March 19, 2013
DAI’s Vice President of Solutions Jim Winkler on March 14 was elected to the Board of Directors of the newly established American University of Mongolia (AUM).
An economist who specializes in private sector development, economic growth, competitiveness, and governance, Jim has supervised more than 50 long-term DAI projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), personally managing projects in Vietnam, Croatia, Cambodia, and the Palestinian Territories. Jim holds a Ph.D. in international relations from The Fletcher School, Tufts University.
As head of DAI’s Solutions group, Jim leads a team of 50 core technical staff and global practices in economic growth, economic and social stability, agriculture and agribusiness, health, governance, and environment and climate change.
“I have known Jim Winkler for many years as a colleague at DAI,” said AUM Chairman J. Peter Morrow, the former CEO of Khan Bank. “With his academic background and development experience, we welcome him and his contribution to the building of the university.”
AUM was established in September by a group of Mongolian and American business, educational, and community leaders to bring the best traditions of American higher education to serve the unique needs of students in Mongolia. It will be an independent, nonprofit liberal arts university and accredited by U.S. and Mongolian accreditation bodies.
DAI’s unbroken engagement in Mongolia dates back to the early 1990s and proceeded through various assignments for clients such the USAID, the Asian Development Bank, and the World Bank, culminating in the successful turnaround of the Agricultural Bank, now known as Khan Bank. In winding down its holding in the bank, DAI selected AUM as the best vehicle for marking the firm’s ongoing commitment to development in Mongolia, in line with a community engagement program that focuses on supporting young people in countries where DAI works.
This fall, the first students will be accepted into the university’s four-year undergraduate program. Degree programs in engineering, business administration, and natural sciences will be the first priorities, followed by additional programs developed at the masters and doctoral levels. AUM will eventually become a full-fledged research university that will stand as a center of excellence for the entire region.