Laurel MacLaren is a seasoned development professional with 20 years experience managing programs in Indonesia funded by a range of bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors. As the Team Leader for PNPM Peduli, Ms. MacLaren led a large-scale social inclusion program that partners civil society with the Government of Indonesia’s efforts to reach the country’s most vulnerable populations. Funded by DFAT/Australian Aid, the program reached out to groups such as indigenous people, victims of human rights violations, people with disabilities and vulnerable children.
Formerly the Asia Foundation’s Deputy Country Representative in Indonesia, Ms. MacLaren has management and technical experience in the areas of local governance, civil society strengthening, justice sector reform, gender, environment and economic reform. Since 2008, she has played a defining role in the design, strategic planning, operations and evaluation for the Foundation’s second-largest country program.
Prior to joining The Asia Foundation, Ms. MacLaren served as the Deputy Chief of Party for a $36 million USAID-funded maternal and child health program with the Indonesian Ministry of Health, overseeing components on advocacy, community mobilization and public-private partnerships. From 2001 – 2005, Ms. MacLaren served as the Deputy Director of Save the Children’s Indonesia office, managing a large portfolio of child protection programming, and playing a key role in their emergency response after the 2004 Aceh tsunami.
Prior to that, she spent a year living in Eastern Indonesia advising the design of the demand-side of an Australian Aid health program. Ms. MacLaren started her career working for an Indonesian NGO on HIV/AIDS between 1990-1996. Fluent in Indonesian, she first came to Indonesia as an AFS high school exchange student in Jakarta.
Education: Master’s degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Women’s Studies at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
How Civil Society Organizations Work Politically to Promote Pro-Poor Policies in Decentralized Indonesian Cities