The history of the Kenan Institute Asia dates back to a chance encounter during the 1920s, when King Prajadhipok of Thailand and Carl Grey, a member of the prosperous Kenan family met at a gift shop near the Grand Canyon in Arizona. With their long history of philanthropy and public service, the Kenan family has been active in Thailand ever since.
Kenan was established in 1996 as an independent, locally registered organization with the belief that long-term development can best be achieved through free enterprise mechanisms, boundary-spanning partnerships, and practical expertise. With former Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun serving as founding chairperson, Kenan began by fostering development partnerships between U.S. and Thai organizations.
Today, Kenan is a thriving organization employing over 80 full-time staff at our offices in Bangkok, Thailand and Hanoi, Vietnam. While Kenan’s focus has shifted over the years, in response to Southeast Asia’s transformations, as well as natural and economic disasters, Kenan maintains the same commitment to empowering people with the knowledge, technology and skills necessary for a better future. Currently, Kenan is partnering with a wide variety of organizations, including the Thailand Ministry of Education, the Thailand Ministry of Science and Technology, USAID, the US Department of State, Boeing, the Citi Foundation, Chevron, and Coca-Cola, to achieve its vision.