Message from Asia Foundation Country Representative Dylan Davis
In June I will take on a new role as Associate Director for the Institute of East Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. This new role will take me to the San Francisco Bay Area – a decision that was not an easy one, as I have spent most of my adult life in Korea, a country that I have gained a deep appreciation for, but still have so much to learn from.
The past three years serving as Korea Country Representative for The Asia Foundation has been a particularly rewarding experience. Backed by an amazing team in Seoul, we have accomplished much in those three years – a sample of that work which can be found in our annual report below – but it is really the work of my predecessors and our strong partnerships that have made the Foundation’s work in Korea so relevant and important for more than six decades. Korea is now the fourth-largest economy in Asia and a member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee. Although the Foundation’s role in Korea has evolved, its commitment to Korea has not waivered. Korea has accomplished many development goals, including forming aid agencies of its own. The Korea Development Institute (KDI), the KDI School, and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), all partners of the Foundation, are shining examples of such organizations. Looking ahead, The Asia Foundation will continue to work closely with the private and public sectors in Korea to support programs in developing Asia similar to those we formally supported in Korea itself – building strong institutions in various sectors, including international relations, civil society, women’s empowerment, higher education, and economic development – but now working in partnership with Korea as a force for positive change in the region. Where opportunities arise, we will also remain open to projects closer to home, especially programs that address women’s empowerment and migrant community issues. And while the Korean Peninsula remains divided, The Asia Foundation will continue to prepare for effective and responsive political, social, humanitarian, and economic engagement in ways that will foster contact between the DPRK and the ROK as well as other nations. I would like thank our partners in Korea, a great team, and especially the Friends of The Asia Foundation Korea Board for this very special opportunity to join The Asia Foundation family. I look forward to staying in touch as a lifelong friend of Korea, and seeing many at the annual Friends of The Asia Foundation reception on April 16.
The Asia Foundation is pleased to announce it has received support from Paris-based Fondation CHANEL under a brand-new AccelerateGrowth Initiative aimed at enhancing opportunities for women’s entrepreneurship in South Korea. Under this new collaboration, The Asia Foundation is launching a one-year research project with Gyeonggi Family & Women’s Research Institute.