Senior Director, Technology Programs

As senior director for Technology Programs at The Asia Foundation, John Karr oversees a multi-country portfolio of technology-focused initiatives designed to promote prosperity and inclusive growth in the Indo-Pacific region while also addressing the risks associated with the accelerating pace of technological change. John and his team collaborate with policymakers, employers, workers, entrepreneurs, and civil society to help make Asia’s digital economies more inclusive; promote structural reforms which can lead to more innovative and dynamic local economies, and address cyber risks including the threat of online mis- and disinformation in the region. John directs Foundation partnerships with the private sector, government, and civil society to address labor market issues in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and he and his team work directly within the APEC and ASEAN frameworks to explore digital economy policy reforms that can lead to inclusive growth outcomes. John also directs an integrated set of projects focused on information disorder and cybersecurity issues in the region, including research into the spread of malign narratives across social media platforms, computational propaganda, and influence operations in the context of Covid-19; and local capacity-building initiatives which aim to promote cybersecurity norms and counter the efforts of malign actors seeking to sow discord online and harm local communities.

A participant in numerous international technology and innovation dialogues including the World Economic Forum’s Digital ASEAN working group; the Internet Governance Forum; APEC’s multi-stakeholder dialogue process; and The Asia Foundation’s Pacific Information Disorder initiative. John has worked on projects throughout the region including in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Afghanistan, Vietnam, China, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, and North Korea.

Education: Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz in Economics, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington.