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 2014 Asia Foundation Development Fellow 


Former Trustee of The Asia Foundation



Badruun Gardi is a social innovator, creative strategist, and educator from Mongolia. He is the founder of the newly established New Nomad Institute, a research and action institute that aims to uncover the enduring knowledge of nomadic societies and apply those learnings towards addressing the climate crisis, particularly in climate migration and adaptation. Nomadic pastoralists have a unique and close relationship to nature, land, and other living beings. Positioned at the crossroads of research and education, the Institute tackles challenges spanning individual to national scales. The Institute’s initial research focuses on nomadism in Mongolia, where nearly a third of the population still maintains a traditional nomadic pastoralist way of life.

Badruun is also co-founder of GerHub, a nonprofit social innovation firm that develops creative solutions to the challenges caused by rapid urbanization in Mongolia. GerHub primarily works in the ger (traditional nomadic dwelling) areas of Ulaanbaatar, where over 60 percent of the city’s residents live, with little access to basic water, sewage, and heating infrastructure. A key focus for GerHub is its work on adapting the ger dwelling to be more suitable in an urban context.

Passionate about nurturing the next generation of creative problem solvers, Badruun devotes significant time working with youth through teaching and mentorship. He is currently teaching Stanford University Structured Liberal Education’s pilot hybrid course on moral philosophy at a high school in Ulaanbaatar.

A lifelong fan of film and the performing arts, Badruun was previously creative executive at Salmira Productions, a company that develops, finances, and produces thought-provoking and conversation-catalyzing projects in film, theater, television, and podcasts.

Badruun is a member of the Climate Migration Council and serves on the boards of the Arts Council of Mongolia, Mongolia Education Initiative, and Smart Air Mongolia. He is a former trustee of The Asia Foundation. The World Economic Forum selected Badruun as a 2022 Young Global Leader. As a 2023 Loeb Fellow, he spent an academic year in residence at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Badruun holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and communication from Stanford University.