The Asia Foundation Names Suzanne E. Siskel Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
San Francisco, May 24, 2011 — The Asia Foundation, a non-governmental international development organization working across 18 Asian countries, today named Suzanne E. Siskel its Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer effective October 2011. With close to 30 years of development and philanthropic experience, Ms. Siskel will oversee the Foundation’s day-to-day operations and will work closely with the President on strategy and policy issues. Ms. Siskel succeeds Mr. Barnett Baron, who became President and CEO of Give2Asia, The Asia Foundation’s partner organization, in April 2011.
A development veteran and Indonesia expert with a global network of contacts, Ms. Siskel brings to The Asia Foundation a proven ability to understand complex development issues and diverse philanthropic structures. For the past 20 years, Ms. Siskel has worked at Ford Foundation in various field office and leadership positions. From 1990 to 2005, she served as representative for Ford Foundation’s field offices in Indonesia and the Philippines.
Based in the organization’s New York headquarters for the last six years, Ms. Siskel has served as director of several worldwide programs. In 2009, Ms. Siskel was named Ford Foundation’s Director of Social Justice Philanthropy, its principal representative in the field of philanthropy in the U.S. and abroad. She also served as the acting Director of the new Gender Rights and Equality unit, which includes work throughout the world on women’s economic rights, LGBT rights, and HIV/AIDS. From 2005 to 2009, she served as the Director of Community and Resource Development.
The Asia Foundation’s president David D. Arnold expressed his enthusiasm: “Suzanne is an effective and versatile leader with a pragmatic approach to development and philanthropy. Her deep field expertise and excellent management experience is unparalleled, and is clearly a good match with our organization’s multi-disciplinary approach, deep local knowledge, and technical expertise. I look forward to having her on board, and to her fresh perspective and expertise as we elevate The Asia Foundation’s profile and deepen its impact in Asia in the years ahead.”
Trained as a social anthropologist, Ms. Siskel has cultivated her development expertise and research training throughout Indonesia and the Asia-Pacific. She has maintained a deep interest in the The Asia Foundation since her participation in its first class of Luce Scholars (1974-1975) where she was posted to Airlangga University in East Java.
“I am a long-time supporter and advocate of The Asia Foundation, and I am extremely pleased to join the organization,” said Ms. Siskel. “Distinguished by its extensive network of highly skilled on-the-ground development professionals, The Asia Foundation creates real progress in each country in which it works. Asia is a critical place today more than ever, and I highly respect the Foundation’s clear leadership and positive contribution to the future development of the region.”
“The Asia Foundation is gaining a wonderful and deeply gifted colleague in Suzanne,” said Luis Ubiñas, president of the Ford Foundation. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for Suzanne to bring all her knowledge, skill, and years of experience in Asia to bear. We offer both The Asia Foundation and Suzanne our sincere congratulations, even as we will miss her.”
Ms. Siskel studied anthropology, receiving her A.B. from Harvard University and her M.A. from Johns Hopkins University and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She is a member of the governing council of the European Foundation Centre. Recently, Ms. Siskel completed a three-year tenure as president of the Fulbright Association, the organization that serves the alumni of Fulbright programs in the U.S. and around the world.
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