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.