San Francisco, May 5, 2009 — The Asia Foundation announced today the appointment of Dr. George Varughese as Country Representative in Nepal. Dr. Varughese moves to Nepal from the Foundation’s office in Afghanistan, where he has worked since 2005. In Nepal, he replaces Nick Langton, who has held the post in Kathmandu since 1999 and will move to New Delhi to open the Foundation’s new resident office in India later this year.
“We are extremely pleased about Dr. Varughese’s appointment,” said Asia Foundation President Douglas Bereuter. “With over 20 years of personal and professional experience in Nepal, Dr. Varughese is particularly well qualified and positioned for the challenges ahead.”
Dr. Varughese most recently served in The Asia Foundation’s Afghanistan office, first as Deputy Country Representative and then as Country Representative, where his many contributions to the development, expansion, and success of the Foundation’s program were well recognized both within and outside the Foundation. His achievements include leading the internationally-respected annual Survey of the Afghan People and its companion studies on state building and developmental challenges in Afghanistan; overseeing capacity-building initiatives in the center of Afghan government; and advocating for increased attention to sub-national governance.
Before serving in Afghanistan, Dr. Varughese was the Foundation’s deputy country representative in Nepal working on programs that encouraged greater respect for human rights, particularly during conflict; promoted local-level dispute resolution; strengthened civic participation in local government accountability; and supported policy reforms in the economic sector with regard to small business.
Dr. Varughese has worked in the fields of political economy of development, social science research, and management in Nepal, India, Madagascar, and the United States. Prior to joining The Asia Foundation, he served as Country Program Development Advisor with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Nepal.
Dr. Varughese holds a joint public policy doctorate in political science and public administration from Indiana University, Bloomington, U.S.A. His publications include, among others, “Practical Challenges: Conducting Survey Research in Afghanistan” Public Opinion Pros, LFP Editorial Enterprises, LLC, www.PublicOpinionPros.com (April 2007).