Alejandro ReyesSenior Advisor
Visiting Associate Professor since 2007. He serves as a Senior Advisor to the US-Asia Institute in Washington, DC. In 2008, he was the Program Manager for Asia at the Clinton Global Initiative. From 2006-7, Al was a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council of the United States, a think tank in Washington, DC. In 2005-6, he was a Visiting Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University in New York, and in the year before was a Visiting Scholar at the Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, Athens, OH, in the U.S. In 2002, he was a Senior Policy Adviser to the Canadian Foreign Minister on G8 issues and foreign policy development, and was a member of the Canadian delegation to the G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting. From 1988 to 2001, Al worked as a journalist at Asiaweek, part of the Time Warner group, where he was the magazine's Southeast Asian Business Correspondent, Singapore and Hong Kong Bureau Chief, Senior Correspondent for Regional Affairs, and Editor-at-Large. Al has written for various publications including The Wall Street Journal and Forbes, and has appeared on CNN, CNBC and Al Jazeera as a commentator on Asian affairs. He has authored two books, including an investment guide to Asian markets. He edited a book on the SARS virus outbreak and another on banking in Asia that was written by McKinsey & Co. consultants, both published in 2003. He has completed a book on the movement against globalization. Al was educated at Harvard University and Oxford University. In 2000, Queens University of Charlotte, NC, awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for achievement in journalism and his support of international cultural exchange and education.
Anthony CordesmanSenior Advisor
Anthony H. Cordesman is a senior advisor to the US-Asia Institute. He holds the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at CSIS and acts as a national security analyst for ABC News. He is a recipient of the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal. During his time at CSIS, he has completed a wide variety of studies on energy, U.S. strategy and defense plans, the lessons of modern war, defense programming and budgeting, NATO modernization, Chinese military power, the lessons of modern warfare, proliferation, counterterrorism, armed nation building, the security of the Middle East, and the Afghan and Iraq conflicts. (Many of these studies can be downloaded from the Burke Chair section of the CSIS Web site at http://www.csis.org/program/burke-chair-strategy.) Cordesman has directed numerous CSIS study efforts on terrorism, energy, defense panning, modern conflicts, and the Middle East. He has traveled frequently to Afghanistan and Iraq to consult for MNF-I, ISAF, U.S. commands, and U.S. embassies on the wars in those countries, and he was a member of the Strategic Assessment Group that assisted General Stanley McChrystal in developing a new strategy for Afghanistan in 2009. He frequently acts as a consultant to the U.S. State Department, Defense Department, and intelligence community and has worked with U.S. officials on counteterrorism and security areas in a number of Middle East countries. Before joining CSIS, Cordesman served as director of intelligence assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and as civilian assistant to the deputy secretary of defense. He directed the analysis of the lessons of the October War for the secretary of defense in 1974, coordinating the U.S. military, intelligence, and civilian analysis of the conflict. He also served in numerous other government positions, including in the State Department and on NATO International Staff. In addition, he served as director of policy and planning for resource applications in the Energy Department and as national security assistant to Senator John McCain. He had numerous foreign assignments, including posts in the United Kingdom, Lebanon, Egypt, and Iran, as well as with NATO in Brussels and Paris. He has worked extensively in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. He is the author of a wide range of studies on energy policy, national security, and the Middle East, and his most recent publications include (CSIS, 2010), Iraq and the United States: Creating a Strategic Partnership (CSIS, 2010), Saudi Arabia: National Security in a Troubled Region (Praeger, 2009), Iranian Weapons of Mass Destruction: The Birth of a Regional Nuclear Arms Race? (Praeger, 2009), Withdrawal from Iraq: Assessing the Readiness of Iraqi Security Forces(CSIS, 2009), and Winning in Afghanistan: Creating Effective Afghan Security Forces (CSIS, 2009).
