Making his childhood dream his actual career, Douglas Gardner works at the cutting edge of international development as the UN Secretary Generalís resident coordinator in Kiev, Ukraine. A development practitioner for over 20 years with UNDP (in Asia, Africa and Central Europe), he was the senior UN official to greet democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi upon her release from house arrest in Burma in 1995. His work with the Mekong Commission in South East Asia brought him into the confidence building efforts for the ultimate lifting of the U.S. trade embargo on Vietnam. From winter emergencies in Mongolia to his present Ambassador rank assignment in Ukraine, he has worked with governments and civil society to boost economic growth in a fashion that protects the environment, combats the explosion of HIV/AIDS, prevents interethnic conflicts and extends the use of information technology to rural villages.
His focus in Ukraine is the development and implementation of national policies that will speed the transition to a functioning democracy and market economy. He is also a leader of the sub-regional effort to overcome the human consequences of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, which continues to blight the lives of millions of people in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.
CNN, BBC, CBSís 60 Minutes and numerous journals have chronicled his work.
Gardner was trained at Denison University, the American Graduate School of International Management and Harvard University. His start in the field of development was as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1974, digging water wells in Burkina Faso and then Upper Volta.