Departments/ProgramsThe Heller School for Social Policy and Management
DegreesNew York University, Ph.D.
ProfileDr. Arthur Holcombe was Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program and Resident Coordinator of UN Operational Activities in China during 1992-1998, initiating many programs and workshops to promote poverty reduction, employment, environmental protection, improved basic health and education and increased HIV/AIDS awareness. Prior to 1992, Dr. Holcombe served in other postings with UNDP: in Afghanistan (1975-79); Pakistan (1979); the South Pacific based in Fiji (1980-1984) and in the Sudan (1984-1985).
In 1998 Dr. Holcombe established the Tibet Poverty Alleviation Fund to promote Tibetan livelihoods and well being in rural areas of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. Main support included employable skills training, township and village enterprises development and rural micro lending. TPAF also helped to establish a local social enterprise promoting the improved design, marketing and sales of authentic Tibetan artisan products in China and the United States. In 2009, TPAF was relocated to two Tibetan townships in Shangri’la County of Yunnan Province and it launched a new five year program to demonstrate achievement of UN Millennium Development Goals stressing improved livelihoods and income and food security for poorest households. (See www.tpaf.org).
In 2010, the name of TPAF was changed to The Poverty Alleviation Fund to enable support to poor communities in other non-Tibetan areas of China and in other countries. The same year TPAF commenced support to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Sulafa Embroidery Project in Gaza. The main objectives of assistance are the increase from 250 to 500 the number of Palestinian women gainfully employed producing embroidery used in finished embroidered products sold locally and in the US, and the ability of Sulafa to operate as a profitable, self-reliant social enterprise.
Arthur Holcombe holds an A.B. from Harvard College (Government), an M.P.I.A. from the University of Pittsburgh (Economic and Social Development) and a Ph. D. from New York University (Economics).