Debra Eisenman

Managing Director


Debra Eisenman is Managing Director of the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI), where she leads and oversees projects on development, governance, sustainability, and security challenges throughout Asia, with a particular focus on Myanmar, Central Asia, and Iran. She also oversees 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 the Institute's launch.

Before joining Asia Society in 2011, Debra worked on the Peacebuilding and Western Balkans grantmaking programs of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, where she assisted in grantmaking and NGO capacity building, and engaged in grants administration for over $5 million in annual giving. From 2005 to 2008, Debra served as Program Associate at the National Crime Prevention Council, coordinating projects and providing training and technical assistance to organizations working 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

Related Initiatives

  • ASPI's projects and analysis on Myanmar.
  • ASPI's projects and analysis on Iran.
  • Following ASPI's project examining the crisis of governance in Central Asia, Asia Society has continued to provide a forum for dialogue about how the region can increase security, manage conflicts, and strengthen the rule of law.

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