US President Obama Receives Memento of Mother's Work with ADB

News Release | 28 April 2014

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – On the occasion of his visit this week to the Philippines, US President Barack Obama was presented with a special memento commemorating the work of his mother, Ann Dunham, with the Asian Development Bank (ADB). 

Dr. Dunham worked as a consultant for ADB on two projects—the Agricultural Development Bank of Pakistan’s Gujranwalla Agricultural Development Program in 1987-1988 and a technical assistance for the Institutional Strengthening of the State Ministry for the Role of Women in Indonesia in 1994, financed by the Japan Special Fund.

US Executive Director to the ADB, Ambassador Robert M. Orr, presented President Obama with a book containing her writings for ADB during a meeting today at a downtown hotel in Manila. ADB Secretariat staff pulled from the archives correspondence, signed documents, reports, and presentations related to the two projects that were put together in a bound volume entitled “The Collected Works of Dr. Ann Dunham for the Asian Development Bank.”

“Dr. Dunham devoted much of her working life to helping the people of Asia, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and Thailand,” Ambassador Orr said. “She was a pioneer in the field of micro-credit—work that is still considered key to reducing poverty in many areas. We are happy today to be able to commemorate her association with ADB.”

Born in 1942 in Kansas and educated at the East-West Center, University of Hawaii (where she met President Obama’s father), and the University of Washington, Dr. Dunham also worked for the Ford Foundation in Jakarta and Women’s World Banking, establishing micro-credit loans for the poor. Unfortunately, she was unable to finish her work in Indonesia for ADB, since she fell ill around this time with the cancer that she was to succumb to in 1995.

President Obama is visiting Manila as part of a four-nation visit to Asia, also covering Japan, Republic of Korea, and Malaysia.