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Asia Foundation History

 

The Asia Foundation Through the Years—Paving the Way for Regional Economic Cooperation in Asia & the Creation of APEC

October 7, 2021

Publication

The Asia Foundation Monograph Series: commemorating contributions to key development challenges in the Asia-Pacific region Ambassador Haydn Williams, who served as president of The Asia Foundation from 1964-1989, commissioned the creation of a series of monographs to commemorate the Foundation’s contributions to key development challenges in the As… Read more

 

A Tribute to Ted Eliot

October 23, 2019

Blog Post

Asia Foundation trustee emeritus Ted Eliot, Jr., who left us this fall at the grand age of 91, demonstrated throughout his life that America’s first line of defense is manned by wise and seasoned diplomats practicing the art of diplomacy. For almost seven decades, Ambassador Eliot led by example, brilliantly tutored Foreign Service officers, and de… Read more

 

A Partner for Change: Six Decades of The Asia Foundation in Korea

June 16, 2017

Publication

For more than six decades, The Asia Foundation has responded to the ever-changing needs of the Korean people by building relationships and addressing the critical issues facing the country with creativity, expertise and commitment. This publication is a historical record of Korea’s remarkable journey and the Foundation’s initiatives, partnerships,… Read more

Aerial view of Dili, with Asia Foundation 25 years logo. 

The Asia Foundation – 25 Years in Timor-Leste

June 13, 2017

Video

The Asia Foundation celebrates 25 years of dedicated work in Timor-Leste. Since 1992, the Foundation has worked alongside partners in the government, civil society, media, academia, and community groups to achieve the ambitious goals of this great country.

 

Conversation with Economist Namet Ilahi on Pakistan’s Biggest Challenges, Opportunities

January 27, 2016

Blog Post

The Asia Foundation’s deputy country representative in Pakistan, Ameena Ilahi, recently spoke with veteran development practitioner and economist, Namet Ilahi, who began his career in the early 1970s as Pakistan’s joint secretary in the Planning Commission, and since worked as a lead consultant in over a dozen countries…

 

The United Nations Charter at Seventy

June 24, 2015

Blog Post

In 1945, as World War II entered its terrible final months, world leaders were working on a new institution they hoped would prevent the next conflagration, a world forum built on international law, where nations could settle their differences with words instead of warfare. That June, delegations from 50 nations made their way to San Francisco, by ship, by train, and sometimes by misadventure, to forge the agreement that would create the United Nations.

 

A Conversation with Taiwan Women’s Movement Leader Yenlin Ku

December 17, 2014

Blog Post

The Asia Foundation’s director of Regional Cooperation Programs, John J. Brandon, and Chen-Dong Tso, the Foundation’s senior advisor in Taiwan, recently spoke with former Asia Foundation grantee, Professor Yenlin Ku, a leading feminist in Taiwan who established Taiwan’s first women’s studies center.

 

A Conversation with Pakistani Journalist Wajahat Ali

November 12, 2014

Blog Post

The Asia Foundation’s deputy country representative in Pakistan, Ameena Ilahi, recently spoke with Pakistani journalist Wajahat Ali, who in 2010 served as an Asia Foundation William P. Fuller Fellow in Conflict Resolution at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C. As an accomplished journalist, looking back, what do you consider the highlight or most remarkable moment in your career?

 

Former Korea Country Representative David Steinberg Reflects on A Nation in Transition

November 12, 2014

Blog Post

The Asia Foundation marked its 60th anniversary with a special day-long event and gala on November 6 in Seoul, Korea, hosted by former Foreign Minister Han Sung-Joo…

 

Asia Foundation Marks 60th Anniversary in Korea

November 5, 2014

Blog Post

On November 6, The Asia Foundation marked its 60th anniversary with a special day-long event and gala in Seoul, Korea, hosted by former South Korean Foreign Minister Han Sung-joo; Chairman, JoongAng Media Network and Former Korean Ambassador to the U.S. Hong Seok-hyun; and Kim Jin-Hyun, Former South Korean Minister of Science and Technology. Speake… Read more

 

A Conversation with Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large Tommy Koh

October 1, 2014

Blog Post

The Asia Foundation’s director of Regional Cooperation Programs, John J. Brandon, recently spoke with former Foundation grantee, Tommy Koh, Singapore’s ambassador-at-large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and former ambassador to the United States.

 

60th Anniversary – California Senator Dianne Feinstein

September 19, 2014

Video

Presented at the 60th anniversary gala in SF, a special video congratulations by California Senator Dianne Feinstein, honorary gala co-chair.

