Dr. Andrew Wells-Dang leads the Vietnam War Legacies and Reconciliation Initiative at USIP and contributes to other projects on Southeast Asia. Dr. Wells-Dang joined USIP following over 15 years of experience with international nongovernmental organizations in Vietnam, including as Oxfam’s senior governance advisor and Catholic Relief Services’ country representative. He has also worked in China, Cambodia, and Laos. In these roles, he designed and led programs in education, disability rights, UXO/landmine risk reduction, environmental and health policy advocacy, and judicial reform with a range of Vietnamese governmental and non-state partners.

Dr. Wells-Dang's Washington experience includes his most recent role as deputy director for advocacy strategy and learning at CARE USA and Washington representative for the Fund for Reconciliation and Development. His research interests include U.S.-Vietnam relations, war legacies, land rights, civil society and governance. 

Dr. Wells-Dang holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Birmingham and a master’s in social change and development from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He is the author of Civil Society Networks in China and Vietnam (Palgrave Macmillan). He is fluent in Vietnamese and proficient in Mandarin, French, and German. 

Publications By Andrew

Is the Climate Crisis Leading to ‘Rupture’ in Southeast Asia’s Mekong?

Is the Climate Crisis Leading to ‘Rupture’ in Southeast Asia’s Mekong?

Thursday, December 15, 2022

By: Andrew Wells-Dang, Ph.D.

In natural environments and in human societies, pressure for change can build up gradually for years, then suddenly reach a point of no return. Living in the new “Anthropocene” era of climate crisis, people worldwide are increasingly aware of the linkages between ecological, social and political stability. Stress in one of these domains can contribute to a rupture in others. According to human geographer Sango Mahanty, such a rupture is “a dramatic episode of nature-society disruption that is adverse, intense, and ripples across scales” of space and time. In Southeast Asia, one of the most visible instances of rupture is the explosion of dam construction on the Mekong River and its tributaries.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

EnvironmentFragility & Resilience

Thời gian không còn nhiều cho nỗ lực tìm kiếm hài cốt sau chiến tranh

Thời gian không còn nhiều cho nỗ lực tìm kiếm hài cốt sau chiến tranh

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

By: TS. Vũ Hà Phương;  Andrew Wells-Dang, Ph.D.;  Chương trình Việt Nam;  Viện Hòa bình Hoa Kỳ

Trong khi Chiến tranh Việt Nam đã lùi xa gần 50 năm (1975-2025), các gia đình Việt vẫn tiếp tục khắc khoải tìm kiếm hài cốt thân nhân nằm xuống trong cuộc chiến. Nỗ lực tìm kiếm này không chỉ giúp khép lại quá khứ, mà còn đóng vai trò quan trọng trong thúc đẩy tiến trình hòa giải, khắc phục hậu quả chiến tranh, và đưa câu chuyện quan hệ Hoa Kỳ-Việt Nam trở thành một điển hình về tính thực tiễn và khả năng xây dựng hòa bình thời hậu chiến. Tuy nhiên, năm tháng đi qua và tạo thêm nhiều thách thức, việc tìm kiếm hài cốt ngày càng trở nên khó khăn.

Type: Blog

Reconciliation

Time is Running Out to Account for Vietnamese War Dead

Time is Running Out to Account for Vietnamese War Dead

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

By: Phuong Vu, Ph.D.;  Andrew Wells-Dang, Ph.D.

As the 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War approaches in 2025, Vietnamese families continue to search for the fallen. Finding these war remains not only helps provide closure, but is critical to furthering postwar reconciliation, addressing the war’s legacies and advancing the story of U.S.-Vietnam relations as an example of the practicality and possibility of peace after war.

Type: Blog

Reconciliation

Never Again? The Legacy of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge Trials

Never Again? The Legacy of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge Trials

Monday, October 3, 2022

By: Nicole Cochran;  Andrew Wells-Dang, Ph.D.

Between 1975 and 1979, the Khmer Rouge regime that ruled over Cambodia committed untold atrocities, with an estimated 1.5 to 2 million people dying of starvation, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. In mid-September, over 40 years after its reign of terror, the only formal accountability mechanism to prosecute the Khmer Rouge —the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) — issued the final decision of its judicial mandate. While the court's legacy is complex, it served an important platform for accountability and reparations for victims. As it moves to a new phase of residual functions over the next three years, the international community should prioritize supporting its work, which is vital to boosting peace and stability and protecting the rights of Cambodians.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

Clearing a Path for Peace in Vietnam

Clearing a Path for Peace in Vietnam

Thursday, June 16, 2022

By: Andrew Wells-Dang, Ph.D.

Once a symbol of Vietnam’s north-south division and the site of one of the 20th century’s bloodiest battles, Quang Tri province has quietly become an example of successful postwar reconstruction. Through a concerted effort led by provincial authorities, Quang Tri has reduced unexploded ordnance (UXO) casualties from thousands after the end of the Second Indochina War in 1975, and around 100 per year in the early 2000s, to nearly zero today.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Reconciliation

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