Ms. Elaine Tan
Elaine Tan is the sixth Executive Director of the ASEAN Foundation. A development professional with more than two decades of international experience, Ms. Tan has designed, managed and evaluated development programmes in seven countries across Asia.
Over the past decade, Ms. Tan has advised government agencies, legislatures, corporate and nonprofit clients in both emerging economies and post conflict countries. She has expertise in advocacy, legislative processes and governance having held senior level positions within the United Nations, ASEAN, as well as civil and community organisations. Ms. Tan brings with her valued experiences in partnership development, resource mobilization, programme and organizational development.
Before assuming the post, Ms. Tan was responsible for the direction, leadership and management of the Yayasan Sejahtera, Malaysia, dedicated to addressing extreme poverty, raising living standards of low-income households, and improving basic infrastructure, delivering the mandate through the efforts of public-private partnerships including Government-Linked Companies and corporate Malaysia.
In the United Nations, she headed UNIFEM, now UN Women, in Timor-Leste, in support of gender issues and women’s empowerment, developing and overseeing multi-million dollar programmes, advocating for gender mainstreaming and gender-responsive budgeting, in addition to being advisor to the national women’s machinery in the country. Prior Ms. Tan was also responsible for the UNIFEM office in Cambodia, strengthening the institutional capacity for gender mainstreaming of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Veterans, implementing the recommendations of the CEDAW Committee, the International Women’s Bill of Rights in the country. As Head, in the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator in Timor-Leste, Ms. Tan was directly involved in the formulating and implementing the joint annual plan of the United Nations Country Team and facilitated advocacy.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Tan served as Head of the Human Development Unit for ASEAN and effectively concluded the discussions on the outstanding term of reference to establish the 2007 ASEAN+3 Meeting of Social Officials on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication. As head, she also formulated a joint work plan with the Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) and the ASEAN Education Ministers. The work plan was endorsed by ASEAN Senior Officials on Education and Education Minister in March 2007, highlighting technical cooperation in promoting ASEAN, developing resources and materials, education management standards, and student exchanges.
Ms. Tan received a Chevening scholarship to obtain her Masters in Development Studies from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. She is an alumnae of Smith College, USA.