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The Asia Foundation

San Francisco, United States
Joined September 2015

Internationally recognized for our commitment to Asia's development, the Foundation brings together local individuals, communities, and governments who are shaping Asia's future.

Presence in: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, East Timor, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United States, Vietnam

Nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Our programs address critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century—governance and law, economic development, women’s empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation. In addition, our Books for Asia and professional exchange programs are among the ways we encourage Asia’s continued development as a peaceful, just, and thriving region of the world.

Some of the ways we are improving lives and expanding opportunities:

– Providing 48 million books to tens of thousands of schools, libraries, and universities.

– Organizing nationwide election monitoring and voter education to ensure free and fair elections and strengthen democracy in virtually every Asian country that has undergone a democratic transition over the past six decades.

– Educating more than a million migrant workers in over one thousand factories in China’s Pearl River Delta on their legal rights, safety, and personal health.

– Protecting the basic rights of women through our work to counter human trafficking, fight gender-based violence, increase political participation, and strengthen legal systems.

– Providing life-changing professional opportunities for newly emerging Asian leaders.

– Reducing the human and financial toll of natural disasters by equipping government officials, businesses, and community leaders in disaster planning and response.

– Creating jobs by improving the business climate and reducing red tape for local entrepreneurs and small businesses.

– Reducing violence through peacebuilding efforts in some of the most entrenched conflict zones in the region, including Southern Thailand, Pakistan, Mindanao, and Sri Lanka.

– Conducting ground-breaking empirical surveys to assess the quality and responsiveness of government services, patterns of corruption, and levels of violence, including the most comprehensive public opinion poll in Afghanistan.

People Associated With This Organization

Carolyn Mercado

The Asia Foundation (Unverified)
Joined November 2017
Interests: Criminal Justice, Governance, Peace-building
I am currently senior legal advisor of the Law and Human Rights Unit of The Asia Foundation in the Philippines. In this position, I direct The Asia Foundation’s efforts in raising funds, developing, designing, effectively implementing, and monitoring and evaluating projects in the areas of Law and Human Rights including Justice Reform and Alternative Dispute Resolution. I play a major role in providing an innovative and entrepreneurial approach in expanding the Foundation’s Law & Human Rights program in the Philippines, identifying emerging issues and new opportunities for the Foundation. I have also served as a temporary consultant to the Asian Development Bank on the Strengthening the Independence and Accountability of the Philippine Judiciary project, the Legal Literacy for Supporting Governance project, and the Sector-Wide Justice Reform Program in the Philippines. I am also an accredited court-annexed mediator.

Junayed Mir

The Asia Foundation
Joined August 2016
Interests: Access to Information, Citizenship, Economic Empowerment, Environmental Justice, Gender-based violence, Governance, Labor & Employment, Peace-building
Junayed Jamal Mir

Junayed is a skilled program manager with more than eleven years’ experience working in the development sector in Bangladesh. He has extensive experience in implementing innovative political governance, human rights and civil society engagement programs. He has played a key role in the pioneering effort to promote social justice for women within an Islamic framework in South Asia. Through the engagement of religious leaders, Muslim scholars, activists and advocates, Junayed contributed to the creation of a network of influential actors – both men and women – who are committed to advancing women’s rights across the region.

With a demonstrated ability to work across cultures and religions, Junayed has also demonstrated his strong commitment towards women’s political participation and women’s economic empowerment in several positions, including his position in engaging women CSOs with the National Parliament. Alongside significant experience of ministerial engagement, Junayed maintains contact and close working relations with elected officials, senior government officials at the national and local levels, NGO/CSO leaders, international organizations and partners, local institutions including mosques and madrassahs, academics, and other stakeholders in the fields of governance. In 2009, Junayed was a recipient of the prestigious The Asia Foundation President’s Award for Exceptional Performance.

Junayed holds a Masters in Development Studies from the Bangladesh Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) under BRAC University, and a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada.

Reason for joining this network: By becoming a member of this network, I can discuss problems and challenges we usually face while implementing innovative projects, projects that particularly challenge the local socio-cultural and gender norms. Learning from others on pathways they took to overcome similar challenges will be of great value for me.