Bates GillSenior Advisor
Dr. Bates Gill is a Senior Advisor to the US-Asia Institute. He is currently director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Dr. Gill was the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. from 2002-2007. He previously served as a Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies and inaugural Director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution, D.C. Prior to that position, he directed East Asia programs at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute, Monterey, California and at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, and formerly held the Fei Yiming Chair in Comparative Politics at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Chinese and American Studies, Nanjing, China. A specialist in East Asian foreign policy and politics, his research focuses primarily on Northeast Asian political and security issues, especially with regard to China. His current projects include research on the divergence in strategic outlook which increasingly characterizes U.S.-China relations, on Chinese nuclear weapons modernization, and on the challenge of HIV/AIDS in China. He is the author of three books: Contrasting Visions: U.S., China, and World Order (Brookings Institution Press, forthcoming), China's Arms Acquisitions from Abroad: A Quest for "Superb and Secret Weapons" (Oxford University Press, 1995)(with Taeho Kim) and Chinese Arms Transfers (Praeger, 1992). He has also co-edited two other books entitled, Arms, Transparency, and Security in Southeast Asia (Oxford University Press, 1997) and Weathering the Storm: Taiwan, Its Neighbors, and the Asian Financial Crisis (Brookings Institution Press, 2000). He has recently published articles on the U.S.-China relationship in such journals as Foreign Affairs and National Interest, co-prepared a report on China's strategic rocket forces for the U.S. National Intelligence Council, and completed a major study on Chinese arms trade and export controls. Other recent works appear in Survival, Washington Post, Washington Times, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, China Quarterly and Far Eastern Economic Review. Among his professional affiliations, Dr. Gill serves on the Board of Directors of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the U.S.-China Policy Foundation, the American Association for Chinese Studies and the Feris Foundation of America. He is also on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Contemporary China and the Washington Journal of Modern China. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute of Strategic Studies and an Overseas Research Fellow with the Korean Institute for Defense Analyses, Seoul, Korea. Dr. Gill received his Ph.D. in Foreign Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson Department of Government and Foreign Affairs, University of Virginia, USA. He has lived more than two years in China and Taiwan, and more than five years in Europe (France, Sweden, Switzerland). A frequent visitor to East Asia, Dr. Gill speaks, reads, and writes in Chinese, English, and French. He and his wife, Dr. Sarah Palmer, a virologist, reside in Maryland.
Benjamin WuVice Chairman
Ben Wu is Vice Chairman of the US-Asia Institute, a position he has held since January 2011. He concurrently serves as the Assistant Secretary of Business and Economic Development and Senior Advisor for Technology Policy for the State of Maryland. His primary responsibilities include advancing technology-led economic growth within Maryland's High Technology Corridor focusing on the development of life sciences and emerging technologies. He came to Maryland during former Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.'s Administration and was asked to remain in the Administration of current Governor Martin O'Malley. Ben serves as the highest-ranking Asian American Administration official in the State of Maryland. Previously, Ben was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve in the first and second terms of his Administration. He served as the U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology and as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy. Prior to joining the Bush Administration, Ben held senior staff positions in the U.S. Congress for 13 years on the House Science Committee's subcommittee with jurisdiction over the nation's technology and competitiveness policy, as well as Counsel to Congresswoman Constance A. Morella of Maryland. Ben received his Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in both Politics and Metropolitan Studies from New York University, and his Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh.
Claire CororatonStaff Assistant
Claire Cororaton is a Program Assistant at the US-Asia Institute. She graduated in May 2012 at the University of Virginia with double-major in History (Honors) and Global Development Studies. At UVA, she led service and development projects at Charlottesville, Philippines and Mongolia. After graduation, she worked as an investigative assistant at the Georgetown Law Center for Criminal Justice, Juvenile Justice and Prisoner Advocacy. Claire grew up in the Philippines and now wishes to gain additional experience in international affairs and Asian studies through the US-Asia Institute.
David LewTrustee & Treasurer
Mr. David C. Lew is a Trustee with the US-Asia Institute. Mr. Lew is a vice president in the private wealth management division of Morgan Stanley, responsible for advising large international families and small institutions on their investment portfolios. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley in 2002, Mr. Lew was a senior investment advisor at Barclays Bank. He worked at Citibank from 1985-1999. Mr. Lew holds an MBA in finance from Fordham University and a B.A. from New York University.
