Asia Society 2013 Washington Awards Dinner To Honor:
Thomas Donilon, National Security Advisor to President Obama
Zhang Yesui, Executive Vice Foreign Minister, People’s Republic of China
Contact: AsiaDC@AsiaSociety.org; 202.833.ASIA
Washington D.C., June 10, 2013—Asia Society is pleased to announce its 2013 Washington Awards Dinner, which on June 12 will honor National Security Advisor to President Obama Tom Donilon, Executive Vice Foreign Minister for the People’s Republic of China Zhang Yesui, and Marriott International, for making significant contributions to the expanding engagement between the United States and Asian nations. Asia Society will also introduce Josette Sheeran as the Society’s new President and CEO.
National Security Advisor Tom Donilon will receive the Asia Society’s Policy Achievement Award for his efforts to deepen relations between the United States and Asia. Ambassador Zhang will receive the Diplomatic Achievement Award for his work to improve relations between the U.S. and China. Ambassador Zhang’s award will be received on his behalf by China’s Ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai. Marriott International will receive the Society’s Global Business Leadership Award for its business growth and contributions to social good. Arne M. Sorenson, Marriott International President and CEO, will accept the award.
The dinner will also feature remarks by Dinner Chair James E. Rogers, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Duke Energy, and Asia Society Co-Chairs Henrietta H. Fore and Ronnie C. Chan. Distinguished guests will include ambassadors from Asian and other countries, members of Congress and key staff, senior officials from the U.S. government, and prominent global business leaders to celebrate great successes and discuss new directions leading toward even deeper U.S.-Asia cooperation.
Asia Society’s Washington Awards Dinner is the Society’s the most prestigious annual event in the nation’s capital devoted to the growing relationship between the United States and Asia in the areas of policy, arts and culture, and business. Previous recipients include Hillary Clinton, Chuck Hagel, Henry Paulson and Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore.
The dinner will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel, 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, with a reception at 6pm and dinner at 7pm. For more information or to inquire about attending: www.AsiaSociety.org/DCDinner; AsiaDC@AsiaSociety.org; 202.833.2742.
Tom Donilon is the President’s National Security Advisor. He oversees the National Security Council Staff, chairs the Cabinet level National Security Principals Committee, provides the President’s daily national security briefing, and is responsible for the coordination and integration of the Administration’s foreign policy, intelligence and military efforts. Mr. Donilon previously served as Assistant to the President and Principal Deputy National Security Advisor. In that role he was responsible for managing the U.S. Government’s national security policy development and crisis management process. Mr. Donilon chaired the Obama-Biden transition at the U.S. Department of State. During the 2008 campaign, Mr. Donilon headed President Obama’s general election debate preparation effort. Prior to his government service, Mr. Donilon was a partner at the international law firm of O’Melveny & Myers and served as a member of the firm’s global governing committee.
Mr. Donilon has worked closely with and advised three U.S. Presidents since his first position at the White House in 1977 working with President Carter. He served as Assistant Secretary of State and Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of State during the Clinton Administration. In this capacity Mr. Donilon was responsible for the development and implementation of the Department’s major policy initiatives, including NATO expansion, the Dayton Peace Accords, and the Middle East Peace process. Mr. Donilon received the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award—the Department’s highest award—in November 1996. Mr. Donilon has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Aspen Strategy Group, the National Security Advisory Group to the Congressional Leadership, the Brookings Institution Board of Trustees, the Miller Center of Public Affairs Governing Council, and the Trilateral Commission. He received his undergraduate degree from Catholic University and his law degree from the University of Virginia. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Cathy Russell, and their children, Sarah (16) and Teddy (13). Ms. Russell has been nominated by the president to serve as Ambassador at Large for Global Women’s Issues at the State Department.
Zhang Yesui is Chinese Executive Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was previously Ambassador to the United States from 2010 to 2013. From 2008-2010, he served as China’s Ambassador to the United Nations. In 2000, Ambassador Zhang was appointed Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, responsible for administration, protocol, and personnel affairs. In 2003, he was appointed Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, responsible for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Policy Planning; Africa, Europe, North America and Oceania Affairs; Arms Control and Disarmament; and International Treaty and Law. Ambassador Zhang was born in October 1953 in Hubei Province. After studying at the Beijing Foreign Studies University and the London School of Economics, Zhang began his diplomatic career. Early in his career, he served in London, Beijing, and at China’s Mission to the United Nations.
Ambassador Cui began his tenure as China’s Ambassador to the United States in March 2013. He was formerly Vice Foreign Minister from 2009 – 2013, responsible for Sino-American relations, among other issues. Previously, Ambassador Cui served as China’s Ambassador to Japan from 2007 – 2009. He was also Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as Director General of the Department of Asian Affairs and of the Policy Research Office. From 1997 – 1999, he served as Minister Counselor at the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations, and early in his career was an interpreter in the Chinese service of the United Nations Secretariat. Ambassador Cui was born in October 1952. He has a Master’s degree of Laws, and has studied at Johns Hopkins University, the Beijing Institute of Foreign Languages, and Shanghai Normal University.
Marriott International is a leading lodging company with more than 3,800 properties in 74 countries and territories worldwide. Based in Bethesda, Maryland, the company is experiencing dramatic growth in Asia with 159 new hotels under development in Asia, building on its portfolio of 139 hotels in 13 countries.
Marriott has aligned its business with what is important in the communities where the company operates hotels. In China, to help its next generation build careers in hospitality, the company has launched co-operation programs with 15 colleges in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Guiyang, and has recruited more than 2,500 interns a year. The company plans to have a workforce of 40,000 associates in China by 2016, and 76,000 across Asia. Marriott has been named “Best Employer in China” and “Best Employer in Asia Pacific” by Aon Hewitt, and was the only hotel company among “China’s Top Employers 2012” chosen by the CRF Institute.
In Asia and around the world, Marriott hotels actively support their neighbors and guests through the “Spirit To Serve Our Communities” program. Marriott hotels in Asia promote workforce readiness by preparing youth from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds for jobs in the hospitality sector through both real-world and classroom experience, including the Youth Career Initiative in Thailand, Vietnam, and Mahindra Pride Schools in India.
In 2010, Marriott partnered with Conservation International and the Chinese government to launch “Nobility of Nature,” a water conservation program in Sichuan province to protect the source of fresh water for more than 2 billion people living in Asia by promoting sustainable livelihoods such as beekeeping. The program has tripled participants’ incomes. The honey is sold in Marriott hotels throughout China, and a portion of the proceeds is reinvested in the project.
In the United States, Marriott also works to reform the visa process—through its support for modernizing and expanding the Visa Waiver Program to allow more travelers from countries closely allied to the United States visa-free entry, facilitating the use of secure videoconferencing to conduct visa interviews, reducing visa wait times, and expanding the Global Entry Program.
About Asia Society
Asia Society is the leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, the Society provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration to address present challenges and create a shared future. Asia Society is headquartered in New York, with centers in Hong Kong and Houston, and offices in Los Angeles, Manila, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, and Washington, D.C. Asia Society is on the web at www.AsiaSociety.org