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Regina Yan, ’82, will present lecture on humanitarian intervention and counter-intervention

April 2, 2013

Regina Yan, ’82, will present Whitworth’s next Great Decision Lecture, “Intervention and Counter-intervention: A Game of Chess in International Development Assistance,” on Thursday, April 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth. For more information, please call (509) 777-4937.

Yan is a senior advisor at Eurasia Foundation and chair of the Kyiv School of Economics. Most recently, she was chief operating officer of the Washington, D.C.-based Peterson Institute for International Economics, one of the world’s most influential think tanks in international economics. Yan is an expert in international development, nonprofit institution building, board governance, and strategic partnership. She believes that the topic of humanitarian intervention is very relevant to the Whitworth and Spokane communities.

“I think people care about what’s happening in the rest of the world and about how we can make valuable contributions to their lives,” she says. “We need to commit to international development with our hearts, and we need to deliver the assistance intelligently with our minds.”

Yan also says that it is important for people to understand other forces that exist to undermine intervention efforts. During her lecture, she will share information about why it is important to overcome counter-intervention, and will offer tips about how to become involved.

Yan worked for Eurasia Foundation (EF) for over a decade as executive vice president. She directed EF's general operations in more than a dozen countries and managed special projects such as its economic education and research program, media viability fund, and small-business lending program. Working with key funding and institutional partners, she spearheaded the launch of special projects in independent organizations such as the Economic Education and Research Consortium (EERC), which administers the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE), and the Izmirlian-Eurasia Universal Credit Company. She also supervised the transformation of EF’s representative offices into independent local foundations. The five foundations in Russia, Central Asia, South Caucasus, Ukraine and Moldova, plus Eurasia Foundation, in the U.S., form the Eurasia Foundation Network. Yan established the first NGO Resource Center in western China, providing consultation, training and funding support for community development organizations.

From 1992 to 2000, Yan held various executive positions at IREX, an international research and education organization, where she provided management oversight to IREX’s field operations in 22 countries and launched its programs in Asia. Prior to that, she managed international programs at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. She has administered programs with Central/Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia and the Middle East.

Yan received her B.A. from Whitworth University, in Spokane, Wash., and graduate degrees from the University of Hawaii. Yan was an exchange student at Whitworth from Baptist University in Hong Kong.

In addition to this April 18 lecture, Great Decisions will present its final program for the year on April 25. The lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in Weyerhaeuser Hall's Robinson Teaching Theatre. For information about Whitworth’s Great Decisions lectures, please call (509) 777-4937. Great Decisions 2013 is sponsored by the Whitworth Political Science Department.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 3,000 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Kathy Fechter, academic program assistant, political science department, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4739 or

Lucas Beechinor, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or