The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation

Improving Lives
Expanding Opportunities

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David D. Arnold

David D. Arnold

President and Chief Executive Officer

Tel: 415-982-4640

Fax: 415-392-8863


Expertise: Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, International Development, Governance, Philanthropy, Education, Rule of Law, Women's Empowerment, Human Rights, Economic Policy

David D. Arnold is the sixth president of The Asia Foundation. A highly respected international development veteran with years of experience across the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, he leads all aspects of The Asia Foundation, including its headquarters in San Francisco, an office in Washington D.C., and 18 different country offices in Asia. Established in 1954, The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia.

Since assuming the presidency in 2011, David Arnold has undertaken a major review of the organization's regional development activities and launched new initiatives focused on technology innovations and Asian leadership development.

Before joining The Asia Foundation, Arnold served as president of the American University in Cairo (AUC) for seven years. During his tenure at AUC,  he oversaw the construction of a new, state-of-the-art $400 million campus, including the region's largest English-language library and the first public park in the suburb of New Cairo. Arnold spearheaded AUC's $125 million fundraising campaign, the largest in the University's history. He also oversaw the launch of several new academic programs, including the University's first Ph.D. program, and expanded AUC's continuing education and community outreach programs.

Previously, Arnold served for six years as executive vice president of the Institute of International Education, the world's largest educational exchange organization. From 1984 to 1997, he worked for the Ford Foundation, serving as its first program officer in the field of governance and then for six years as the organization's representative in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.

David Arnold began his public service career in 1975 in his home state of Michigan as a program budget analyst with the Michigan Department of Labor. At Washington, D.C.'s National Governors Association, he handled intergovernmental relations in the areas of employment, housing, and economic development. He later served as executive director of the Coalition of Northeastern Governors, a regional think tank and policy institute.

Arnold serves on the board of the World Affairs Council of Northern California. He is also a frequent public speaker on issues of governance and development in Asia-Pacific.

Arnold holds a master's degree in Public Administration from Michigan State University and a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan. He received an honorary doctorate of humanities from Michigan State University in 2011.



September 18, 2014: The Asia Foundation Commemorates Six Decades of Addressing Asia’s Critical Issues

April 4, 2014: Asia Foundation Development Fellows Program Welcomes Emerging Leaders at Singapore Reception

January 22, 2014: David D. Arnold Discusses the Critical Issues Facing Asia

May 31, 2013: David D. Arnold Speaks on Political Economy Strategy in Asia at the PATnet Conference hosted by the Univeristy of San Francisco

May 13, 2013: The Asia Foundation Signs Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and Appoints Country Representative for Myanmar

May 9, 2013: David D. Arnold Speaks at the Francisca Club on Myanmar in Transition: Lessons on Reform and Democracy from Across the Region

March 8, 2013: Asia Foundation President David Arnold Moderates “Women Changing the World” at WorldAffairs 2013: Transition, Disruption and Innovation Conference in San Francisco

February 25, 2013: David D. Arnold Participates in India Roundtable on Violence Against Women

January 1, 2013: Karl Eikenberry and David Arnold Discuss Afghanistan at Pacific Council

November 30, 2012: Asia Foundation Hosts Rajat M. Nag, Managing Director General of the Asian Development Bank San Francisco

November 13, 2012: David D. Arnold Addresses Pacific Council on Burma San Francisco

October 29, 2012: The Asia Foundation President David D. Arnold Meets Myanmar President U Thein Sein Nay Pyi Taw

October 17, 2012: Asia Foundation and Renowned Philanthropist Dr. Chong-Moon Lee Honored by California-Asia Business Council San Francisco

September 28, 2012: The Asia Foundation Hosts Daw Aung San Suu Kyi San Francisco

February 21, 2012: Institute of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Laos

October 18, 2011: The Economist's Banyan: Ideas for an Asian Century Conference in Singapore

September 16, 2011: Asia Foundation Hosts Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Honorable Kevin M. Rudd in San Francisco

May 11, 2011: Middle East's Governance Deficit at Lowy Institute, Australia

May 4, 2011: "The Arab Awakening: Governance Lessons for Asia and Beyond" at Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.

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