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Mary Byrne McDonnell Social Science Research Council, USA

Mary McDonnell is executive director and chief operating officer of the Social Science Research Council and leads the Council’s capacity strengthening, fellowships, and Asia-focused work. McDonnell has a PhD in history and master’s degrees in both international affairs and journalism from Columbia University. She worked as a journalist covering Asian and Middle Eastern affairs before joining the Council full time in 1986, where she became founding director of the Abe Fellowship and Vietnam Programs. She is currently leading a decade-long, qualitative and quantitative assessment of population health in rural Vietnam. McDonnell chairs the Board of Trustees of the School for Social Development and Public Policy at Beijing Normal University and serves on the advisory board of the Mobilising the Humanities project of the British Council. She is also a founding member of the board of a new NGO, Resources for Health Equity.