 

60th Anniversary – Honorable George P. Shultz

September 19, 2014

Video

Presented at the 60th anniversary gala in San Francisco, a special video congratulations by Honorable George P. Shultz, honorary gala co-chair.

 

60th Anniversary – Six Decades of Addressing Asia’s Critical Issues

September 19, 2014

Video

Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, the Asia Foundation’s work across the region addresses the critical issues facing Asia, including: a lack of transparency and accountability in government; exclusion of women from political and economic life; persistent poverty and rising inequality; ethnic and religious conflicts; acc… Read more

 

Desecuritizing Transboundary Water in South Asia

September 17, 2014

Blog Post

Severe floods in the Kashmir region of Northern India and Pakistan over the past few weeks have taken 450 lives so far, and uprooted thousands of residents on both sides of the highly politicized border. Heavy monsoon rains caused the Chenab and Jhelum rivers (tributaries of the Indus River system) to overflow their banks…

 

Financing the Costs of Climate Change in Disaster-Prone Asian Nations

September 17, 2014

Blog Post

Disaster insurance has quickly risen up the global policy agenda in the last few years, where phrases like “loss and damage mechanisms” and “micro-insurance schemes” are catching fire in climate change discussions about how to finance the costs…

 

Emerging Chinese Foundations Expand Role in Disaster Management

September 17, 2014

Blog Post

Last month, the One Foundation, one of China’s most visible charitable organizations, presented a new strategy to government officials and national researchers that marks a major shift in the approach to disaster mitigation in the country.

 

Water Scarcity a Threat to Mongolia’s Sustainable Development

September 17, 2014

Blog Post

A new report from the Asian Development Bank sent a warning signal to Mongolia that, despite its wealth of natural resources and pristine image, the country faces a severe water scarcity and quality crisis – one that could leave its growing capital…

 

Engaging Asia’s Private Sector in Disaster Risk Management

September 17, 2014

Blog Post

Heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan and India since early September have resulted in some of the worst flooding in decades, requiring immediate relief response, as hundreds of people have already lost their lives and millions more are affected.

 

A Conversation with Chinese Fellow, Environmental NGO Leader Lican Liu

September 17, 2014

Blog Post

In Asia editor Alma Freeman recently interviewed co-founder and Director of Programs and Communications at the Greenovation Hub, a grassroots NGO that focuses on environmental protection and innovation in China.

 

Photo Blog: Critical Issue – Climate Change & Water Resource Management

September 17, 2014

Blog Post

Images of the major rivers of Asia – including the mighty Mekong that snakes through Southeast Asia and the Ganges and other revered rivers that bisect the subcontinent – might seem at odds with the sobering fact that Asia is the world’s driest…

 

Asia Foundation Marks 60 Years with Anniversary Dinner

September 17, 2014

Blog Post

On Sept. 18, The Asia Foundation marked 60 years with an anniversary dinner at the iconic Ferry Building in San Francisco hosted by Gala Chairs Judith Wilbur and Timothy Kochis, and Honorary Chairs Senator Dianne Feinstein and George Shultz. The Foundation hosted a special Forum with the inaugural Asia Foundation Development Fellows. Read an interv… Read more

 

Exhibit Opens with International Photographers on Assignment in Nepal, Pakistan, China

September 10, 2014

Blog Post

September 4 marked opening night for The Asia Foundation’s stunning photography exhibition, Critical Issues Facing Asia: Marking 60 Years at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco. Artists, photographers, journalists, thought leaders, development experts…

 

Critical Issues Facing Asia: Marking 60 Years

September 10, 2014

Video

As part of the global dialogue, the Foundation has organized a photography exhibition, Critical Issues Facing Asia: Marking 60 Years. The exhibit features 14 international photographers and incredible imagery of the six critical issues the Foundation is actively addressing, including: lack of transparency and accountability in government; persisten… Read more

 

A Conversation with Mongolian Free Press Advocate Naranjargal Khashkhuu

August 13, 2014

Blog Post

As The Asia Foundation recently marked its 20th anniversary in Mongolia, Country Representative Meloney Lindberg sat down with Naranjargal Khashkhuu, president and CEO of the Globe International Center…

 

Photo Exhibit: Asia’s Critical Issues Through the Lens of Award-Winning Photographers

August 13, 2014

Blog Post

This year, The Asia Foundation marks its 60th anniversary with a year-long global conversation on critical issues facing the region today. As part of this dialogue, the Foundation has organized a photography exhibition, “Critical Issues Facing Asia: Marking 60 Years,”at the World…

 

What Do Increasing Attacks Against Soft Targets in Thailand’s South Signal?

