Sheldon R. Severinghaus

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Biographical Details

"Sheldon R. Severinghaus received his MA ('64) in French literature and his Ph.D. (’77), both from Cornell University. He has spent most of his professional life in Asia. He taught English and French at Tunghai University in Taiwan. He then did field research on endangered pheasants in Taiwan and Pakistan. In 1979, he joined The Asia Foundation, a San Francisco-based nonprofit supporting development in seventeen countries in Asia. He was the Foundation’s representative in Taiwan from 1980 to 1988 and in Mongolia from 1990 to 1998, a program which he started. The Mongolian Liberal Women's Brain Pool (LEOS), one of the largest and most influential nongovernmental organizations in the country, presented him its first Man of the Year award. In 1996 he was awarded Mongolia’s Medal of Friendship by President Orchirbat for his support of Mongolia’s transition from communism to democracy. In 2003, he was awarded the Silver Star by the Mongolian Democratic Union for his "contribution to Mongolia's democracy, freedom and progressive development, as well as his outstanding support to consolidating democratic values in Mongolia." Severinghaus was affiliated with the Institute of East Asian Studies at University of California–Berkeley as a visiting scholar and is writing a book about Mongolia’s political transitions in the 1990s and Taiwan's environmental movement in the 1980s. In 1999, he and Professor Richard McNeil led a field trip to Mongolia for Cornell's Adult University program. The group was fortunate enough to find and excavate the fossil skeleton of a six-foot Protoceratops dinosaur in the Gobi Desert." [1]

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  1. Board, Golden Gate Friends of Mongolia, accessed December 19, 2010.