Esther G. KeeCo-Founder, President Emeritus
Esther G. Kee is a co-founder, trustee and president emeritus of the US-Asia Institute. Mrs. Kee has a long history of community, political and international service and leadership. With the late Joji Konoshima, Mrs. Kee participated in the official White House ceremonies welcoming Deng Xiao Ping on his historic visit to the United States. Additionally, she coordinated his trip throughout the United States, and accompanied the delegation to the U.S. cities. More recently, she was a guest at the White House welcoming ceremony and luncheon honoring Chinese President Hu Jintao on his visit to the United States. In 1979, Mrs. Kee and Mr. Konoshima founded the US-Asia Institute to work more closely with Asian nations and to open an informal dialogue between government and private sector leaders with these countries, especially China. In the mid-1980s, Mrs. Kee worked with the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs to establish the Congressional staff delegations to the People's Republic of China. To date, 77 of these trips have been organized to China, 11 to Japan and 10 to ASEAN. Mrs. Kee has been active in a variety of community activities in New York City including the Chinatown Planning Council, the Chinatown YMCA, the YMCA Camp Council of Greater New York and other civic organizations. She has served on the Presidential Ambassadorial Selection Board, the Selection Board of the State Department, the Advisory Board for Channel 13, the Board of Directors of the Community Service Society of New York and the Executive Committee for the Democratic National Committee. She has raised millions of dollars for local, state and national organizations, candidates and causes. She organized the Asian/Pacific American Women's delegation to the International Women's Year conference in Houston, Texas and is active in numerous Asian American and women's groups.
Glenn Lau KeeTrustee & Secretary
Glenn Lau-Kee is a trustee of the US-Asia Institute. He was a founding trustee of the Institute and served for several years during the developmental stages of the organization. He rejoined the Board in 2009. Mr. Lau-Kee is a partner at Kee & Lau-Kee, LLP. Previously, Mr. Lau-Kee was a partner in the law firm of Koo Larrabee Lau-Kee & Lane LLP in White Plains, and was an associate in the Hong Kong and New York offices of the late international law firm of Coudert Brothers. He serves as a member-at-large of the Executive Committee of the New York State Bar Association. In addition to the state bar, where he is a member of its policymaking body, the House of Delegates, he is a Co-Chair of the Membership Committee, and a member of the Finance Committee. Lau-Kee serves on the boards of directors of The New York Bar Foundation and the Fund for Modern Courts. He also serves as a Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Greater New York and was named the YMCA of Greater New York’s 2008 Volunteer of the Year. As a member-at-large of the Association’s Board of Directors, Lau-Kee serves as a member of the Executive, Finance (past Chair) and Investment Committees, and he chairs the Audit Committee. He has been active in a number of organizations including: the Asian American Bar Association of New York where he was president (1997-99); the New York County Lawyers’ Association where he served on its board of directors (2001-2004) and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, where he was a member of its Civil Rights Committee. He also served as a member of the New York State Judicial Screening Panel for the First Department. Former New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye appointed him to serve on the Committee to Promote Public Trust and Confidence in the Legal System, and on the Committee to Examine Solo and Small Firm Practice. He has served on the Board of Directors of Legal Services for New York City. For seven years Lau-Kee was a commissioner on the New York City Human Rights Commission (1984-90), a fellow of the David Rockefeller Fellows Program of the New York City Partnership (1996-97), and treasurer of the Network of Bar Leaders (1999-2000). Lau-Kee received his undergraduate degree from Yale University (1971), and earned his law degree from Boston University School of Law (1974). In his practice he provides counsel on commercial and corporate law, real estate, and bank financing transactions.
