Executive Director, Kenan Institute Asia
As the Executive Director of Kenan Institute Asia, Richard Bernhard has over twenty years of experience in managing multi-sector programs that bring together the private sector, government, NGOs and local communities to address key development needs in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
He is responsible for 70 staff and the overall operations of the Institute including finance and accounting and general administration. Having managed projects throughout the GMS for a range of donor institutions, he oversees the implementation of projects in business and economic development, education, corporate social responsibility and public health. Richard is the Co-Chair of the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand’s CSR Committee. Richard earned an MA degree in Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Michigan and an MBA in the OneMBA program from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He received a certification for Corporate Community Involvement from the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College.
Mr. Bernhard developed Kenan’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) services which include training of over 250 firms; research and consultation; facilitating multi-sector partnerships; project management; and curriculum development. The project areas include community engagement, financial literacy, science and IT education, and entrepreneurship. Presently, Kenan’s main corporate clients include Chevron, Citi, Boeing, Merck, and Microsoft. In 2011, he completed a UNDP CSR curriculum development project in Vietnam. From 2005 - 2010, Mr. Bernhard led Kenan’s Sustainable Tourism Services Division, chiefly active in Thailand’s Phang-nga province. This five-year, $3.0 million program built the capacities and competitiveness of sustainable tourism in the Khao Lak resort area of Phang-nga. This integrated development program engaged the Phang-nga Tourism Association, community businesses, the governor’s office, various line ministries, and local communities to develop sustainable tourism practices and identify human resource and institutional capacity needs. Richard also serves as Kenan’s Director for the Human Capacity Development Division, which has implemented over $3.0 million in corporate-community engagement programs focusing on human resource development since 1998.
Mr. Bernhard developed and managed the USAID-supported $3.0 million Business Support Organization Partnership program that 1) identified needs for capacity building around laws, legislation, and professional standards in Thailand and Vietnam, 2) designed a comprehensive implementation strategy to address the shortfalls in standards and training, 3) identified partners and consultants to provide necessary training and capacity building services, and 4) conducted monitoring and evaluation for the program. In addition, Mr. Bernhard has experience managing programs in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, including enhancing the competitiveness of the Ho Chi Minh City software cluster, improving the Vietnamese IPR court system, and building local capacity to deliver business development services in Cambodia. Previously, Mr. Bernhard developed private-public sector partnerships focused on the environment, renewable energy, and public health under the USAID funded US-Thailand Development Partnership program.