The Asia Foundation in Mongolia Receives Order of the Polar Star, Highest Civilian Honor

Ulaanbaatar, November 22, 2023 — The Asia Foundation Mongolia Country Representative Mark Koenig received the highest civilian honor awarded to foreign citizens by the Mongolian government, the Order of the Polar Star, during a recent recognition event. H.E. Zandanshatar Gombojav, the speaker of the State Great Khural (Parliament) of Mongolia, presented  Koenig with the award at the Government Palace in Ulaanbaatar on November 15. 

Polar Star award ceremony at the State Palace with representatives of The Asia Foundation Mongolia, H.E. Zandanshatar Gombojav, the speaker of the State Great Khural (Parliament) of Mongolia, and government officials. (Photo: The Asia Foundation)

Mongolias President Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh issued a presidential decree to recognize Mark Koenig with the Polar Star for his valuable contributions to Mongolia’s development through his work with The Asia Foundation in advancing inclusive governance in close partnership with Mongolia’s Parliament. Notably, Foundation programs strengthening parliamentary democracy and supporting deliberative polling marked a significant step towards ensuring active citizen participation in legislative activities.  

Mark Koenig was awarded the Polar Star from the H.E. Zandanshatar Gombojav, the speaker of the State Great Khural (Parliament) of Mongolia. (Photo: The Asia Foundation)

Koenig remarked, “The award coincides with The Asia Foundation’s 30th anniversary in Mongolia. During the past three decades, the Foundation has provided pivotal support to Mongolia’s development through strengthening governance and gender equality, addressing environmental challenges, and enhancing accessibility to education and information in partnership with the Mongolian government, civil society, and the private sector.”  

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives and expanding opportunities across Asia and the Pacific. Informed by 70 years of experience and deep local knowledge, our work is focused on governance, climate action, gender equity, education and leadership, inclusive growth, and international cooperation. We work in more than 20 countries through our 17 permanent country offices and programs across Asia and the Pacific, supported by a headquarters in San Francisco and an office in Washington, DC. Our funding comes from a diverse array of bilateral and multilateral development agencies, foundations, corporations, and individuals.

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Eelynn Sim, Director, Media & Strategy
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