J. Matthew SzymanskiSenior Advisor
J. Matthew Szymanski is a senior advisor to the US-Asia Institute. Since 2007, he has been vice president for corporate relations at Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) in Shanghai, China. Previously, Mr. Szymanski practiced law and served in government in the Washington, D.C. area for 17 years. From 2002-2007, he served the U.S. Congress as chief of staff for both the House Small Business Committee and the U.S.-China Interparliamentary Exchange. In the latter role, he helped manage U.S.-China relations by organizing 20 U.S. delegations to China and hosting many Chinese delegations in the United States. At SMIC, Mr. Szymanski continues to promote U.S.-China relations through regular hosting of U.S. and Chinese delegations. In his spare time, he lectures on U.S.-China law and relations at East China University of Political Science and Law, Jiaotong University, Fudan University, and Peking University School of Transnational Law. From 2009-2011, he served as an adjunct professor for Council on International Educational Exchange, teaching international business law to American undergraduates studying abroad at East China Normal University. In 2008, Mr. Szymanski established the US-Asia Institute Szymanski Rule of Law Program, which hosts small groups of his Chinese law students in Washington, D.C. To date, 19 students have attended 491 scheduled events and met 573 American hosts, including 35 senators, 41 representatives, 284 congressional staff, 79 administration officials, 18 judges, 5 court staff, and 111 private sector participants. Mr. Szymanski arranged the meeting schedules and accompanied the students whenever possible. He also has been developing a separate lawyer exchange program with a Shanghai district government. In 2010, Mr. Szymanski received Shanghai’s Leading Professional award. He lives with his family on SMIC’s Shanghai campus and has visited every province-level region of China.
Joji KonoshimaCo-Founder, President Emeritus
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Mr. Konoshima's family immigrated to the United States when he was six years old. He was a student at the University of California - Berkeley, when he and his family were relocated to the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming during World War II. After the war, he received a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1953, and a MA in Education from New York University in 1960. In 1976, he became the New York labor coordinator for the Presidential campaign of Jimmy Carter, and went on to join the national Carter-Mondale campaign as labor liaison. After the election, Mr. Konoshima became the National Director of the Asian Pacific Affairs Unit of the Democratic National Committee. He accompanied Vice President Walter Mondale to Japan, and traveled to Japan and Korea with President Carter. He played a key role in the historic visit of Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping to the United States in 1978, traveling with him to New York, Houston and San Francisco. In 1979, Mr. Konoshima co-founded, with his colleague Esther Kee, the U.S.-Asia Institute. During his tenure as President of the U.S.-Asia Institute, Mr. Konoshima personally escorted Members of Congress on visits to the People's Republic of China, as well as Congressional staff delegations. Mr. Konoshima led more than 85 Congressional staff and trade delegations to China, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Brunei. He also hosted seven international conferences in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State, and a multitude of briefings on issues of interest and concern to the U.S. and East Asian nations. Mr. Konoshima was an advisor to political, business and diplomatic leaders on both sides of the Pacific. Joji Konoshima passed away on September 17, 2003. The Konoshima Family established the Joji Konoshima Memorial Fund to continue his legacy with the US-Asia Institute.
Ms. Julie Chon is Global Head of Public Investment Strategy at Perry Capital. She is also a senior fellow with the Global Business and Economics Program at the Atlantic Council. She was senior policy advisor on the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs from 2007-2011, crafting historic U.S. policies to stabilize the financial system. Her extensive work included negotiations to enact laws governing the mortgage market/government-sponsored enterprises, TARP, IMF funding, exchange rates, sovereign fund investments, and financial regulation (Dodd-Frank Act). She advised on delegation visits with European and Asian leaders and high-profile hearings throughout the crisis, including Federal Reserve monetary policy hearings. Chon served on the Treasury team for the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Project and advised on budget issues for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee. Prior to her service in Washington, Ms. Chon worked for Citigroup/Salomon Brothers in London and JP Morgan/Chase in New York focusing on sovereign debt issuers. She was also a member of the Board of Trustees at Cornell University. Ms. Chon, who speaks French and Korean, contributes her expertise on these financial issues to analysis and events at the Atlantic Council. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the European Institute Steering Committee on Financial Governance. Ms. Chon presents regularly at forums organized by governments, industry, universities, and think tanks.
