The Asia Foundation Appoints Mark McDowell Country Representative in Myanmar

Yangon, September 8, 2020 — The Asia Foundation announces the appointment of Ambassador Mark McDowell as country representative in Myanmar. He oversees programmatic and operational priorities for the Myanmar office, notably, building the country’s capacity for regional and global integration; strengthening institutions and processes of democratic governance; contributing to informed dialogues on the peace process; supporting initiatives for inclusive economic development; promoting women’s empowerment and political participation; and increasing public access to information.

A career diplomat with 20 years of management experience in Asia, McDowell has spent the last seven years working in Myanmar, first as Canada’s Ambassador from 2013-2016 and later as country director of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) beginning in 2016.

In his two decades with the Canadian Foreign Service, Amb. McDowell also served as counsellor for Public Diplomacy, Embassy of Canada in Beijing; counselor for Political and Economic Affairs, Embassy of Canada in Bangkok; deputy director for Aboriginal and Circumpolar Affairs, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Global Issues Bureau; director for Political and Public Affairs, Canada Trade Office in Taipei, and as delegate to the UN General Assembly for the Canadian Mission to the UN.

In addition to doctoral studies in political science with a focus on environmental policy in Indonesia, McDowell holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, as well as a master’s degree in East Asian Studies and a bachelor’s degree in History and Philosophy, both from the University of Toronto. He also spent a year as an Asia Research Fellow (2008-2009) at the Harvard Kennedy School and was a visiting scholar at Chulalongkorn University Institute for Security and International Studies.

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