San Francisco and Islamabad, August 2, 2007 — Today The Asia Foundation, the premier non-profit organization devoted to Asia’s development since 1954, announced the appointment of Dr. Jon Summers as Country Representative in Pakistan. As one of the Foundation’s most seasoned representatives, Dr. Summers brings extraordinary experience and background to the Foundation’s efforts in Pakistan. His extensive experience in South Asia has fostered a deep understanding of development issues and dynamics facing the region, making him highly suited to lead the Foundation’s efforts there at this critical time. Since 2002, Summers has been the Foundation’s Afghanistan Country Representative, where he oversaw significant program growth during an important period in Afghanistan’s history. He replaces Mr. Hamid Sharif, who directed the Foundation’s country office in Pakistan from 2005 to 2007.
The Asia Foundation has maintained a continuous program in Pakistan since 1954. Responding to the country’s prevailing social and political conditions, the Foundation’s recent focus has been on strengthening governance and assisting in Pakistan’s return to democracy. Furthermore, building upon its deep ties with civil society, The Asia Foundation has been active in mediating dialogues between civil society organizations and government for creating a supportive environment to uphold the rights of vulnerable populations, including women and the poor.
Dr. Summers has worked for The Asia Foundation since 1979, holding with distinction the post of Country Representative in Malaysia and Singapore, Bangladesh and Nepal, Indonesia, Cambodia and Afghanistan. Most recently, he worked to strengthen good governance in Afghanistan’s young democracy, promoting civil society organizations, transparent elections, education and women’s empowerment. He also served as director of the Asian-American Exchange program in the Foundation’s San Francisco headquarters. Prior to joining the Foundation, he was executive director of the Afghan-American Educational Commission, and taught English at Kabul University with the Peace Corps. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, Columbia.