2024 Future of U.S. and China ConferenceVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Join us on Thursday, January 18, 2024 for the Annual Future of U.S. and China Conference
The sixth annual Future of U.S. & China Conference will be taking place on Thursday, January 18, 2024 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.
For the sixth consecutive year, Asia Society Northern California members, VIPs, and guests will come together for a full day of live programming for our annual Future of U.S. & China Conference, part of our Seeking Truth Through Facts U.S.-China Program Series. This conference consists of multiple panels featuring top leading voices across the fields of business, government, technology, academia, and entrepreneurship. Previous speakers include Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, Kevin Rudd, Wendy Cutler, Danny Russel, Gary Rieschel, Kurt Campbell, Jim McGregor, Orville Schell, Bonnie Glaser, Susan Shirk, Lingling Wei, and more!
Leading up to the conference, we will be hosting seven programs as a part of our Seeking Truth Through Facts U.S.-China Program Series, which focuses on new strategic frameworks for the bilateral relationship, plurilateral relationships, rebalancing trade, national security, technology, and climate change; as well as the global impact of the political and economic landscape.
9:30 - 9:35 a.m.
- Margaret Conley, Executive Director, Asia Society Northern California and Asia Society Seattle
9:35 - 10:05 a.m.
Session 1: The Future of U.S.-China Relations – Stage Setting / Where are we now?
Elizabeth Economy, Daniel Russell and Gary Rieschel will set the stage for us. What have been the major developments in U.S.-China relations this past year? What can we expect for the year ahead?
- Gary Rieschel (Moderator), Chair, Asia Society Northern California and Asia Society Seattle; Founding Managing Partner, Qiming; Asia Society Global Trustee
- Elizabeth Economy, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution at Stanford University
- Daniel Russel, Vice President for International Security and Diplomacy, Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI).
10:05 - 11:00 a.m.
Session 2: The U.S.-China Competition – A Tale of Two Countries
Intensifying U.S.-China competition has had rippling effects on the global distribution of power. It is more important than ever to carefully assess the root causes of the tension, as well as motivation and factors shaping each country’s foreign policies towards each other. What are respective domestic policy priorities, including economic growth and social stability?
- James McGregor (moderator), Chairman, Greater China Region, APCO Worldwide
- Ryan Hass, Director of the John L. Thornton China Center and the Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies, Brookings Institution
- Keith Zhai, Senior Adviser, Global Counsel
11:00 - 11:20 a.m.
11:20 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.
Session 3: The Middle Power Dilemma: Southeast Asia Amidst the Complex U.S.-China Relationship
Tensions between the U.S. and China are trickling down to the rest of the world. Countries are responding pragmatically, safeguarding their own interests. We will begin with a presentation by Pew Research Center on how the U.S. and China are perceived across 24 countries around the globe.
Following the presentation, we will delve into Southeast Asia’s role and experience in navigating U.S.-China relations. Southeast Asia has become one of the critical regions where U.S. and China interests and competition converge, owing to its strategic location and increasingly important position in the global economy.
- Laura Silver, Associate Director, Global Attitudes Research, Pew Research Center
- Scot Marciel, Oksenberg-Rohlen Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University; former U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar and Indonesia
- Gita Wirjawan, Chairman and Founder, Ancora Group; Visiting Scholar, Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University; Minister of Trade, Indonesia (2011 – 2014)
12:20 - 1:10 p.m.
Session 4: Crossing the Strait: The Taiwan Election and U.S.-China Relations
Taiwan and cross-strait tensions play a pivotal role in the complex tapestry of U.S.-China relations. The January 2024 Taiwan election will be key in transforming Taiwan's domestic policies, relationship with the U.S. and China, and the geopolitical landscape in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. In this panel, experts delve into historical, political, economic, and strategic significance of Taiwan's place in the broader geopolitical landscape and its implications for the world.