Kaytaro G. SugaharaChairman Emeritus & Trustee Em
US-Asia Institute Trustee and Chairman Emeritus Kaytaro G. Sugahara (K.G.) graduated from California Institute of Technology in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. He worked for the Douglas Aircraft Corporation in their Missiles and Space System Division until 1966 when he joined Fairfield-Maxwell Ltd as Vice President of their newly formed Marine Division. Mr. Sugahara was promoted to Senior Vice president in 1970, to Executive Vice President in 1975, and became President in June of 1979. During the time K.G. has been with the company, Fairfield-Maxwell, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2007, expanded its worldwide presence in both the shipping and geophysical industries. Fairfield's shipping business started with crude oil tankers, its crude fleet expanding to over two million tons deadweight. Through its subsidiaries, Fairfield has been in the refrigerated and bulk cargo businesses and currently is a major player in the chemical tanker business as well as a long-term carrier for Toyota Motors. K.G. also sits on the Board of Fairfield industries, the largest and oldest wholly American owned company in the geophysical industry. Fairfield Industries gathers seismic data using its self-designed and manufactured equipment, processes this data in its advanced computer facility and now dominates the shallow water Gulf of Maxico market. K.G. is a member of the State Department Far Eastern Advisory Committee, a Trustee of the US-Asia Institute, and a member of the President's Council of the California Institute of Technology. He is also Chairman of the Board of Hexagon Curling International which was the sponsor of the World Curling Championships. K.G. is also the oldest member of the Sugahara Clan started by his father, Kay Sugahara. Kay Sugahara was an early supporter of the US-Asia Institute and Chairman of the Institute's Board of Trustees from 1981 until 1988. Kay Sugahara led the Institute's first trade mission to the People's Republic of China in September of 1981 and put into place many innovative programs that increased understanding between the U.S. and Asia. Kay Sugahara's son, Kaytaro G. Sugara, and granddaughter, Lisabeth Sugahara, continue the family tradition into the third generation as trustees at the US-Asia Institute.
Kent LuckenPresident and Trustee
Mr. Lucken became a Trustee of the US-Asia Institute in 2004 and was elected President of the Institute in 2011. Mr. Lucken is a Managing Director of the Citi Private Bank in Boston, responsible for providing global wealth management services to international entrepreneurs and large privately owned companies. Mr. Lucken also oversees Citi Private Bank’s North American Financial Sponsor practice, which encompasses the firm’s relationships with leading private equity firms and their principals. Prior to joining Citi, Mr. Lucken worked at Robertson Stephens Investment Bank. He also served 14 years as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, completing diplomatic assignments at the U.S. Embassies in Italy, Russia, Georgia, Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia. He holds a master's degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School and completed his undergraduate studies at Iowa State University. Mr. Lucken is an Overseer at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art and serves on boards at Harvard Kennedy School’s Deans Alumni Leadership Council, Iowa State University’s Liberal Arts and Sciences College, and Tufts University’s Institute for Global Leadership. He has represented the U.S. as an international election observer at the national elections in the Republic of Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. Mr. Lucken has spoken on international affairs at Harvard, on National Public Radio and in the New York Times and the Boston Globe.
Lisabeth Sugahara is Vice President of Communications at Fairfield-Maxwell, Ltd. (FML), an international shipping and oil services company based in New York, NY. The company has offices in Japan and Vietnam, and does significant trade in East and Southeast Asia. Prior to joining FML, she was a communications consultant at an insurance brokerage firm working with Fortune 100 clients. Lisabeth has a long interest in Asian economies. Her MBA studies at Thunderbird, the Garvin Graduate School of International Management, focused on Asian business environments and global development; she is also a student of Mandarin Chinese. The Sugahara family has been associated with the US-Asia Institute almost since its inception. Lisabeth is pleased to continue this tradition as a Trustee of the US-Asia Institute.
