The Asia Foundation Welcomes Bruce Tolentino as New Economic Programs Director

San Francisco, March 12, 2007 — The Asia Foundation, the premier non-profit organization devoted to Asia’s development since 1954, announced today that Dr. Bruce Tolentino has joined the Foundation as its new Director for Economic Reform and Development. An accomplished economist with a wealth of experience in international development, Dr. Tolentino will be based at the Foundation’s San Francisco headquarters and will lead the Foundation’s work in supporting economic policy and regulatory reform as a critical component of private sector growth, job creation, and poverty alleviation in Asia.

Dr. Tolentino most recently served as Senior Technical Advisor for Catholic Relief Services, based in Hanoi and responsible for technical leadership for  agriculture, natural resource management, and sustainable livelihoods programs for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. He has worked as Deputy Minister of Policy and Planning and Assistant Minister of Planning and Monitoring at the Philippine Ministry of Agriculture, and was Executive Director of the Philippine Agricultural Credit Policy Council. Additionally, he has been involved as a consultant and specialist with multiple projects funded by international development agencies such as the United Nations, Asian Development Bank, and World Bank.

Dr. Tolentino received his B.A. and M.S. from Xavier University in the Philippines. While on scholarship at the East West Center in Honolulu, he earned his Ph.D. in Economics, specializing in Development and Rural Finance from the University of Hawaii.

About the Economic Reform and Development Program

The Asia Foundation’s programs focus on the policy and governance aspects of economic reform, addressing the institutional and political factors that frequently allow uncompetitive, inefficient economic and business arrangements to persist. Within this context, The Asia Foundation works with local partners from the private, public, and non-profit sectors to build coalitions to sustain economic reform processes. Its programs are targeted at three primary objectives: improving the regulatory and policy environment for small business growth; raising corporate governance standards; and supporting increased trade and investment in the region.

Related programs: Economic Opportunity

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Eelynn Sim, Associate Director