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The Asia Foundation Announces New Chairman of the Board, Vice Chairs and Trustees

San Francisco, January 30, 2019 — The Asia Foundation announces the election of Sunder Ramaswamy as chairman of the board; Timothy Kochis and Ambassador Kathleen Stephens as vice chairs; and Jerome L. Dodson, Patricia M. Loui, and Deanne Weir as trustees. Additionally, Iromi Perera and Dustin Palmer are joining the board as term trustees. President David D. Arnold welcomed them: “Our new board chairs and trustees bring diverse backgrounds, fresh insights, and strong community engagement in pursuit of the Foundation’s mission in Asia.”

The Asia Foundation made the announcement at a recent board of trustees meeting where it also marked a transition for three of the board’s longest-serving trustees: outgoing Chairman of the Board David M. Lampton, Vice Chair Mary Brown Bullock, and dedicated Trustee James Andrew Kelly, each completing their third and final four-year terms. The meeting also acknowledged the contributions of inaugural Term Trustees—Czarina Medina-Guce and Diana Won—who will be completing their two-year terms. Read more about the Foundation’s board of trustees.

Dr. Sunder Ramaswamy joined the board of trustees of The Asia Foundation in 2012 and became a vice chair of the board and member of the executive committee in 2014. He is an international development economist, an educator, and higher education administrator with extensive experience in U.S and India. He is currently the first vice chancellor of Krea University in India, a new innovative approach to interwoven learning designed to help students prepare for impactful leadership in a dynamic, uncertain, and complex world of the 21st century. Ramaswamy is on leave from Middlebury College, where he is a Distinguished College Professor of International Economics. From 2009-2015, he was the president of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California. He has been a faculty and administrator at Middlebury College since 1990, and has had sabbaticals at the World Bank, Vanderbilt University, Institute for Financial Management and Research, and the Madras School of Economics. He has co-authored and co-edited 4 books, written scores of articles, and delivered over 150 lectures on globalization, economic development, Indian economic reforms, and economic literacy.

S. Timothy Kochis joined The Asia Foundation Board of Trustees in 2013. Kochis is the CEO of Kochis Global, the former CEO and chairman of Aspiriant, and has 46 years of experience in personal financial and investment planning. Throughout his career he has set standards for the profession and has served as chair of the CFP Board and of the Financial Planning Standards Board. He currently serves as a trustee of the Charles Schwab mutual funds and ETF board. Kochis has been included in Worth magazine’s list of the country’s Best Financial Advisors each year since the list was first published in 1994, and ranked number one in the Bay Area by the SF Business Times. Kochis served in the US Army, which included a tour of duty in Vietnam, where he received a Purple Heart for wounds received in action.

Ambassador Kathleen Stephens rejoined The Asia Foundation Board of Trustees in 2015 upon her return from seven months’ service in India as the Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. She is president of the Korea Economic Institute of America and was formerly the William J. Perry Fellow in the Korea Program at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. Amb. Stephens, a career diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, was acting under secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs in 2012, and U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea 2008-2011. During her diplomatic career Stephens served in numerous posts in Washington, Asia, and Europe, including serving as principal deputy assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Jerome L. Dodson is a Member of the President’s Leadership Council of The Asia Foundation and the Founder and President of Parnassus Investments. He is the lead Portfolio Manager of the Parnassus Fund and the Parnassus Asia Fund, and is the sole Portfolio Manager of the Parnassus Endeavor Fund. Prior to founding Parnassus Investments in 1984, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Continental Savings of America from 1976 to 1982, where he started the “Solar T-Bill” program to finance solar energy installations and developed innovative programs to finance low- and moderate-income housing.

Patricia M. Loui is an international business and economic development executive in both the private and public sectors. She serves as chair and CEO of Omnitrak Group Inc., a strategic marketing, research and planning consultancy. From 2011-2015, Loui served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (EXIM), for which she was nominated by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. At EXIM, Loui led initiatives to increase U.S. exports to Asia with authorizations growing multi-fold in China and ASEAN, and Indonesia becoming its fourth largest market. Loui chaired the board’s Audit Committee and provided leadership for EXIM’s women and minority-owned business initiative, encouraging small business exporting at hundreds of events.

Deanne Weir is a media entrepreneur, company director, and philanthropist with more than 25 years’ experience in media, communications, and law. Weir’s company,, invests in several companies, including Ai-Media, a technology and social innovation company, and Seer Data & Analytics, a technology start-up that helps the social sector make better decisions using data and insights. Weir also launched The WeirAnderson Foundation, supporting organizations and projects that improve the lives of women and girls, including the International Women’s Development Agency and Global Sisters.

Iromi Perera is a Colombo-based researcher and activist. Her work currently focuses on Sri Lanka’s post war development related issues, specifically evictions and forced displacement in Colombo, contested sacred sites, and eminent domain. Perera was a senior researcher at the Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA), a Sri Lankan public policy research and advocacy think tank, for nine years. She headed CPA’s survey research unit from 2011-2017 and led over 20 national surveys and opinion polls during that time. In 2017, Perera was selected as an Asia Foundation Development Fellow. She was a Fulbright Professional Scholar in 2015 and was based at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C as an academic visitor at the Institute’s Center on International Development and Governance.

Dustin Palmer is currently a program manager at Code for America, a national nonprofit that uses technology to improve government services. As a 2016-2017 Luce Scholar in Yangon, Myanmar, Palmer worked for MyJustice, a €20 million initiative to improve access to justice in Myanmar. He supported the program’s policy and evaluation efforts, including technical advice to the Myanmar Attorney General’s office and developing the first national survey on justice issues.

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.

Read more about the Foundation’s work.

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