- Orville Schell (moderator), Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations, Asia Society
- Raymond Kuo, Senior Political Scientist, Rand Corporation; Director, RAND Corporation's Taiwan Policy Initiative
- Margaret Lewis, Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Institutional Operations and Professor of Law, Seton Hall University
- Kharis Templeman, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution; Manager, Project on Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Region
1:10 - 1:50 p.m.
1:50 - 2:40 p.m.
Session 5: Risk or Reward? – Gauging China’s Economic Outlook
China’s economic challenges have garnered widespread attention over the past years, with headlines highlighting the country’s property crisis, pending or postponed IPOs, credit outlook, the youth job market, and the regulation over the finance system. Hear from experts on the Chinese economy and investors on what we can expect in the year ahead and potential effects on global markets.
- Li Song (Moderator), Managing Director, Asia, SVB
- Andy Rothman, Investment Strategist, Matthews Asia
- Scott Rozelle, Helen Farnsworth Endowed Professor; Senior Fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies; Co-Director of the Stanford Center on China’s Economy and Institutions, Stanford University
- Victor Shih, Director, 21st Century China Center; Ho Miu Lam Chair in China and Pacific Relations; Associate Professor of Political Science, GPS, UC San Diego
2:40 - 3:30 p.m.
Session 6: AI Live Demo | Reimagining AI Use – Applying GPT Tools to the Future of U.S. and China Conference
In the next few years we can expect AI to completely transform our lives - from making us more efficient to helping us be more creative. At the same time, headlines dominate the media about its dangers to humanity. Tricia will delve into the narratives of AI, and her research which focuses on framing humanity as AI shapers, not users. Together, we will run a real-time experiment feeding GPT content from our conference and probing the model with scenarios our audience may be facing.
- Tricia Wang, Sociologist; Affiliate, Harvard's Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society
3:30 - 4:20 p.m.
Session 7: The U.S. and China Innovation Race
What role does innovation play in the prospects of U.S.-China competition and collaboration? In which industries does each country hold dominance? Join our panel of experts to explore the latest innovative trends between the U.S. and China, spanning AI, EVs, sustainability, and semiconductors.
- Gary Rieschel, Chair, Asia Society Northern California and Asia Society Seattle; Founding Managing Partner, Qiming; Asia Society Global Trustee (Moderator)
- Ganesh Iyer, Chief Executive Officer, NIO U.S.
- Rui Ma, Chief Operating Officer, AlphaWatch.AI; China Tech Analyst & Creator of Tech Buzz China
- KR Sridhar, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Bloom Energy
4:20 - 4:25 p.m.
- Margaret Conley, Executive Director, Asia Society Northern California and Asia Society Seattle
Sponsored Dinner Speaker
- David Barboza, Co-Founder, The Wire Digital Inc
Continue checking this event page for additional speakers and agenda details.
Sponsorship opportunities are available for this conference. If you or your company would like to support us by making a contribution, please email Jason Fong firstname.lastname@example.org, Director of Partnerships and Memberships.
David Barboza is the co-founder of The Wire Digital Inc., a New York-based news and data platform focused on China and global supply chains. The startup consists of a digital weekly news magazine, called The Wire, and a data and software analytics platform named WireScreen. Previously, Barboza was a longtime business reporter and foreign correspondent at The New York Times. In 2013, Barboza was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for international reporting “for his striking exposure of corruption at high levels of the Chinese government, including billions in secret wealth owned by relatives of the prime minister, well-documented work published in the face of heavy pressure from the Chinese officials.” He was also part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting, for his coverage of Apple’s operations in China. That same year, he won a George Polk Award for foreign reporting.
Elizabeth Economy is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. From 2022–2023, Economy served as a senior foreign advisor (for China) in the Department of Commerce for the current administration. Economy was previously the C.V. Starr senior fellow and director for Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, where she served as for over a decade. Economy is an acclaimed author and expert on Chinese domestic and foreign policy. Her most recent book is The World According to China. She is also the author of The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State, By All Means Necessary: How China's Resource Quest is Changing the World, and The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China’s Future. Economy serves on the board of managers of Swarthmore College and is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group and Council on Foreign Relations.
