Ashley Nicole Burke: Exploring Gender and Development at the Asia Foundation
September 4, 2009
IPSS Assignment: The Asia Foundation
Conflict & Governance Program
After studying international political science and spending a semester abroad during her undergraduate career at UC San Diego, Ashley made the decision to return to her hometown of Monterey, California to further pursue this direction of study at the Monterey Institute. She graduated from the Institute in August 2009 with a degree in International Policy Studies, specializing in human rights. With the support of her peers and mentors such as Jan Black and Pushpa Iyer, Ashley developed a keen interest in fields such as gender, public health, and conflict reduction. She hopes to translate these passions along with relevant skills learned at the Institute into an international career following her departure from Monterey.
While at the Institute, Ashley worked at the Graduate School of Language and Linguistics, completed an internship at Amnesty International, and participated in clubs and activities such as MIIS Toastmasters. She completed her International Professional Service Semester at the Asia Foundation in Bangkok, Thailand with the conflict and governance program. At the Foundation, she helped organize several large-scale donor conferences and prepared reports and monthly updates on Foundation projects and programs. Ashley’s main work consisted of a research project exploring the intersection of gender, conflict, and development, an area of particular interest to her and in which the Asia Foundation was in need of analysis. In addition to an extensive literature review, her project focused on designing a framework for the Asia Foundation to use in order to address and mainstream gender in its programming in conflict zones. The goal of the framework is to make the Foundation’s aid projects during conflict more comprehensive and effective, and to place gender more prominently on its overall agenda.