Michael Kim McQuay

United States  
The Asia Foundation
Joined November 2018
Interests: Community / Customary Land Rights, Corruption, Criminal Justice, Economic Empowerment, Environmental Justice, Gender-based violence, Governance, Land & Natural Resources, Peace-building, Traditional / Customary Justice, Women's Rights
Managing Director, Program Specialist Group

I am a Canadian lawyer and development specialist who took a one-year leave a absence from corporate law practice in Toronto in 1989 to teach law in Colombo, Sri Lanka. I was fortunate to meet The Asia Foundation shortly after arriving and, within a few weeks, I was consulting from a converted broom closet off the kitchen of the Foundation's Colombo office--where, unfazed by ignorance, I discovered international development, loved the experience, and ultimately decided to pursue a career in Asia and abandon formal law practice. Since then, my work has taken me to Bangladesh (two assignments of 11 years total), Cambodia, Indonesia, and Thailand on multi-year postings and frequently to China, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Vietnam, and other Asian countries. Over the course of a 29-year career with The Asia Foundation, my work has divided between specific country focus combining law and justice, governance, women's empowerment, economic development, and environment and a concentration on law and justice in a regional capacity. Legal empowerment has been a major focus of each assignment and I have been privileged to work work with extraordinary partners in civil society, the private bar, the judiciary, police, and other formal institutions and agencies, academia, and the media, from whom I have learned and been inspired. I recently relocated to Washington, D.C., where I lead the Foundation's talented team of technical specialists in governance, conflict and fragility, women's empowerment, economic development, environment, and technology for development, while continuing to support our law and justice work Asia-wide.

Contributed Resources:


Nabiha Chowdhury

The Asia Foundation
Joined December 2012

Novi Anggriani

The Asia Foundation (Unverified)
Joined August 2015
I am a policy development analyst with 14 years of experience in various issues of development include investment climate, poverty reduction, labor and employment policy, local governance and decentralization, regulatory reform and social inclusion. I have been working for a social inclusion program for couple of months now in my organization. I am keen to learn more on the issue of social inclusion, legal empowerment particularly for the most marginalized group in the community.

Renata Arianingtyas

The Asia Foundation (Unverified)
Joined January 2018
Interests: Access to Information, Citizenship, Community / Customary Land Rights, Criminal Justice, Environmental Justice, Gender-based violence, Generalist Legal Services, Governance, Land & Natural Resources, Peace-building, Traditional / Customary Justice, Women's Rights
17 years of experience in development field, especially in human rights, access to justice, freedom of religion, minority rights and conflict management.

Robin Perry

East Timor  
The Asia Foundation (Unverified)
Joined August 2018
Interests: Community / Customary Land Rights, Economic Empowerment, Environmental Justice, Gender-based violence, Governance, Traditional / Customary Justice, Women's Rights
I have over 18 years of professional experience working as both a lawyer and as an aid practitioner focused on strengthening access to justice. This includes more than seven years with various Australian Government agencies and eight years working with NGOs, in a range of conflict-affected countries, including Liberia, Yemen, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste. This is supplemented by a record of publication in academic journals on subjects relating to law and development. I am currently Team Leader for The Asia Foundation's Community Policing Support Program in Timor-Leste.

Thip Nouansyvong

The Asia Foundation
Joined August 2019
Interests: Gender-based violence
I am an attorney with a background in Lao civil and criminal law. I currently serve as the Law Program Officer in The Asia Foundation’s office in Vientiane, Lao PDR where I manage the implementation of a portfolio of projects and activities, ensuring delivery of all outputs and outcomes on time and within the set budget. Prior to this role, I worked with the Law and Development Partnership (LDP) (a private law firm) as a Legal Advisor and Pro Bono Manager. I provided clients with legal and tax consulting and issued legal opinions regarding civil and criminal law. My practice focused on civil law, employment law, criminal law, family law, domestic violence, and human trafficking. I also provided legal support to the Gender-Based Violence Project, Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia Community Legal Education Initiative (BABSEACLE).

Joining the network, I wish to have the new areas of sharing knowledge and exchange new ideas and approach in term of legal empowerment and access to justice in particular the legal aid and pro bono work.

Zeeshan Ali

The Asia Foundation (Unverified)
Joined February 2018
Interests: Governance
Advocacy, campaigning and communication expert, Advocate Civil/District Courts, July 2006 to July 2009 Advocate High Court, August 2009 to date Areas of Practice: Corporate & commercial law, taxation, employment and labor laws, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), legislative Advisor in domestication of international instruments of human rights, Gender, Child Protection, Refugee, Constitutional law, Rule of Law advisories and Legal research.
Maria Roda Cisnero is the network champion (main point of contact) for The Asia Foundation.

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