The Aspen Institute is to take over the work of tackling the after-effects of Agent Orange in Vietnam begun by the Ford Foundation over 10 years ago, work in which both agencies have been intimately involved in recent years. As a mark of this passing of the baton, Charles Bailey, who pioneered Ford’s initial work (see Tackling the Agent Orange legacy in Vietnam, Alliance June 2010), has been appointed to direct the Agent Orange in Vietnam Program at Aspen. Both Ford and Aspen are quick to point out that this is a rationalization, rather than a withdrawal by Ford; indeed, an Aspen press release calls it an ‘expanded’ version of the programme. Moreover, the transition is occurring at what both organizations see as a crucial moment for the work of the initiative. Last year, the US-Vietnam Dialogue Group on Agent Orange/Dioxin, which the work of the two was instrumental in creating, released a 10-year plan of action. On the basis of this, the ‘work is now poised to attract an array of new partners from both the public and private sectors,’ believes Ford president Luis Ubiñas. A $1.6 million grant from Ford will help facilitate the transition.
For more information