The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation

Improving Lives
Expanding Opportunities

Bookmark and Share

Expert Profile

Suzanne E. Siskel

Suzanne E. Siskel

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Tel: (415) 743-3356

Fax: (415) 986-2999


Expertise: Indonesia; Philippines; Community Based Natural Resources Management; U.S. and International Development; Civil Society and Philanthropy

Suzanne E. Siskel worked at the Ford Foundation from 1990 to 2011, serving in various leadership positions in field offices in Southeast Asia and in its New York headquarters. In her last role there she was Ford's director of Social Justice Philanthropy, overseeing efforts to mobilize philanthropic resources and to build strong local and regional foundations engaged in social development in the United States and throughout the world. She also served as acting director of Ford's Gender Rights and Equality unit in support of women's economic rights, LGBT rights, and HIV/AIDS.

Suzanne Siskel joined the Ford Foundation as program officer for Rural Poverty and Resources in Jakarta and later was representative in Indonesia and the Philippines. In these roles she was engaged in strengthening civil society; promoting economic development and community-based natural resources policy; and enhancing local capacity for socioeconomic research and analysis. In the Philippines she also initiated the development of a national basic education reform program and, in Indonesia, oversaw higher education programs aimed at building local leadership and guided work on community-based reconciliation processes in the post-Suharto era. Moving to New York in 2005 she directed Ford's Community and Resource Development unit, providing support to organizations working in community development, local philanthropy, sexuality and reproductive health, and environment and development in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Russia and the United States.

Trained as a social anthropologist, Suzanne Siskel has served variously as a consultant, university teacher and researcher throughout Indonesia, in rural northeast Brazil and highland Chiapas, Mexico. She first lived and worked in Indonesia as a member of the first cohort of Luce Scholars in 1974 and later returned there as a Fulbright scholar and development advisor. Currently she is a trustee of the China Medical Board and of Winrock International, a member of the Global Philanthropy Committee of the Council on Foundations and serves on the boards of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas and the Vicente Canyon Hillside Foundation.  She also has served on the Governing Council of the European Foundation Centre and was president of the Fulbright Association.

Education: Suzanne Siskel studied social anthropology, receiving her bachelor's degree from Harvard University and her master's degree from The Johns Hopkins University and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • YouTube
  • Flickr
  • Instagram