San Francisco and Hanoi, February 7, 2014 — The Asia Foundation announces the appointment of Dr. Michael R. DiGregorio to Country Representative in Vietnam effective February 5, 2014.
Dr. DiGregorio comes to the Foundation with extensive professional and academic experience, having worked with a variety of governmental, academic, business, and international organizations in the country over the course of his career.
Most recently, Dr. DiGregorio served as a senior consultant on urban climate change resilience for the Institute of Social and Environmental Transition, the Vietnam Institute of Urban and Rural Planning, and the Vietnam Urban Planning and Development Association, primarily within the Rockefeller Foundation funded Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network. In this capacity he developed projects and strategies, conducted research, authored reports and journal articles, and presented research findings in international conferences in Asia, Africa, and the United States. In addition, Michael also collaborated with researchers at the East West Center and Hanoi University of Agriculture on a National Science Foundation funded study of relationships between landscape transformation and the spread of Avian Influenza.
From 2002 through 2009, Dr. DiGregorio served as the Ford Foundation’s program officer for education, media, arts, and culture in Vietnam. In this role, he developed and managed two large initiatives aimed at renewing social science disciplines, and enhancing creative expression through media and the arts. In this capacity, Dr. DiGregorio developed and monitored $34 million in grants focused on the renovation of research and teaching in anthropology and sociology, revitalization of Vietnam’s documentary and feature film industry, development of contemporary art for creative expression and public engagement, and preservation of rare and endangered arts and culture traditions. In his final year with the Ford Foundation, he was also responsible for the creation of a public interest media strategy for Vietnam.
Michael has also produced and directed three documentary films and was the creative producer for a recent Discovery Channel series.
Dr. DiGregorio has been honored for his work with numerous awards from the government of Vietnam and its institutes. These include, among others, distinguished service awards from the University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Ho Chi Minh City, the Ministry of Education and Training, the Vietnam Folk Culture Association, and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, as well as the Bui Xuan Phai award from the Hanoi People’s Committee.
Dr. DiGregorio holds a PhD in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, a MA in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Hawaii, a MA in Southeast Asian Studies with a Major in Development Economics from Ohio University, and a BA in Theology from Central Bible College.