Thursday, May 24th
Dr. Rafael Frankel oversees BGA’s client services, ensuring that BGA clients receive exceptional and consistent support in their work around the Asia-Pacific. A specialist in Asia, Rafi brings 18 years of aggregate international experience spanning 50 countries and six continents to his work with BGA. He is a talented writer and researcher with a strong capacity to synthesize large amounts of information and communicate key points effectively. Over the course of his career, Rafi has worked as a journalist, consultant, professor, researcher and in international development. Prior to his role as vice president, Rafi served as a senior director for BGA, supporting clients in their work around the Asia-Pacific, with a focus on Southeast Asia.
Rafi was a foreign correspondent for nine years, living and working in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South America. He reported for leading media outlets including MSNBC, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Atlantic online and The San Francisco Chronicle. In 2004, Rafi became one of a handful of Americans to navigate the length of the Mekong River, from its mouth in southern Vietnam to its source in Tibet. After his journalism career, Rafi led field efforts as senior project coordinator for Georgetown University Medical Center to develop a medical education program in the Palestinian Territories. He also served as a fellow at the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the U.S. Congress.
Rafi earned his Ph.D. (international relations) and master’s degree (foreign service) from Georgetown University and his bachelor’s degree (economics and journalism) from the University of California Santa Cruz. He speaks fluent Hebrew, conversational Thai and basic Spanish.