Charles Bailey has received the Huân chương Hữu nghị Việt Nam, the highest honor accorded by the Government of Vietnam to non-citizens in recognition of his work as the Ford Foundation’s representative in Vietnam for more than a decade.
The citation from the president of Vietnam reads: “[presented] to Dr. Charles R. Bailey, an American citizen, Director, Program on Agent Orange/Dioxin, Ford Foundation, who has made many contributions to cooperation in Vietnam’s education, training and humanitarian areas, contributing to strengthening the friendly cooperative relations between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and international organizations.”
Bailey, now director of the Aspen Institute Agent Orange in Vietnam Program, has worked on solving the lingering problems related to dioxin contamination in Vietnam for over a decade. In 2007, he helped to establish the Ford Foundation’s Special Initiative on Agent Orange/Dioxin.
According to Bailey, Ford’s approach has been two-fold:
To respond to Government of Vietnam’s requests to fund remediation work, as an exercise in confidence building between the governments of Vietnam and United States and to fund local governments, and local and international NGOs in a variety of partnership projects for children and young adults with Agent Orange-related disabilities and their families.
While at the Ford Foundation, he also spearheaded the “Make Agent Orange History” campaign in the United States, which included funding the Vietnam Reporting Project, among other non-profit organizations. Bailey joined the Aspen Institute in May 2011.
Bailey has a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Cornell University and a master’s degree in public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. He received a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and then joined the Peace Corps in Nepal where he taught high school.