American Friends of Asian Rural Institute (AFARI) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization registered in Connecticut. We welcome your donations in support of the Asian Rural Institute’s efforts to nurture and train rural leaders at the grassroots of Asia, Africa and the Pacific.


J.B. Hoover, Executive Director.

J.B. was born in Kentucky, the land where many people use initials to identify themselves. He left the Bluegrass state, via the Hoosier state (Earlham College in Richmond, IN) to accept a fellowship at KEEP in the middle of rural Japan. He spent six months struggling with Japanese, followed by six months in Tokyo studying it, which is probably not the preferred order. Far east winds blew him back and forth from Japan to the Philippines, where he eventually settled for four years working with Indochinese refugees from the Vietnam War. After four years of graduate school back in the U.S., he had enough eclectic experiences to qualify to be an ARI staff member. For eleven years, J.B. and his family thrived at ARI. Moving back to the U.S. coincided with AFARI looking for a part-time staff member. J.B. said he would help out for a couple of years, which was in 2006. Although AFARI may feel stuck with him, J.B. wouldn’t have it any other way as he “feels honored and humbled to work with such an amazing group of people as ARI supporters.”

Dave Coatsworth, Administrative Associate


Board Members from ARI


  • Tomoko Arakawa, Nasushiobara, Japan. Ex Officio, ARI Director
  •  Kathy Froede, Nasushiobara, Japan. Ex Officio member, Ecumenical Relations ARI