Bhutan has achieved high rates of economic growth and poverty reduction by taking a holistic approach to development that includes the personal happiness of its citizens
Gem Lao-Araya is ADB’s first Country Director of Bhutan Resident Mission of South Asia Department, assumed position in February 2017. Gem leads the planning, implementation, and supervision of the Bhutan Resident Mission’s vision, goals, strategies and work plan. She is the focal person for external and internal relations, coordination, and consultation initiatives of ADB’s operations in Bhutan. Gem, a national of Thailand, has more than 20 years of professional experience working on development and economic issues across the Asia-Pacific Region. Gem’s 16 years of ADB’s experience covers diverse work programs ranging from research, strategy, policy reforms, and country programming across several countries in ADB’s South Asia, Southeast Asia, East Asia, and the Pacific. Gem holds Doctorate and Master's degrees in Economics from the Indiana University, USA.