Founding Director and Senior Fellow
Debra Eisenman is Chief Operating Officer of the Asia Society and Founding Director and Senior Fellow of the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI). As COO, Debra oversees the operations and strategy of the Society’s substantive pillars, as well as the global network.
Prior to this role, Debra was Managing Director of the Asia Society Policy Institute, where she led and oversaw projects on development, governance, sustainability, and security challenges throughout Asia, with a particular focus on Myanmar, Central Asia, and Iran. She also ran ASPI’s strategy and operations, and has been with ASPI and its predecessor, the Global Policy Programs department at Asia Society, in numerous, progressively responsible roles since 2011. Debra also created the initial business, operations, and strategic plans for the development of ASPI, prior to its launch.
Before joining Asia Society in 2011, Debra worked on the Peacebuilding and Western Balkans grantmaking programs of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. From 2005 to 2008, she worked at the National Crime Prevention Council on projects to advance youth civic engagement and individual and community safety.
Debra has been a short-term election observer in Kosovo (2010), Albania (2011), Ukraine (2012 and 2014), and Armenia (2017). She holds a master’s degree in politics from New York University, and is a cum laude graduate of the University of Maryland with high honors in her government and politics major. She is also a fellow of the Truman National Security Project and a member of Women in International Security. Debra is a contributor to radio, television, and print media. In June 2018, she authored the ASPI report, Reconciling Expectations with Reality in a Transitioning Myanmar.
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