April 3, 2009 — THE ASIA FOUNDATION LAUNCHES NEW CENTER FOR U.S.-KOREA POLICY
The Asia Foundation just launched the Center for U.S.-Korea Policy, which aims to strengthen institutionalized cooperation between the United States and South Korea by promoting bilateral policy coordination. Based in the Foundation’s Washington DC office, the center, run by preeminent U.S.-Korea relations scholar Scott Snyder, will conduct joint policy projects to promote specific issues and forms of cooperation, as well as serve as a resource for enhanced communication with policymakers. Programs will focus on security, nuclear energy development, climate change, and the role and influence of the U.S.-ROK alliance on Northeast Asian relations.
Scott Snyder, frequent commentator and analyst on Korean peninsula issues, is founder and director of the new center. Snyder was the former Asia Foundation Country Representative in Korea from 2000 to 2004, and is author of the newly published book, China’s Rise and the Two Koreas, an examination of the implications of China’s rise on the two Koreas and their relationship with the U.S. Snyder was also just named adjunct senior fellow for Korea Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
“South Korea has developed the economic, political, and security resources to be a first-tier partner on the international stage,” said Snyder, discussing the Center’s purpose. “Strengthened forms of cooperation with like-minded allies in the Asia-Pacific are likely to be at a premium as the center of gravity for global economic and political interactions shifts toward Asia.” For more information, visit the Center for U.S.-Korea Policy overview on our website.
NEW FELLOWS SELECTED
The Asia Foundation recently announced the selection of two Fellowship recipients. Dr. Lee Nae-ok, Head of the Asian Art Dept, the National Museum of Korea, is the second recipient from Asia of The Asia Foundation’s Margaret F. Williams Memorial Fellowship in Asian Art. Established in 2007 by President Emeritus Haydn Williams, The Asia Foundation Margaret F. Williams Memorial Fellowship in Asian Art honors the memory of his late wife, a great admirer of the arts and former docent at the Asian Art Museum.
Professor Octavio Dinampo of Mindanao State University-Sulu, Mindanao, The Philippines, was selected as the fourth recipient of The Asia Foundation’s William P. Fuller Fellowship in Conflict Resolution. Through the Fellowship, Dinampo will be a Visiting Scholar at American University’s School of International Service for the Spring 2009 term.
BANGLADESH RECENT ELECTIONS
On December 29, 2008, Bangladesh held its most credible and most peaceful elections to date. They were free, fair, and without the usual violence and disruption that has accompanied most elections in Bangladesh. Voter turnout hit 88 percent, a remarkable figure for any country. The Asia Foundation supported the 32-member Election Working Group (EWG) coalition’s voter education efforts and its extensive election observation, which deployed more than 155,000 observers.
Still, there is much work to be done. The success of the parliamentary elections was less evident one month later during the January 22 upazila (mid-level local government) elections, which were marked by higher levels of violence and far lower turnout. Ballot snatching and intimidation of polling officials further hampered the quality of the elections. The Asia Foundation is continuing to work with EWG in Bangladesh and other partners elsewhere to ensure free and fair elections throughout Asia.
NEW YOUTUBE CHANNEL
From blogs and feeds, to social net-working and streaming video, The Asia Foundation understands that the Internet’s New Media revolution is transforming the way people across Asia interact with the world. This dynamism is already upending old relationships and forging new ones. To embrace these changes, the Foundation recently entered into a partnership with YouTube to create an Asia Foundation channel on their site. Here, we will be posting all of our videos for people around the world to view, access, and discuss. The focus will be on development issues in Asia, and we hope to share stories of the inspiring work of our partners with new audiences.