Marlon Young is Chief Executive Officer for HSBC Private Bank, Americas. In this role, he is responsible for management growth of the Private Bank’s businesses in the United States, Mexico, Central and South America. Young began his career with HSBC in 2006 as head of the company’s U.S. private banking operation and was appointed to his present role in September of the same year. He is a member of the HSBC Bank USA Executive Committee, and the HSBC Global Private Bank Management Committee. He joined HSBC after 27 years at Citigroup where he was Head of Private Client Lending at its Smith Barney division. While there, he held various leadership roles including Head of the Northeast Region for Citigroup Private Bank, Head of Investment Finance and Senior Credit Officer for the U.S. Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. His international banking experience encompasses assignments in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore & Thailand. Young also has extensive corporate banking experience covering the commercial real estate, automotive and energy industries. Young has received numerous awards due to his dedication and volunteer work including the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award. He is an active volunteer in Junior Achievement and the Doe Fund. He is frequently invited to speak on diversity and leadership by not-for-profit institutions; including, the Asia Society, the International Leadership Foundation (ILF) and Ascend. He also serves as Chairman and Trustee of the US Asia Institute since November 2003. He holds a master’s degree in business management from the Asian Institute of Management in Manila, Philippines, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Dakota.
Mary HowardStaff Assistant
Mary Howard is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Asian Studies at The George Washington University. Before arriving in Washington, Mary spent two years in South Korea teaching high school students through a Fulbright grant. Asia has always been a part of Mary’s life since she spent much of her childhood abroad in the region. As a program assistant for US-Asia Institute, Mary hopes to prepare herself better for an international career.
Mary PurdySenior Advisor
Mary Purdy serves as Senior Advisor to the US-Asia Institute. She is an Associate of Booz Allen Hamilton and a consultant to the Department of the Navy on workforce planning and strategy development. Before joining Booz Allen, Ms. Purdy served as a career Navy officer. She has experience in manpower and personnel, anti-submarine warfare, operations, and joint warfighting, and has worked extensively with the Joint Staff, unified commands, and other government agencies. As a Senior Military Fellow at the National Defense University, she developed and conducted political military simulations for the Flag and General Officer CAPSTONE course. At the U.S. Naval Academy she oversaw the daily military and academic development of Midshipmen, and authored several major regulation manuals-affecting all aspects of student development for the Brigade of Midshipmen. Mrs. Purdy received a B.A. degree in Psychology (with honors), Northwest Missouri State University; and a M.A. in Human Resources, Webster University.
Mary Sue BissellTrustee, VP & Exec. Dir.
Mary Sue Bissell is Vice President and Executive Director of the US-Asia Institute. She is also a member of the Institute's Board of Trustees. Ms. Bissell came to the US-Asia Institute in 1979. She worked with co-founders Esther G. Kee and Joji Konoshima as Director of Programs and Publications from 1979-84, and from 1987-90 as Executive Director. While at the Institute, Ms. Bissell planned and implemented international conferences in Washington, D.C., the People's Republic of China, the Philippines and Japan on topics such as international trade, security and telecommunications. She also coordinated government-to-government activities with Pacific-rim nations, including international exchanges with China, Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Ms. Bissell coordinated Congressional staff trips to China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, and organized policy dialogues on issues of concern to the U.S. and Asia. She edited conference proceedings from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th National Leadership Conferences, and a publication on U.S. immigration policy toward Asia. She also provided oversight to the U.S.-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange for 2.5 years. Ms. Bissell has over 30 years of experience in nonprofit management, conference planning, volunteer coordination, grant-writing, editing, strategic planning, marketing, education and fundraising. She has successfully directed the largest in-school opera education program in the U.S., reaching over 300,000 students each year; planned/implemented marketing strategy for one of the United States' top ten aquariums; directed a regional voting project for youth; served as press officer and public relations manager for U.S. Army concerns in Hawaii; worked as a program assistant for the Asian Affairs Unit of a national political party, writing the U.S.-Asia section of the foreign policy plank of the 1980 party platform; and served in the field office of South Dakota Senator George McGovern. She has received numerous local, state and national awards and recognition for writing, public speaking and community service. Ms. Bissell is a graduate of the University of South Dakota. She is married with two daughters.
