Myanmar Up Close


Asia Briefing

Breakfast available from 8:00 AM
Discussion begins at 8:30 AM

Myanmar's top-down transition from over 50 years of harsh military rule to an elected government led by long-celebrated democracy and human rights icon Aung San Suu Kyi brought hope that the country's moment for political and economic transition had truly come. While Myanmar has certainly made strides, in the past few years these have largely slowed, and political and economic power has remained rooted in the hands of the military. Tragedies and challenges have abounded, from the horrific treatment and plight of the Rohingya, to increased violent conflict between the military and various other ethnic groups, to hampered economic reform, strained bilateral relationships, governance challenges, and more.

Given these and other challenges, where are the opportunities for a positive way forward? What's next for Myanmar’s transition?

Join us for a discussion with Ambassador Derek Mitchell, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar from 2012 to 2016. He will be joined in conversation by the Asia Society Policy Institute's (ASPI) Debra Eisenman, who recently returned from Myanmar, and is the author of an ASPI report on the state of Myanmar's transition and recommendations for ways forward.


Ambassador Derek Mitchell

Derek Mitchell is Senior Advisor to the Asia Center at the U.S. Institute of Peace and to the Albright Stonebridge Group. He served as the first U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Burma) in 22 years, taking up his post in July 2012, and departing in March 2016.  In 2011, he was appointed the State Department's first Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma, with the rank of Ambassador. From 2009 to 2011, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He has also served in senior positions at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the National Democratic Institute. Ambassador Mitchell has authored numerous books, articles, and policy reports on Asian security affairs, and co-authored China: The Balance Sheet — What the World Needs to Know about the Emerging Superpower (Public Affairs, 2006).

Debra Eisenman

Debra Eisenman is Managing Director of the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI), where she leads and oversees projects on development, governance, sustainability, and security challenges throughout Asia — with a focus on Myanmar, and oversees ASPI's strategy and operations. She has held various roles within the Asia Society's policy team since she joined in 2011. Prior to that, she worked on the Peacebuilding and Western Balkans grantmaking programs of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, as well as on youth civic engagement at the National Crime Prevention Council. She has also served as a short-term election observer in Kosovo (2010), Albania (2011), Ukraine (2012 and 2014), and Armenia (2017).

Tomn Nagorski

Tom Nagorski (moderator) is Executive Vice President of Asia Society. He joined the Asia Society following a three-decade career in journalism — having served most recently as Managing Editor for International Coverage at ABC News. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Advisory Board of the Committee to Protect Journalists, and a Program Advisor to the Brooklyn Historical Society. Before that he was Foreign Editor for World News Tonight, and a reporter and producer based in Russia, Germany and Thailand. He was the recipient of eight Emmy awards and the Dupont Award for excellence in international coverage, as well as a fellowship from the Henry Luce Foundation.

This program made possible through the generous support of the Ford Foundation.

Event Details

Tue 12 Jun 2018
8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

Asia Society
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021

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Members $30; Students/Seniors $40; Nonmembers $50
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