The Asia Foundation Names Dr. Nicola Nixon Director of Governance

San Francisco, October 3, 2018 — The Asia Foundation announces the appointment of Dr. Nicola Nixon as its new director of Governance. With 20 years of experience in international development and academia, Nixon will lead the Foundation’s governance programs across the 18 countries and three sub-regions of Asia in which it works. Nixon brings to the Foundation a depth of expertise in governance and the governance dimensions of poverty reduction, social development, gender and public sector reform from having worked with Australian DFAT, UNDP, and a range of INGOs, multilateral and bilateral agencies in diverse environments, including Australia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Indonesia.

The Asia Foundation’s programs are informed by political economy analysis and other analytical tools that are grounded in its hallmark governance approach, including those informed by the Thinking and Working Politically (TWP) community of practice. Nixon is an active member of TWP and is engaged in several dialogues on approaches to adaptive management in aid programming. Her technical governance experience includes leading and overseeing large governance programs and facilities with workstreams in public financial management, bureaucratic reform, public policy development, women’s leadership, and decentralization.

Nixon joins The Asia Foundation from Australian DFAT, where she served as the Canberra-based director of DFAT’s Law and Justice section. In this capacity, she led a diverse regional program portfolio that included law and justice, legal reform, anti-corruption and community-driven development initiatives and work on countering violent extremism, undertaken in collaboration with UN agencies, research thinks tanks, and other partners.

Previously, from 2014 to 2018, Nixon served as DFAT’s Jakarta-based counsellor for Poverty and Social Development, with responsibility for a portfolio of programs that included large-scale, multi-year programs in governance, gender, poverty reduction, equality, and social development. Nixon also served in other Canberra-based director positions, providing advice, training staff and developing policy in areas such as Fragility and Conflict, project-cycle management, Program Design, Theory of Change and Capacity Development.

Prior to joining DFAT, Nixon served as UNDP’s senior social policy advisor, and later head of Research and Development in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Nixon’s international development career was preceded by a series of academic appointments. These included senior lecturer and acting dean of Humanities at the State University of New York (SUNY) Tirana in Albania, and International Scholar with the Open Society Institute’s Higher Education Support Program in Albania.

Nixon holds a doctor of philosophy degree in History and Social Theory from the University of Melbourne, an Honors Degree in Comparative Sociology and bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Sociology from Monash University.

Nixon will begin her new assignment from her present base in Canberra, then shift to Hanoi in early January 2019.

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, our work across the region addresses five overarching goals—strengthen governance, empower women, expand economic opportunity, increase environmental resilience, and promote regional cooperation.

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