Meet Sophal Ear, PfD Board Member
Partners for Development (PfD) came to my attention in 2011 when the PfD Board Chair wrote to me after watching myTED Talk about “Escaping the Khmer Rouge” (see below). At the time I taught at the US Naval Postgraduate School. The connection was that PfD had long worked in Cambodia since the early 1990s, when the country emerged from conflict following the Paris Peace Accords of 1991. It was fitting that someone like myself, a refugee from Cambodia who escaped thanks to my late mother’s cunning and determination in 1976, one year into the reign of the Khmer Rouge, would go on to work at the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme. But what’s even more interesting is that after years of working for international bureaucracies, I became a scholar and critic of traditional development assistance and came to see the important work that PfD does working with vulnerable and underserved populations in developing countries to improve their quality of life.
I joined PfD’s Board in 2013, the same year I published Aid Dependence in Cambodia: How Foreign Assistance Undermines Democracy. Earlier this year, I even gave a book talk at PfD headquarters. Be sure to join our mailing list to be invited to future events like these.
PfD is not afraid of introspection and looking at what works, what doesn’t, and why. I could already see the importance of PfD’s work in 2012 when, as a Trustee of the Nathan Cummings Foundation, I arranged a large Board Recommended Grant for PfD.
Indeed, it’s a pleasure to work with PfD and to serve as a Trustee; the team is small and responsive, squeezing the most value out of your dollars for maximum impact in the field. Partners for Development isn’t just a name, it’s a philosophy that gives the greatest importance to the role of partners in every aspect of our work. This includes a deep commitment to involving local counterparts in needs assessments, program design, and implementation.
I’m in, and I think you should be too. Donate to PfD today!
Sophal Ear, PhD
Associate Professor, Diplomacy & World Affairs
OXY | Occidental College, Los Angeles, California
Aid Dependence in Cambodia: How Foreign Assistance Undermines Democracy (Columbia University Press, 2013)
The Hungry Dragon: How China’s Resources Quest is Reshaping the World (Routledge, 2013) with S. Burgos
Throughout all of December we will be sharing stories from our staff, board, partners, and others from around the globe. We can’t wait to share all of the hopeful, engaging, and positive stories from our work. We will be using the hashtag #IamPfD on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Be sure to share the posts that you find engaging and inspiring with friends and family and don’t forget to donate and take an #unselfie of you making a donation and share it with us and use the #IamPfD for a chance to win prizes from PfD.