August 6, 2014

Blog Post

Following the first-round meeting in February 2013 between the Thai Government and the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) rebel group that marked the start of surprise peace talks, insurgents have primarily targeted hard targets such as military and police personnel. However, following the breakdown of talks in July 2013…

 

Minorities within the Minority: Indigenous Communities in the Bangsamoro

August 6, 2014

Blog Post

In March this year, a major milestone passed in the 40-year effort to end hostilities in the Philippines between the national government and Muslim separatist fronts. The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed a Comprehensive…

 

Latest Ethnic Clashes Reveal Fissures in Sri Lanka’s Post-War Society

August 6, 2014

Blog Post

In June 2014, almost five years after the end of the longstanding civil war in Sri Lanka, violent clashes broke out in several small towns in the south, including Aluthgama, Beruwela, and Dharga Town. The tensions were fueled by reports that a Muslim man had allegedly attacked…

 

The Struggle Against Religious Conflict in Pakistan

August 6, 2014

Blog Post

On the third day of Eid-ul Fitar last week, two Hindu trader brothers from district Umerkot in Sindh Province were murdered in front of their home. An Ahmadi doctor was murdered in Chiniot in May 2014 while a Hazara Shia community in Quetta was attacked and two brothers were murdered by Lashakr-e-Jhangvi on Eid-ul Fitar in July 2014. The killing of Rashid Rehman…

 

Subnational Conflict: The Dark Underbelly of a Rising Asia

August 6, 2014

Blog Post

Asia’s rise has been momentous. Since the early 1960s, Asia has grown richer faster than any other region in the world. In 1990, 56 percent of people in East Asia and 54 percent in South Asia lived on under $1.25 a day (PPP). By 2010, these rates had fallen to 12 percent and 31 percent…

 

Q&A with Indonesian Fellow, Women’s Movement Leader Dwi Rubiyanti Kholifah

August 6, 2014

Blog Post

In Asia editor Alma Freeman recently interviewed Dwi Rubiyanti Kholifah, Indonesia country director for the Asian Muslim Action Network (AMAN), which focuses on the role of women in peace building and inter-faith cooperation. Kholifah was selected as one of the 10 inaugural 2014 Asia Foundation Development Fellows.

 

Photo Blog: Critical Issue – Ethnic and Religious Conflict

August 6, 2014

Blog Post

Subnational conflicts are the most deadly, widespread, and enduring violent conflicts in Asia. Recent studies by The Asia Foundation indicate that more people have died in the region’s 26 subnational conflicts than in international conflicts during the past 20 years. In South and Southeast Asia, active conflicts affect regions that are roughly the size of Indonesia…

 

Photographer Conor Ashleigh Chronicles Work in Conflict Areas

August 6, 2014

Blog Post

In this TED talk, Conor Ashleigh, award-winning photographer and visual storyteller, shares stories of chronicling long-running conflicts, climate change hot spots, and communities undergoing transition in places where inequality and poverty remain among the world’s highest. In September, The Asia Foundation will feature Conor’s work on assignment… Read more

 

A Conversation with Mongolia’s Environment Minister Oyun Sanjasuren

July 23, 2014

Blog Post

As The Asia Foundation recently marked its 20th anniversary in Mongolia, Country Representative Meloney Lindberg sat down with Oyun Sanjasuren, Minister of Environment and Green Development and former Asia Foundation grantee…

 

Bangladesh’s Development Surprise: A Model for Developing Countries

June 25, 2014

Blog Post

By many metrics, Bangladesh’s development trajectory is a unique success story, especially since the 1990s when democratic rule was reinstated and extensive economic reforms were made. Poverty incidence has fallen from 60 percent to around 30 percent.

 

Reexamining Growth and Poverty in Myanmar

June 25, 2014

Blog Post

International data indicate that Myanmar’s current growth rate is about 7 percent, which by any measure should indicate progress and pride. Macroeconomic reforms have been extensive. The unrealistic legal exchange rate, which at one point was about 150 times…

 

Poverty, Inequality, and the Negative Effects of Mongolia’s Economic Downturn

June 25, 2014

Blog Post

For the last four years, Mongolia has had one of the fastest growing economies in the world, clocking double-digit growth on the back of a mining boom. The effects of this growth are obvious, especially in the capital, Ulaanbaatar, where cranes dominate the skyline…

 

Fellow Marcia Czarina Corazon Medina-Guce on Reform in the Philippines

June 25, 2014

Blog Post

In Asia editor Alma Freeman recently interviewed Philippine local governance leader Marcia Czarina Corazon Medina-Guce on President Aquino’s ambitious reform agenda and progress on poverty reduction and inclusive development.

