Tamara Failor is deputy country representative for The Asia Foundation in Lao PDR. She has been with the Foundation for more than a decade and has experience managing all aspects of program design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation, including accountability to donors and partners and successful strategy and fundraising efforts. An urban planner by training, she specializes in governance—local governance, but also legislative reform and economic governance. She has expertise in women’s empowerment in a variety of projects and contexts.
From 2017 to 2021, she served as the Governance program director for the Lao PDR office, managing and growing projects designed to increase evidence-based policymaking, improve responses to trafficking-in-persons, and deliver both policy and practical solutions for small businesses seeking to connect with international markets. Prior to that, she was based in Timor-Leste for three years, where she managed social accountability and women’s empowerment projects, while also supervising the Program Support Unit and serving as M&E Specialist for multiple investments. In numerous instances, she has stewarded projects through the stages of proposal writing to agreement negotiation, project start-up, and implementation.
From 2011 to 2014, Tamara was a technical writer and proposal manager for the Foundation’s Public Sector Development Services, where she quickly distinguished herself for her efficiency, writing abilities, and attention to detail, as well as her successful proposals of various sizes. Tamara began her career with the Foundation based in San Francisco in 2010 as a junior associate, and later program associate, focused on local and urban governance. In 2011, she worked within the Program Support Unit of the Foundation in Afghanistan, followed by a few months with the Foundation in Sri Lanka as a program associate for the Local Economic Governance Program. Her country experience also includes Myanmar, Cambodia, Pakistan, the Philippines, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Mongolia, and India. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked in citizen engagement in urban planning in both U.S. and international contexts and was a Fulbright English teaching assistant in South Korea from 2005 to 2006.
Tamara has a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Reed College.