The Foundation LeidenAsiaCentre was officially launched in January 2016. The centre was created through a million-dollar legacy based on the belief that the Dutch population needed to grow a more comprehensive awareness of, and desire to engage in, Asia. The objective was to strengthen understanding of the importance of Asia and its impact on the Netherland’s future.
In 2014 the Foundation Modern East Asia Research Centre (MEARC) received a grant through the Leiden University Fund. The grant originated from the Vaes-Elias Fund. The board and directors of the centre decided to use these funds to put MEARC on a completely new footing including a change of governance structure as well as a change of name.
Following the advice of the Supervisory Council, the LeidenAsiaCentre revised its structure in 2018. The former board of three directors, consisting of Prof. Dr Frank Pieke (executive director), Prof. Dr Katarzyna Cwiertka (director), and Prof. Dr. Remco Breuker (director), was replaced by single leadership. As of November 2018, Dr Florian Schneider is taking on this role.
The LeidenAsiaCentre and its Supervisory Council is grateful for the commitment and expertise that the founding directors Prof. Pieke, Prof. Cwiertka, and Prof. Breuker brought to the centre