 

Photo Blog: Critical Issue – Poverty and Inequality

June 25, 2014

Blog Post

Despite the region’s dramatic growth, income inequality across much of Asia is rising, and poverty remains a stubborn issue to overcome. Some 700 million people across the region live on less than $1 a day. In response, governments are taking on urgent policy reforms needed to create jobs and foster inclusive growth…

 

Disaster Management and Climate Change

June 12, 2014

Video

Photographer Conor Ashleigh recently worked with The Asia Foundation in Bangladesh, a nation extremely vulnerable to climate change.

 

Nepal’s Migrant Workers

June 12, 2014

Video

Photographer Conor Ashleigh worked with The Asia Foundation in Nepal in 2013, and shared these reflections.

 

The Luce Scholars Program

June 12, 2014

Video

2010 Henry Luce Fellow Ted Alcorn shares his reflections and pictures of his year in Asia.

 

Watch: Distinguished Documentary Photographer Conor Ashleigh on Assignment

June 4, 2014

Blog Post

In this video, documentary photographer Conor Ashleigh narrates his recent experiences on assignment with The Asia Foundation where he traveled to Khulna in the Delta region of Bangladesh – one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to climate change.

 

A Conversation with Former Korean PM and Amb. to the U.S. Lee Hong-Koo

June 4, 2014

Blog Post

The Asia Foundation’s country representative in Korea, Peter Beck, recently spoke with Foundation partner, Minister Lee Hong-koo, former prime minister of the Republic of Korea and ambassador to the United States.

 

A Conversation with Veteran Filipino Investigative Journalist Sheila Coronel

May 28, 2014

Blog Post

Anna Bantug-Herrera, The Asia Foundation’s associate director in Washington, D.C., recently spoke with former Foundation grantee, Sheila Coronel, veteran investigative journalist, new Dean of Academic Affairs of Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism…

 

A Conversation with Tsagaan Puntsag, Chief of Staff of the President of Mongolia

May 21, 2014

Blog Post

As The Asia Foundation recently marked its 20th anniversary in Mongolia, Country Representative Meloney Lindberg sat down with Tsagaan Puntsag, chief of staff of the President of Mongolia and former Asia Foundation grantee in the Government Palace…

 

Asia Foundation Honors Senator Dianne Feinstein of California

May 21, 2014

Blog Post

On May 19, The Asia Foundation honored Senator Dianne Feinstein of California with the first-ever Chairman’s Award for her commitment to U.S.-Asia Relations at a special Ambassadors Dinner in Washington. View a slideshow from the event, where ambassadors from across the Asia-Pacific region as well as key foreign policy experts and highly accomplish… Read more

 

Asia Foundation Launches 2013 Annual Report

May 14, 2014

Blog Post

The Asia Foundation just released its new 60th anniversary annual report, with a special focus on the Foundation’s efforts to address the critical issues facing Asia in the 21st century. With images from award-winning photographers throughout, the report also features highlights from the Foundation’s new living, interactive timeline that provides a… Read more

 

Asia Foundation Launches Interactive Timeline

May 14, 2014

Blog Post

To mark its 60th anniversary, The Asia Foundation debuted on May 14 a living, interactive timeline of its six decades in Asia, including compelling archival video, audio interviews, oral histories, photographs, documents, and multimedia.

 

A Conversation with Former South Korean Foreign Minister and Amb. to the U.S. Han Sung-Joo

April 30, 2014

Blog Post

The Asia Foundation’s director of Regional Cooperation Programs, John J. Brandon, recently spoke with former Foundation grantee, Dr. Han Sung-joo, former ambassador to the United HanSungjooStates and Korean foreign minister.

 

Human Rights Protection in Modern Cambodia: Building on Unstable Grounds

April 23, 2014

Blog Post

On January 3, ongoing street protests by garment workers in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, turned violent. Government troops opened fire into a crowd of civilians, killing four and leaving one person missing. A total of 23 civilians were arrested and 21 are still detained without bail.

 

Obama’s Asia Trip to Test Rebalancing Policy

April 23, 2014

Blog Post

This week President Obama travels to four Asian countries – Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Malaysia. In many respects, the president’s visit is to make up for his absence last October in Brunei and Indonesia to attend the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders meeting because of the U.S. government shutdown.

 

Access to Justice Constraints Fuel Conflict in Southern Thailand

April 23, 2014

Blog Post

Access to justice, security, and human rights protection rank among the core issues that fuel the protracted subnational conflict in southern Thailand and are central to the prospect of its future resolution. For the last decade, the southern border provinces of Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani have faced a resurgence of an indigenous…

 

A New Face of Policing in Timor-Leste

April 23, 2014

Blog Post

On March 27, the national police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) celebrated their 14th anniversary with full pomp and circumstance. For 24 years until 1999, the police in Timor were under the command of the Indonesia military. Now, it seems that memories of countrywide conflict and instability in this small tropical nation are receding.

