Rafael Frankel is a highly experienced and trained Asia expert bringing more than 15 years of international experience spanning 45 countries and six continents. He is a talented writer and researcher with a strong capacity to synthesize large amounts of information and communicate key points effectively. Rafi has worked as a journalist, international development consultant and researcher. Prior to his role as vice president, he served as a senior director for BGA for three and a half years, supporting clients in their work around the Asia-Pacific, with a focus on Southeast Asia. His expertise covers both Asia and the Middle East. In addition to his role at BGA, Rafi teaches a course on the Middle East at Georgetown University.
Rafi was a foreign correspondent for nine years, living and working in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South America. He reported for leading media outlets including MSNBC, The Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Atlantic online and The San Francisco Chronicle. In 2004, Rafi became one of a handful of Americans to navigate the length of the Mekong River, from its mouth in southern Vietnam to its source in Tibet. After his journalism career, Rafi led field efforts as senior project coordinator for Georgetown University Medical Center to develop a medical education program in the Palestinian Territories. He also served as a fellow at the House Foreign Affairs Committee in the U.S. Congress.
Rafi earned his Ph.D. (international relations) and master’s degree (foreign service) from Georgetown University and his bachelor’s degree (economics and journalism) from the University of California Santa Cruz. He speaks fluent Hebrew, as well as conversational Thai and Spanish.