Debra Eisenman

Managing Director

Debra Eisenman

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. From 2015 to 2017, she served as ASPI's Executive Director. During 2013 and 2014, she was Associate Director and then Director of ASPI. Prior to that, she was a Senior Program Officer and then Assistant Director to ASPI’s predecessor unit, Asia Society’s Global Policy Programs department.

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.

Related Initiatives

  • Since 2009, ASPI’s Myanmar Initiative has sought to strengthen relations between Myanmar and other countries and to support Myanmar’s transition to democracy.
  • ASPI’s Iran work focuses on sharing insights on the relationship between the two countries through public events and expert commentary.
  • 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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