Margaret Conley, a Bay Area native, is the Executive Director of Asia Society Northern California. Her non-profit experience includes the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, where she developed and launched an inaugural Future of Asia conference, and the Berggruen Institute, where she helped build a new Philosophy + Culture Institute with a focus on the US and China. Margaret was based in Asia for several years as a television news correspondent with ABC News in Jakarta and Tokyo and with Bloomberg Television in Shanghai. Her interviews include Howard Schultz, Richard Branson, Ban Ki-Moon, LeBron James and Beyoncé. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University and a master’s in journalism from the University of Hong Kong, which specializes in coverage of Asia. In 2019, Margaret was selected as one of the Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business by the San Francisco Business Times.
Director of Partnerships
Palarp Jumpasut is Director of Partnerships. Prior to working at Asia Society Northern California, Palarp was working at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. as part of the Doing Business report, working with key global contributors to the report including KPMG, PwC, and White & Case. She also worked within financial and private sector development as a Learning Specialist helping to organize high profile events including at the Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group. Most recently she served as Director of Administration and Operations at the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan. She has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Manchester and an M.S. in Financial Markets from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Director of Programs
Rexille Uy is Director of Programs at Asia Society Northern California. Prior to joining Asia Society, she spent a decade at the Institute of International Studies (IIS), an organized research unit at the University of California, Berkeley. Rexille managed the daily operations, public events, funding opportunities, and financial matters of the Institute and hosted notable speakers such as Academy Award winning director Oliver Stone, President of the Indian National Congress Rahul Gandhi, and winner of the 2018 Medal of Honor from the American Cancer Society, Professor Jennifer Doudna. From 2017-2018, she also served as the Secretariat for the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU). She holds degrees in both Sociology and Media Studies from UC Berkeley.
Director of Programs
James Gale is the Director of Programs. He previously worked in Washington DC as an International Policy Manager in UPS’ Global Public Affairs organization, managing business development and policy initiatives to expand UPS’ global footprint. Prior to his role at UPS, he worked at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where he designed and launched a new U.S.-Japan travel and tourism initiative and coordinated cross-cultural conferences. James also participated in the Japanese Government’s Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Program, serving for two years as an Assistant Language Teacher in rural Hokkaido. James holds a Master’s of Science in Foreign Service (MSFS) degree from Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service and a Bachelor's degree in International Relations/Modern Languages from Trinity College in Hartford. He has studied abroad at East China Normal University in Shanghai and International Christian University in Tokyo and speaks Japanese, Mandarin, and French.
Director of Frontier Technology Research
Heather Evans 安海心 is the Director of Frontier Technology Research. She studied as a Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Her master’s research at Tsinghua focused on evolving data governance policies. Heather has worked as an entrepreneur and civil servant. She served as the first Artificial Intelligence Senior Advisor to the Provincial Government of Ontario, helping to establish the Vector Institute of Deep Learning. She also started two businesses, in the spaces of Natural Language Processing and 3D Printing. Heather has collaborated with the National Academies of Science, the Royal Society and continues to mentor young entrepreneurs and policymakers.
Michael Chong is Executive Associate. He is a Southern California native who moved to Northern California for college. Prior to joining Asia Society, he worked in Human Resources with C-level executives at a staffing agency in San Francisco. Previously, Michael worked as a marketing operations coordinator and hiring manager. This is his first time working at a nonprofit organization. When he is not working, Michael enjoys attempting to recreate traditional Malaysian dishes from his childhood.