Stanley Ann Dunham (November 29, 1942 – November 7, 1995), the mother of Barack Obama, was an American anthropologist who specialized in economic anthropology and rural development. Dunham was nicknamed Anna, later known as Dr. Stanley Ann Dunham Soetoro, and finally Ann Dunham Sutoro. Born in Kansas, Dunham spent her childhood in California, Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas and her teenage years in Mercer Island, Washington, and much of her adult life in Hawaii and Indonesia.
Dunham studied at the University of Hawaii and the East-West Center and attained a bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. in anthropology. Dunham's research focused on women's work in cottage industries on the island of Java and blacksmithing in Indonesia. To address the problem of poverty in rural villages, she created microcredit programs while working as a consultant for the United States Agency for International Development. Dunham was also employed by the Ford Foundation in Jakarta and she consulted with the Asian Development Bank in Pakistan. Towards the latter part of her life, she worked with Bank Rakyat Indonesia where she helped apply her research to the largest microfinance program in the world.
After her son assumed the presidency, interest renewed in Dunham's work: The University of Hawaii held a symposium about her research; an exhibition of Dunham's Indonesian batik textile collection toured the United States; and in December 2009, Duke University Press published Surviving against the Odds: Village Industry in Indonesia, a book based on Dunham's 1992 dissertation. Obama also credits his political views to his mother's lessons to him in his formative years.