© 2021 The Asia Group

Eileen Pennington

Senior Advisor, The Asia Group Foundation

Eileen Pennington provides strategic advice and guidance to The Asia Group Foundation, drawing on almost two decades of experience in the field of international development, gender equality, and women’s empowerment.

In her prior and ongoing work with The Asia Foundation (TAF), Eileen has played a central role in expanding the women’s empowerment portfolio and integrating gender across TAF’s programing in 18 field offices in Asia, and advancing women’s rights and priorities in the fields of access to justice, the nexus of gender and conflict, gender-based violence, girls’ education, and human trafficking. Eileen has represented TAF with bilateral and multilateral donor agencies and with NGO partners working on gender and governance, including serving as subject matter expert and sole NGO representative at intergovernmental Equal Futures Partnership meetings at The White House and in Japan. She has also led in co-designing and implementing a Gender Mainstreaming Training Curriculum for TAF staff; and co-designing and facilitating skill-building workshops on key issues including monitoring and evaluation (M&E), violence against women, human trafficking, gender-sensitive programming, and women’s empowerment programming.

Eileen has extensive experience in monitoring and evaluation processes, including serving as lead evaluator of TAF’s $1.2 million USAID-funded Civic Education and Pondok School Reform program, an in-depth internal qualitative evaluation in southern Thailand that resulted in numerous recommendations for second phase programming. Eileen has engaged in extensive field work for these and other projects in Cambodia, Mongolia, Nepal, and Thailand, and is a frequent speaker at conferences on gender and development.

At the U.S. Department of Labor, Eileen led and managed an $18 million portfolio of USDOL-funded child labor projects in Southeast Asia, overseeing implementation by the International Labor Organization, and was part of a small team that developed and launched the $111 million Education Initiative to promote local innovative education interventions for working children worldwide. While at DOL, she also served in the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, where she worked with the government of Japan and key actors on strategies to combat trafficking in persons.

Eileen also serves as a Trustee of the Japan America Society of Washington and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees for The Harbor School, and is a Cub Scout leader and Odyssey of the Mind team coach. She holds an Master of Arts in International Affairs from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C., and is currently a doctoral candidate at Georgetown University’s School of Liberal Studies. Eileen lives in Maryland with her husband and their two children.