Responsive Grants

Luce Initiative on Asian
    Studies and the
    Environment (LIASE)

LIASE Grants
LIASE Conference
LIASE News and Resources

Recent Grants
Selected Project Profiles


The Luce Foundation's Asia Program pursues two interrelated goals. One is fostering cultural and intellectual exchange between the United States and the countries of East and Southeast Asia. The second is creating scholarly and public resources for improved understanding of Asia in the United States.

The Asia Program includes two categories of grantmaking: Asia Responsive Grants and Special Initiatives. The Luce Scholars Program, which provides fellowships for professional internships in Asia for young American leaders, is administered as a separate program.

Asia Responsive Grants

Asia Responsive Grants, periodically approved by the Foundation's board, respond to needs in the field of Asian studies identified by scholars and institutions. Funding is limited to programs and projects concerning the countries and cultures of Northeast and Southeast Asia. The Foundation's guidelines and resources do not allow inclusion of South or Central Asia.

Special Initiatives

The Foundation also funds special competitive initiatives on specific issues relevant to the study of Asia.

The Foundation is pleased to announce the most recent such initiative, the Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment (LIASE), approved by the Foundation’s Directors in November 2010. LIASE is a competition for invited liberal arts colleges and liberal arts college consortia in the United States. LIASE aspires to encourage innovative approaches to Asian studies teaching and research at the undergraduate level through the lens of the environment and sustainable development.

Other special initiatives have included the Luce Initiative on East and Southeast Asian Archaeology and Early History, a five-year initiative which supported the creation of ten new faculty positions, collaborative research and individual fellowships; the Luce Fund for Asian Studies (1999-2002), which supported the creation of 38 new faculty positions at American liberal arts colleges; the United States-China Cooperative Research Program (1988-98); and the Luce Fund for Southeast Asian Studies (1987-94).

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Program Director: Ms. Helena KolendaPrior to this appointment in 2008, she served for a decade as program officer for the Foundation’s Asia Program. Ms. Kolenda holds a BA in Chinese Language and Literature from the University of California, Berkeley (1980) and a JD from the University of Texas School of Law (1989). Between 1981 and 1996, she spent ten years in China, working first as an English teacher with Volunteers in Asia and later as an attorney with the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and a trustee of the Harvard-Yenching Institute and the Lingnan Foundation.

Program Officer: Mr. Li Ling
Ling has directed the Foundation’s Luce Scholars Program since 2009 and concurrently serves as the program officer for the Asia Program. Previously, Ling served as the director of transnational initiatives at the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and practiced law at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, both in New York. He also worked for the intergovernmental International Organization for Migration as a program officer in its Geneva Headquarters and in its Washington, D.C. and Vienna Missions. Ling is a native of Wuhan, China, and studied at the Institute of International Relations in Beijing from 1988-1991. He received his B.A. in comparative literature from Brigham Young University and has an M.A. in international relations from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School and a J.D. from Columbia University Law School.

Program Assistant: Ms. Louie Anne Batac
Louie Anne is originally from the Philippines, but growing up in a military family, has lived and worked mostly in Okinawa, Japan, and in the Midwestern region of the U.S. She holds a B.A. in International Political Economy from Carthage College and a graduate certificate in Human Resources from the University of Maryland University College, and is a certified TEFL instructor. She has extensive experience in business operations and program development, ranging from public works support and global higher education administration to consulting for small businesses and start-ups. Louie Anne enjoys involvement in community-building initiatives and activities that promote cross-cultural dialogue. She joined the Foundation in September of 2015.

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