Maureen Aung-Thwin is director of the Burma Project/Southeast Asia Initiative at the Open Society Foundations. Aung-Thwin, who was born in Burma, attended Northwestern University in Illinois and New York University.

She is on the Asia Advisory Board of Human Rights Watch and is a trustee of the Burma Studies Foundation, which oversees the Center for Burma Studies at Northern Illinois University. She has also worked as a freelance journalist based in Asia and as program staff of the Asia Society in New York.