NEW YORK, September 26, 2006 - The Asia Society today announced the appointment of renowned China expert Orville Schell as the Arthur Ross Director of its new Center on U.S.-China Relations. The Center has been established thanks to a generous gift from founding sponsor and Asia Society Honorary Life Trustee Arthur Ross.
"I can think of few things more important for the Asia Society to do at this time than to establish a Center on U.S.-China Relations, and I cannot think of anybody who is better suited to lead this effort than Orville Schell," said Asia Society Chairman Richard C. Holbrooke, who, as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in 1978-79, oversaw the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China.
The author of fourteen books, nine of them on China, Schell is currently the Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and a frequent contributor to such publications as The New York Review of Books, TIME, Foreign Affairs, The New Yorker, and Harper's.
Born in New York, Schell is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Harvard University in Far Eastern History and was an exchange student at National Taiwan University in the 1960s. He did graduate work at the University of California, Berkeley, in Chinese History, worked for the Ford Foundation in Indonesia, and covered the war in Indochina as a journalist.
Schell has been the recipient of several writing fellowships from the Alicia Patterson Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University. He is also the winner of numerous awards, including the Harvard/Stanford Shorenstein Award for Asian Journalism, an Overseas Press Club Award, a Mencken Award for the Best Feature, and others.
The Center on U.S.-China Relations will conduct original research, distribute timely information on critical issues, educate the American and international public on U.S.-China-related issues, and comment on critical issues and current events. It will also engage key Chinese and American leaders in critical dialogue. It will be based in New York and work closely with Asia Society Centers around the world.
"The Asia Society is enormously grateful to Arthur Ross for making the establishment of the Center on U.S.-China Relations possible, and we are delighted that a leader of Orville Schell's stature will be joining us to spearhead this effort," said Asia Society President Vishakha N. Desai. "Establishing this Center represents the next phase of the Asia Society's involvement with U.S.-China relations and follows a long history of involvement with these issues beginning with the establishment of the China Council in 1975."
Commenting on his decision to found the Center, Arthur Ross noted, "At this particular point in history, it is critical that a Center be created to deal with one of the most important developments in the world today, the rise of China. It is my intention that the Center will study and promote this relationship on multiple levels and perspectives."
"Having worked my whole life in the China field, and having long believed in the importance of close relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China, I am extremely pleased to join the Asia Society and direct their Center on U.S.-China relations," said Orville Schell. "I share the vision and commitment of Arthur Ross to strengthen Sino-U.S. relations through the establishment of this Center. I also share his judgment that this is the most important bilateral relationship in the world today. I look forward to working with colleagues in the United States and China to address such critical issues of common concern as energy and the environment, education, and public policy."
Asia Society is the leading global organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States. We seek to enhance dialogue, encourage creative expression, and generate new ideas across the fields of policy, business, education, arts, and culture.
Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational institution with offices in Hong Kong, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Washington, D.C. On the web at www.asiasociety.org
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Contact: Deanna Lee or Elaine Merguerian, (212) 327-9271