Ryan Hass is director of the John L. Thornton China Center and the Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies at Brookings. He is also a senior fellow in the Center for East Asia Policy Studies. He was part of the inaugural class of David M. Rubenstein fellows at Brookings, and is a nonresident affiliated fellow in the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School. Hass focuses his research and analysis on enhancing policy development on the pressing political, economic, and security challenges facing the United States in East Asia. From 2013 to 2017, Hass served as the director for China, Taiwan and Mongolia at the National Security Council (NSC) staff. In that role, he advised President Obama and senior White House officials on all aspects of U.S. policy toward China, Taiwan, and Mongolia, and coordinated the implementation of U.S. policy toward this region among U.S. government departments and agencies. Hass received multiple Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor commendations during his 15-year tenure in the Foreign Service.
Ganesh V. Iyer joined NIO in April 2016, and currently serves as the chief executive officer of NIO U.S. Mr. Iyer has over 33 years of experience delivering proven results in various industries including autonomous technology, hi-tech, manufacturing, and telecom. Mr. Iyer worked as vice president of Information Technology at Tesla Inc. until 2016. Prior to Tesla, Mr. Iyer joined VMWare in 2010 and held senior information technology leadership roles at VMWare. Prior to VMWare, Mr. Iyer served as director of information technology at Juniper Networks and WebEx and worked in consulting primarily at Electronic Data Systems. Mr. Iyer received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Calicut in India.
Raymond Kuo is the inaugural director of the RAND Corporation's Taiwan Policy Initiative and a senior political scientist at RAND. He is an expert in international security, international order, and East Asia. He published two books in 2021: Following the Leader on military alliances and Contests of Initiative on China's maritime gray zone strategy. His other research has appeared in International Security, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, The National Interest, the Diplomat, and other outlets. Kuo was a tenure-track professor at Fordham University and the University at Albany, SUNY. He previously worked for the United Nations, the National Democratic Institute, and the Democratic Progressive Party (Taiwan). He holds a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University.
Maggie Lewis is the Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Institutional Operations and Professor of Law at Seton Hall University. Her research focuses on China and Taiwan with an emphasis on criminal justice and human rights as well as on legal issues in the US-China relationship. She is a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar at National Taiwan University, a visiting professor at Academic Sinica, a Public Intellectuals Program Fellow with the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and a delegate to the US-Japan Foundation’s US-Japan Leadership Program. Lewis is also a Non-Resident Affiliated Scholar of NYU School of Law’s U.S.-Asia Law Institute.
Rui Ma was born in China but grew up in the U.S., mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she is currently based. She has over fifteen years of experience in investment banking and investing, spanning seed stage to pre-IPO investing, and spent eight of those years working across multiple industries including real estate and media as well as technology in Shanghai and Beijing. She is currently an angel investor and advisor to several startups and funds. Rui is also active in philanthropy and currently runs Rookie.Fund, a nonprofit student venture fund network in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. She’s vegetarian and would like to be a Chinese calligrapher when she retires.
Scot Marciel is Oksenberg-Rohlen Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, affiliated with the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. Previously, he was a 2020-22 Visiting Scholar and Visiting Practitioner Fellow on Southeast Asia at APARC. A retired diplomat, Mr. Marciel served as U.S. Ambassador to Myanmar from March 2016 through May 2020, leading a mission of 500 employees during the difficult Rohingya crisis and a challenging time for both Myanmar’s democratic transition and the United States-Myanmar relationship. Prior to serving in Myanmar, Ambassador Marciel served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asia and the Pacific at the State Department, where he oversaw U.S. relations with Southeast Asia.
