Skip NavigationMenu

The Asia Foundation Welcomes New Trustees

San Francisco, December 16, 2020 — The Asia Foundation, a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia, announces the addition of four members to its Board of Trustees: Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr.; Ambassador Karl Eikenberry; Ambassador Mary Ann Peters; and Stephanie Fahey. Eikenberry and Fahey are returning members. In addition, Badruun Gardi and Kelsey Harpham are joining the board as term trustees. The six members were elected at the September 2020 Board of Trustees meeting.

The Asia Foundation President David D. Arnold said: “It is my privilege to welcome six accomplished Board members, two of whom are returning to the Foundation. Each brings a unique perspective as we work in partnership with individuals, communities, and governments to address the region’s most pressing problems.”

New trustees:

• Ambassador Harry K. Thomas Jr. is a Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and a Senior Strategic Engagement Leader at Special Operations Command. He served as U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe (2016-2018), the Philippines (2010-2013) and Bangladesh (2003-2005). He retired in March 2018 with the rank of Career Minister after more than three decades in the Foreign Service. Ambassador Thomas also served as Executive Secretary and Special Assistant to Secretary Rice, Director General of the Foreign Service, Director for South Asia at the National Security Council and Director of the Operations Center.

• Ambassador Karl Eikenberry is a former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and lieutenant general, US Army, retired. He served on The Asia Foundation Board of Trustees from 2012-2019. Previously, he was Director of the U.S.-Asia Security Initiative at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University. His thirty-five years of service in the U.S. Army included assignments with mechanized, light, airborne, and ranger infantry units in the continental U.S., Hawaii, Korea, Italy, and in Afghanistan as the Commander of the American-led Coalition forces. He held various policy and political-military positions, including Deputy Chairman of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium; Director for Strategic Planning and Policy for U.S. Pacific Command at Camp Smith, Hawaii; U.S. Security Coordinator and Chief of the Office of Military Cooperation in Kabul, Afghanistan; Assistant Army and later Defense Attaché at the United States Embassy in Beijing, China; and Senior Country Director for China and Taiwan in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

• Ambassador Mary Ann Peters is the former CEO of The Carter Center founded by former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn, from September 2014 until her retirement in June 2020. Prior to joining the center, Peters served as provost at the U.S. Naval War College and was dean of academics at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. A career diplomat for 30 years, she served as U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh, leading the Embassy response to the September 11 attack and earning a Presidential Meritorious Service Award for her work.

Stephanie Fahey is the former Chief Executive Officer of Austrade, the Australian Government agency responsible for promoting trade, investment, and international education and tourism policy, programs, and research. Dr. Fahey stepped down from Austrade in July 2020 and is currently taking a professional break. She served on The Asia Foundation Board of Trustees from 2016-2017. Previously, she was EY’s lead partner for education in the Oceania region, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement) at Monash University, and Director of the University of Sydney’s Research Institute for Asia and the Pacific. Dr. Fahey brings an international perspective to her work and a wealth of experience across business and academia.

New Term Trustees:

Badruun Gardi is the Co-Founder and Chairman of GerHub, a nonprofit social innovation firm that aims to develop creative solutions to the most pressing issues facing the ger areas of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. GerHub collaborates with a wide range of stakeholders to research & develop innovative interventions and to nurture a new generation of creative problem-solvers. Previously, he served as Executive Director of the Zorig Foundation, a leading non-governmental organization in Mongolia that works in the fields of governance, education, and community development. He serves on the boards of Mongolia Education Initiative and Smart Air Mongolia. He is an alumnus of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program and the inaugural class of the Asia Foundation Development Fellows program. He holds a BA in Psychology and Communication from Stanford University.

Kelsey Harpham is committed to implementing innovative, place-based approaches which value local knowledge to build resiliency in communities, including in the contexts of water resources management planning, infrastructure resilience, and disaster risk reduction across South and Southeast Asia. With an interdisciplinary background combining the technical elements of water resources engineering with urban policy and training in water conflict transformation with diverse international development initiatives, she has experience in collaborative watershed management, water supply planning, and engineering design of water and wastewater treatment infrastructure. She was a Luce Scholar for 2018-19.

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 international cooperation.

Read more about the Foundation’s work.

For media inquiries, please visit our  News Room. Engage with us on FacebookTwitter LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Related locations: San Francisco
Related topics: About The Asia Foundation

Read our latest news, or insights from our blog.

Media contact

Eelynn Sim, Director, Strategy and Programs
[email protected]

The Latest Across Asia


This year, we celebrate 70 years of improving lives and expanding opportunities.