Matt SteylProgram Assistant
Matt is a program assistant at the US-Asia Institute. He is currently attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and plans to graduate in 2014 with majors in Global Studies and Political Science, and a minor in Chinese. In 2012 he lived and studied in Beijing, China, and worked there as an intern for a local NGO which helped to organize community governments in China.
Michael LaiSenior Advisor
W. Michael Lai is Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and Orthpaedic Bioengineering at Columbia University. He received his Ph.D in Engineering Mechanics in 1962 from the University of Michigan. Between 1962 and 1986, he was a faculty member in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He joined the Columbia faculty in 1987 with a joint appointment between the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Orthopedic Surgery. He served as Chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department from 1996 to 2002 and became Professor Emeritus in 2004. His research field has been in Orthopaedic Bioengineering with a special interest in soft tissue mechanics. Many of his publications have been in the constitutive modeling of articular cartilage for which he received the ASME Melville Medal in 1982 and the ASME Lissner Medal in 2001. The triphasic model considers the tissue as consisting of three phases: a solid phase, a fluid phase and an ionic phase with two ionic species. The model has been used to study the mechanical and the electromechanical behavior of the tissue including the signal transduction problems in chondrocytes . He is a Fellow of ASME and a founding Fellow of the American Institute for Biomedical and Biological Engineering (1995). At Columbia, he has received a Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award from the Columbia Engineering School Alumni Association (2000).
Nancy TomTrustee Emeritus
In 1997, Nancy Tom founded the Center for Asian Arts and Media at Columbia College in Chicago in order to highlight the contributions of Asian Americans to America's culture and history. Nancy has dedicated her life to promoting awareness of Asian American issues, art and cultures. She is also committed to philanthropic activities and supporting other Asians in the arts. After the death of her husband in the early 80s, she founded the Chan Tom Memorial Fund Foundation. In 2001, Nancy established the Helen Fong Dare Scholarship for Columbia College students, in honor of her mother. Nancy is a long time crusader for social justice and an advocate for the arts. She is a trustee of Columbia College Chicago, a board member of the Illinois Humanities Council, a member of four Cultural Committees of the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs: Public Art, International Sister Cities, Multicultural Voices, and the International Program. In addition, she has served as a member of the Asian Advisory Council to former Governor George Ryan, the Council on Foreign Relations, Asia Society Committee, the Art Institute of Chicago's Education Department and on the advisory board of many nonprofit Asian organizations. In the 1980s, she served as a director and advisory committee member of the U.S. Asia Institute and organized the first National Asian American Conference Gala in Washington D.C. Then-President Jimmy Carter served as keynote speaker. Nancy has received numerous awards and honors for her community work in Chicago. In 1997, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Organization of Chinese Americans-Chicago. The OCA once again honored her in 2004 with the Woman Risk Taker and Enabler Award. In 1998, she was chosen by Today's Chicago Woman as one of the "100 Women Making a Difference." In 2003 she received a milestone award from the Asian American Institute. She is a grant recipient of the Chicago Artists International Program in 1999. She has spoken at numerous conferences, symposiums and panel discussions hosted by organizations such as the U.S.-Asia Institute, the U.S. Army, the NSFRE Arts and Humanities Network, and the International Women's Associates. Most recently, she was the Keynote Speaker at the Working Mother Media's annual women of color conference and a selection panelist for the 2005 Thomas Jefferson Awards. Nancy's early passion for painting developed into an interest in collecting artwork, particularly "outsider" art. She is an independent curator and has handled special arts events for the City of Chicago and various Asian-American organizations.
