July 27, 2011 — Asia Foundation President David D. Arnold, a governance specialist whose international career has spanned Arab and Asian societies, kicked off a global speaking tour shortly after taking the helm of the Foundation in January.
Following events in California at the Pacific Council on International Policy and at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, where Mr. Arnold discussed global implications—including on Asia—of dramatic political developments sweeping North Africa and the Middle East, he traveled to Sydney, Australia, to address the Lowy Institute for International Policy, the highly regarded independent international policy think tank.
That week Arnold blogged: “As the new president of The Asia Foundation, and former president of the American University in Cairo, this news, and the events that led to its unfolding, are powerful, instructive illustrations of what a lack of good governance, civic participation, and a functioning civil society can look like at full tilt. Our mission to improve governance and increase citizen participation in Asia requires we deeply examine the factors and forces that led to the sudden collapse of such entrenched regimes.”
Following his address, Arnold was interviewed by the editor of Lowy Institute’s widely-read blog, The Interpreter, and also by Radio Free Australia; the story was broadcast to listeners throughout the Asia-Pacific.
Last year, The Asia Foundation and AusAID Director General Peter Baxter signed an agreement for a strategic partnership to explore new ways to deliver aid and assistance in places affected by conflict and state fragility. More recently, we incorporated The Asia Foundation in Australia with a group of distinguished academic and philanthropic leaders.
This fall, Mr. Arnold travels to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and then to Singapore, where he is a featured speaker at The Economist’s Banyan Conference – Ideas for an Asian Century.