Gretchen A. Kunze
Former Country Representative, Laos
Expertise: Political participation and governance; human rights; conflict resolution; Thailand; and Laos.
Gretchen Kunze is the former country representative for Laos, where she reopened the first TAF office in that country since its closure in 1975. She has over sixteen years of professional experience in international development, good governance, and civil society issues, with a focus on Asia. Prior to this position, she served as the deputy country representative for Thailand and Laos based in The Asia Foundation's Bangkok office beginning in 2005, coincidentally weeks after the tsunami in the Andaman Sea. Beyond her post, she fulfilled temporary assignments in numerous Foundation offices including Afghanistan, Philippines, Cambodia, and Japan. Ms. Kunze rejoined The Asia Foundation in 2003 as the assistant director, programs division, in the San Francisco headquarters. She previously worked at the Foundation from 1994 to 1997, in the Conflict Resolution unit, the Luce Scholars unit, and the Asian-American Exchange (AAX) unit, focusing on local governance, alternative dispute resolution, and civil society development exchanges. Apart from the Foundation, Ms. Kunze has worked with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) in Stockholm, Sweden; the Center on Rights Development (CORD) in Denver, Colorado; and the Department of Education in Kochi, Japan.
Education: She holds a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations from the University of Denver in Colorado and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with Minors in Business and Classics from Villanova University in Pennsylvania.