Director, Pacific Islands

Sandra Kraushaar is director for The Asia Foundation in the Pacific Islands. Sandra draws on a deep and nuanced understanding of Pacific Islands culture, political economy, geopolitics, and the myriad development challenges and opportunities facing the region. She also brings with her a strong network of contacts with former partners in government, civil society, the private sector, regional bodies, and the international development and diplomatic communities. Sandra assumed her new role in mid-September 2020, initially working from her base in Canberra until the Covid-19 lockdown eases and she can relocate to Suva.

Sandra has previously served as Australian DFAT’s program and policy lead on Women, Peace, and Security agenda, multilateral gender work on several international platforms including the UN Human Rights Council, United National General Assembly committee work, ASEAN, and G20, as well as partnerships with UN Women, and the Commission on the Status of Women. Prior to this, she was a governance adviser with DFAT’s Governance and Fragility Branch, where her responsibilities included the design and piloting of an integrated country governance and growth diagnostic tool to inform country strategies and aid investment plans, scoped initial stages of DFAT’s governance policy strategy refresh, and provided specialist guidance and training on political economy analysis, and developmental leadership. She has also led DFAT’s Fragility and Conflict section where her responsibilities included research on measuring peace in the Pacific and politically informed policy and program design.

From 2013-2015, she served as Suva-based regional manager of the DFAT-funded Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development program, a ten-year $320 million initiative across the Pacific Islands region. During this time she established the principal regional support office in Fiji and sub-office in Port Moresby; forged enhanced dialogue and consensus among multiple stakeholders in government, civil society, and international development agencies across the region; and convening the Second Regional Pacific Women in Business Conference. In her previous capacity as AusAID’s Suva-based Program Manager of the Pacific Leadership program, Sandra collaborated with Pacific Island women leaders and development organizations in scoping the breadth of women’s leadership roles and potential in politics, business, and communities; convened the First Regional Pacific Women in Business Conference; designing comprehensive program strategies; improving communications, coordination, across a vast portfolio of activities; and advancing new approaches to support women’s leadership and agency throughout the region.

Education: Sandra received a bachelor’s degree in Politics, Peace, and Human Geography from the University of New England and a master’s degree in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development from The Australian National University.