Chief Strategy and Legal Advisor

Kim McQuay is The Asia Foundation’s chief strategy and legal advisor. In this role, he serves as senior advisor to the president and executive officers of the Foundation, providing legal, policy, strategic, and other advisory support across a variety of organizational functions.

Kim previously served as managing director of the Foundation’s Program Specialists Group (2017 to 2023), leading a team of technical specialists in key Foundation program areas, including governance, conflict and fragility, women’s empowerment and gender equality, inclusive economic growth, environment and climate action, and digital technology, policy, and innovation. Prior to that, he served as country representative to Thailand (2010 to 2017), where he managed programs that promote peaceful conflict resolution, greater citizen engagement in political processes and governance reform, more responsive and transparent systems of governance, and Thailand’s emerging role as a non-traditional Asian donor. He previously served as country representative to Bangladesh (2003 to 2009), where his program responsibilities included leadership of a comprehensive national election program, the launch of milestone local economic governance and community policing programs, and engagement of religious and secular leaders of influence in national development efforts.

His prior assignments with the Foundation include project manager of governance and environmental programs in Sri Lanka (1990 to 92), deputy country representative for Bangladesh (1992 to 1996) and Cambodia (1996 to 1999), Jakarta-based senior director for law programs (2001 to 2003), and Bangkok-based director of law and justice programs (2009 to 2010). As special assistant to former Asia Foundation president William Fuller (1999 to 2001), he worked closely with senior executives and the board of trustees on a range of institutional policy issues and coordinated the Foundation’s regional human rights programs. In addition, Kim served as a member of working groups assigned to guide the Foundation’s return to Myanmar after a gap of five decades (2011 to 2013) and to the Pacific Islands (2019 to 2021). He has led several initiatives undertaken in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, including a seven-country study on Legal Empowerment for Poverty Reduction and Governance Reform, a Bangladesh country governance assessment, a three-country study on Legal Empowerment for Women and Disadvantaged Groups, and a Forum on Digital Solutions for Livable Cities.

Education: Bachelor’s degrees, one  in Law, from Queen’s University; master’s degree in Public International Law from the University of Cambridge.