Nick HallProgram Coordinator
Nick is the program coordinator at the US-Asia Institute. He graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a B.A. in English Literature and focused on British Literature. At UMW Nick was president of the school's Model United Nations Club. As a program assistant at the Institute Nick helped to create the Leadership in Transition series and planned several of the briefings. He is currently managing logistics for the China 101 briefing series for Congressional Staff.
Norman Lau KeeTrustee & Chairman Emeritus
Born in New York City in 1927, Mr. Norman Lau Kee is one of the founding trustees and former chairman of the US-Asia Institute. He earned a B.S in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1948 and a J.D. from Fordham University in 1955. Mr. Kee is senior partner in Kee and Lau Kee, LLP law firm. The firm represents HSBC, Citibank, Chase Manhattan, and Bank of New York in commercial mortgages, home equity loans, and co-op loan documentation and closings. Mr. Kee also specializes in commercial and residential property transactions, estate administration, as well as immigration matters. Norman Lau Kee is Vice-President of the Elizabeth Broome Realty Corporation, a New York City-based real estate development firm. He is also the Vice President of another real estate development firm, Tai Ming Development Corporation. Mr. Kee is the President and CEO of the New York-based Capital Investors and Management Corporation, a minority small business investment company. From 1969 to 1973 he served as a commissioner on the New York City Human Rights Commission, and he was also Chairman of the Federal Advisory Commission to the Immigration and Naturalization Service from 1979 to 1980. He is a Life Member of the YMCA and recipient of the Order of the Red Triangle, an accolade bestowed on him by the Greater New York City YMCA. He is an active member of many New York City Chinatown community organizations.
Robert JordanSenior Advisor, VP, Int'l & Go
Robert F. Jordan was born and raised in Framingham, Massachusetts. He served overseas in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1947 and then attended the University of Massachusetts, graduating in 1951. From 1951 to 1956 he was a high school teacher of Algebra and Spanish. He also attended Boston College Graduate School and the University of Mexico in Mexico City. In 1956 he started a 36-year diplomatic career with the U.S. Information Agency, serving as the Public Affairs Officer and director of the United States Information Service in 11 countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America with responsibility for all U.S. government press and cultural exchange programs. He learned four foreign languages. He was president of the Fulbright Commission in several countries and was also president of the Government of Ireland's scholarship board. While on a Washington tour he was assigned to USIA's inspection corps and conducted policy and public diplomacy inspections of American embassies in some 40 countries worldwide. He is the recipient of several meritorious and superior honor awards and performance pay awards from USIA, the Department of Defense and the Department of State. He also received the Order of Merit from the Government of Portugal. He was chosen several times to organize press facilities for the White House Press Corps for overseas visits of U.S. presidents. Following retirement in 1992 he was called back by both USIA and the Department of State to conduct policy inspections of some 20 embassies worldwide. In 1994-95 he was a senior advisor to the US-Asia Institute where he prepared a brochure on the Institute's history and also accompanied congressional staff delegations to China and Singapore. From 1995 to 2001 he worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency handling the Spanish-speaking media on disasters around the country.
Sumiye KonoshimaTrustee Emeritus
Sumiye Konoshima is a Trustee for the US-Asia Institute, and sister of the Institute's co-founder, the late Joji Konoshima. Ms. Konoshima retired from the East-West Center as Head of Research Information Service after 35 years. While at the East-West Center, she planned, organized and conducted workshops, training programs, conferences and projects on documentation, information dissemination/use with domestic and international organizations in Asia and the U.S. Program. Project subject areas included mass media, communication, telecommunication, information technology, rural/community economic development, population, education.
Xiaocheng ZangProgram Assistant
Xiaocheng Zang is a program assistant at the US-Asia Institute. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in International Affairs at the American University., Xiaocheng studied Korean language and literature as her major at the Beijing International Studies University, and in 2010 she went to the Kyung Hee University as an exchange student. In the summer of 2012, Xiaocheng interned at the ASEAN-U.S. Technical Assistance and Training Facility in Jakarta, Indonesia. With a passion for Asian affairs, Xiaocheng wants to gain practical experience at the US-Asia Institute.