The Arab Awakening: Governance Lessons for Asia and Beyond

David Arnold, President,Asia Foundation

RSVP required by 5PM May 3

The recent uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East represent one of the most dramatic global political developments since the fall of the Berlin Wall.  What factors and forces led to the sudden collapse of well-entrenched regimes and the emergence of democratic reform movements across a region long accustomed to hereditary succession and autocratic rule?  Does the current upheaval reflect unique circumstances in the Arab World?  Or should it be viewed in the wider context of governance issues and challenges that have arisen in Asian and other settings beyond North Africa and the Middle East?  As a governance specialist whose international career has spanned Arab and Asian societies, David Arnold will share his insights regarding these questions. 

David D. Arnold became the president of The Asia Foundation on January 1, 2011, after serving as the tenth president of the American University in Cairo (AUC) for seven years. There, 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. Mr. 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 new masters' programs in education, biotechnology, gender studies, digital journalism, and refugee studies. Under Mr. Arnold's leadership, AUC expanded its continuing education and community outreach programs and created new scholarship opportunities funded by private donors, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative.

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

Mr. 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. He moved to Washington, D.C., in 1977 to join the National Governors Association, where 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. 

Education: Master's in Public Administration from Michigan State University; B.A. from University of Michigan


Wednesday, May 04, 2011 | 12:00 pm — 1:30 pm
Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor

Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL)
Shorenstein APARC