 

Philippines Mobilizes for a Disability-Inclusive 2016 Presidential Election

April 23, 2014

Blog Post

In his 4th State of the Nation Address in June 2013, Philippine President Aquino praised a 30-year-old Makati resident Nino Aguirre who has no legs, but had laboriously climbed four floors to reach his polling station and cast his vote in the May 2013 midterm elections. While Mr. Aguirre’s feat demonstrated laudable…

 

A Conversation with Mongolian NGO Leader Badruun Gardi

April 23, 2014

Blog Post

Just back from an intensive, nine-day leadership training workshop in Singapore and the Philippines, which kicked off The Asia Foundation’s Development Fellows program, In Asia editor Alma Freeman interviewed one of the 10 inaugural Fellows from Mongolia, Badruun Gardi…

 

Photo Blog: Critical Issue – Access to Justice & Human Rights

April 23, 2014

Blog Post

Weak legal institutions and poorly functioning systems of justice pose challenges to citizens throughout Asia in resolving disputes, enforcing their rights, and accessing benefits to which they are legally entitled. This photo blog examines issues of access to justice and human rights through the lens of three countries

 

Inaugural Asia Foundation Development Fellows Kick off Year in Singapore, Philippines

April 9, 2014

Blog Post

This week, The Asia Foundation is hosting the inaugural class of The Asia Foundation Development Fellows: Emerging Leadership for Asia’s Future program in Singapore and the Philippines…

 

A Conversation with Thailand’s Ambassador to the U.S. Vijavat Isarabhakdi

March 26, 2014

Blog Post

The Asia Foundation’s director of Regional Cooperation Programs, John J. Brandon, speaks with Thailand’s Ambassador to the U.S. Vijavat Isarabhakdi, who served as a Congressional Fellow sponsored by The Asia Foundation.

 

Asia Foundation’s 18 Country Reps Convene in D.C. to Discuss Asia’s Critical Issues

March 12, 2014

Blog Post

This year, The Asia Foundation is commemorating its 60th anniversary. Drawing on the expertise of local partners and our own development experts in the 18 countries where we work, we’re initiating a year-long, global conversation on six critical issues facing Asia.

 

Asia Foundation’s Country Representatives to Discuss Critical Issues in D.C.

March 5, 2014

Blog Post

On March 12 in Washington, D.C., The Asia Foundation will feature all 18 of its country representatives from across Asia, along with other experts, for a day-long discussion on Asia’s critical issues in the 21st century. This event is part of a week of activities in Washington, including in-depth discussions with policy-makers, and serves to mark t… Read more

 

The Women Leaders Who Drive Aquino’s Reform Agenda

March 5, 2014

Blog Post

For a president who was so greatly influenced by his mother and surrounded by sisters, it’s perhaps not that surprising that Simeon Benigno Aquino III has appointed women to some of the highest positions of his administration. A confirmed bachelor…

 

Inclusive Growth in Asia is Impossible Without Including Women

March 5, 2014

Blog Post

A report from Oxfam released in late January put down on paper what many already feared was true: almost almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population. This is also the case in Asia, where income and wealth disparity is growing rapidly.

 

A Conversation with Nepali Journalist, Women’s Rights Advocate Jaya Luintel

March 5, 2014

Blog Post

Ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, In Asia editor Alma Freeman interviewed Nepali radio journalist and women’s rights advocate, Jaya Luintel, on women’s changing role in politics and society in Nepal, the country’s wide gender gap, and hopes of democratic momentum.

 

Photo Blog: Critical Issue – Women’s Participation

March 5, 2014

Blog Post

While Asian women are increasingly visible in leadership positions, political participation rates of men and women continue to be vastly unequal. In many countries, women are routinely discouraged from entering public office.

 

Corruption in the Philippines: Survey of Business Execs Reveals ‘Mixed’ Findings

January 22, 2014

Blog Post

On January 15, the results of the latest “SWS Survey of Enterprises on Corruption” were released during an afternoon session of the Good Governance Summit 2014. The previous survey in 2012 showed an impressive record low of 43 percent of business executives who considered corruption to be widespread.

 

Photo Blog: Critical Issue -Transparency & Accountability

January 22, 2014

Blog Post

Corruption is deeply entrenched in many Asian countries and continues to erode public trust in democratic processes and in public institutions. Accountable governance institutions are essential to sustainable growth in Asia…