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Posted : 2011-03-15 17:54
Updated : 2011-03-15 17:54

Asia Foundation president visits Seoul


David Arnold, president of
the Asia Foundation
By Kim Young-jin

David Arnold, the new president of the Asia Foundation, said Monday his organization is ready to help Korea share its “remarkable” development experience with other countries in the region, at a welcoming reception in Seoul.

“The opportunity for sharing of knowledge and experience between Korea and other countries in the region is extraordinary,” Arnold, a former president of the American University in Cairo (AUC), told an audience that included Korean lawmakers as well as diplomats based here.

“By virtue of the fact that the Asia Foundation has deep, strong connections with virtually all of the countries in the region, we feel we’re well positioned to facilitate and encourage that kind of sharing.”

The U.S.-based foundation supports initiatives in Asia for development in areas such as governance, women’s empowerment, the environment and regional cooperation. Arnold, who previously oversaw a major expansion of AUC, took the reins in January.

In Korea, the foundation partners non-governmental organizations and research institutions, among others, to tackle issues such as the nation’s expanding roles as an aid donor to less developed nations as well as promoting a peaceful resolution to inter-Korean tensions.

Arnold highlighted the long relationship the foundation has had with the country, which stretches back to when the 1950-53 Korean War ended. He said the foundation’s work has touched virtually every sector of society, from economic development, education and health, to women’s political participation and regional security.

“In many respects, Korea is a remarkable success story. It’s a success that Asia Foundation is proud to have played a small role in helping to achieve. We look forward to building on that success in the years ahead,” he said.

The event at the Shilla Hotel was attended by Rep. Chung Ok-nim of the ruling Grand National Party, former government officials and ambassadors from around the world. Lee Hong-koo, former Prime Minister of Korea, gave the welcoming remarks.

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