to 2005, he headed DFID’s country office in Pakistan during which time he oversaw significant staff growth and managed a budget that quadrupled in size.

From 1993 to 1998, Mr. Aicken worked in Malawi, first in the DFID regional office and then with the European Commission (EC) delegation where, as Civil Society Advisor to the EC and the Malawi Ministry of Justice, he worked on projects in governance, human rights, and women’s issues and managed the design of the EC’s first Rule of Law program. From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Aicken worked in DFID’s Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs Department, and briefly in its Caribbean regional office.

From 1979 to 1990, Mr. Aicken worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation where he developed and managed training programs and placements for trainees from Africa and the Caribbean. Mr. Aicken has an MA in English from Cambridge University (Churchill College) as well as a postgraduate Certificate in Education from Cambridge. He also has an MA in Manpower Studies from the University of Westminster.

The Asia Foundation’s programs in Pakistan support electoral and governance reform, promote community security and alternative dispute resolution, and encourage women’s empowerment and human rights. The Foundation makes investments in the research and the dissemination of knowledge by hosting small seminars for development practitioners. Through its Books for Asia program, the Foundation donates more than 75,000 new books annually to more than 400 Pakistani universities, religious and secular schools, nongovernmental organizations, public libraries, government agencies, and medical institutes across all of the provinces. More than 40% of all books are directed to institutions in the remote Northwest Frontier Provinces and Balochistan. Read more about the Foundation’s programs in Pakistan.

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