Ford Foundation's Agent Orange Initiative Transitions to Aspen Institute

The Ford Foundation has announced that it will transition a groundbreaking program to address the lingering effects of Agent Orange in Vietnam to the Aspen Institute.

Charles Bailey, who has headed Ford's Special Initiative on Agent Orange/Dioxin for its entire ten-year history, will lead the expanded program at Aspen. To facilitate the transition, Ford will give Aspen a $1.6 million grant to provide expert oversight of projects in Vietnam, build a long-term commitment among a wide array of public and private sources to address Agent Orange issues, and publish periodic reports on the program's progress.

Both Ford and Aspen have played an important role in the diplomatically sensitive process of providing a humanitarian response to the continuing human and environmental consequences of Agent Orange use during the war. In 2007, these efforts laid the groundwork for the establishment of the US-Vietnam Dialogue Group on Agent Orange/Dioxin, which last year released a ten-year plan of action to address the health and environmental impacts of dioxin — the poison that contaminated Agent Orange.

"We are very proud that our work over the last decade has set the stage for closure on an issue that touches the lives of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese," said Ford Foundation president Luis Ubi�as. "Under the expert guidance of the Aspen Institute and the continued leadership of Charles Bailey, this work is now poised to attract an array of new partners from both the public and private sectors."