Director, Agent Orange in Vietnam Program, The Aspen Institute
Charles Bailey joined the Aspen Institute in May 2011 to direct its Agent Orange in Vietnam Program. From 1997 to 2007 he was based in Hanoi, Vietnam, where he headed the Ford Foundation’s grant making in, economic development, international relations, arts and culture, sexuality and reproductive health and higher education. In 1998 he began exploring ways to build a bi-national consensus between Vietnam and the US on how to address the legacy of wartime defoliants like Agent Orange, much of which was contaminated with dioxin. He contributed to the first milestone on this subject in November 2006 and then mobilized further support and action on Agent Orange beginning early in 2007.
Charles returned to the U.S. in October 2007 to head the Foundation's Special Initiative on Agent Orange/Dioxin and to support the U.S.-Vietnam Dialogue Group on Agent Orange/Dioxin. As a result many people now realize that Agent Orange is an humanitarian issue we can do something about and that the U.S. and Vietnam can work together to bring this historical legacy to an end. In 2011 he received the Vietnam Order of Friendship medal, the highest honor accorded by the Government of Vietnam to non-citizens.
Charles Bailey graduated from Swarthmore College and then joined the Peace Corps in Nepal. He holds a master's degree in public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Cornell University.