James McGregor is chairman of APCO Worldwide’s greater China region and author of two highly regarded books: No Ancient Wisdom, No Followers: The Challenges of Chinese Authoritarian Capitalism, and One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China. He also wrote the noted APCO monograph China’s Drive for Indigenous Innovation—A Web of Industrial Policies. Prior to joining APCO, Mr. McGregor was the founder and CEO of a China-focused consulting and research firm for hedge funds, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and a chief executive of Dow Jones & Company in China. Mr. McGregor is also a former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, and has long served as a leader of AmCham’s U.S., government relations. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the International Council of Asia Society and a board member of the U.S.-China Education Trust. He has lived in China for nearly three decades and is fluent in Chinese.
Gary Rieschel is Chair of Asia Society Northern California and has over 25 years of successful operating and investing experience as a senior executive, entrepreneur, investor, and global business strategist. He is Founding Managing Partner of Qiming, a firm with over $3 billion focused on early stage investments in China and one of China’s premier venture capital firms. Gary’s personal investment areas are Healthcare and Cleantech. He advised the China Greentech Initiative, and the Rocky Mountain Institute in its move to China. He actively supports the U.S. China Clean Energy Forum, PERC (Property and Environmental Research), the Climate Leadership Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the U.S. Olympic Foundation. He served on the joint venture boards of Blackrock and Bank of China and Silicon Valley Bank and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank. Gary holds a BA in Biology from Reed College in Portland, OR, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He lived in Japan for five years in the late 1980s and lived in Shanghai from 2005 through 2016. He now lives in Seattle, WA.
Andy Rothman is an Investment Strategist at Matthews Asia. He is principally responsible for developing research focused on China’s ongoing economic and political developments while also complementing the broader investment team with in-depth analysis on Asia. In addition, Andy plays a key role in communicating to clients and the media the firm’s perspectives and latest insights into China and the greater Asia region. Prior to joining Matthews Asia in 2014, Andy spent 14 years as CLSA’s China macroeconomic strategist where he conducted analysis into China and delivered his insights to their clients. Previously, Andy spent 17 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, with a diplomatic career focused on China, including as head of the macroeconomics and domestic policy office of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. He earned an M.A. in public administration from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and a B.A. from Colgate University. He is a proficient Mandarin speaker.
Scott Rozelle holds the Helen Farnsworth Endowed Professorship at Stanford University and is Senior Fellow in the Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI) for International Studies and is Co-Director of the Stanford Center on China’s Economy and Institutions (SCCEI). Professor Rozelle, a development economist with a Ph.D. from Cornell University, has worked on the economics of rural China for nearly 40 years. Currently, his work focuses on human capital and China’s future growth and development, including issues of rural health, nutrition and education, including early childhood development.
Danny Russel is Vice President for International Security and Diplomacy at ASPI. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service at the U.S. Department of State, he served as the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and as Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs. He helped formulate President Obama’s strategic rebalance to the Asia Pacific region, including efforts to strengthen alliances, deepen U.S. engagement with multilateral organizations, and expand cooperation with emerging powers in the region. Among many roles at the Department of State, he served as Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs and U.S. Consul General in Osaka-Kobe. In 1996, Mr. Russel was awarded the State Department's Una Chapman Cox Fellowship sabbatical and authored the book America’s Place in the World.
Orville Schell is ASNC Advisory Council member and the Vice President of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society in New York. He is a former professor and Dean at the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He is the author of 15 books, 10 of them about China, and a contributor to numerous edited volumes. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University in Far Eastern History, was an exchange student at National Taiwan University in the 1960s, and earned a Ph.D. at University of California, Berkeley in Chinese History. He worked for the Ford Foundation in Indonesia and has traveled widely in China since the mid-70s. He is a Fellow at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University, a Senior Fellow at the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Southern California and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also the recipient of many prizes and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Overseas Press Club Award, and the Harvard-Stanford Shorenstein Prize in Asian Journalism.
Victor Shih holds the Ho Miu Lam Chair in China and Pacific Relations at the School of Global Policy and Strategy. He is appointed as the new director of the 21st Century China Center, effective July 1, 2023. Shih is an expert on the politics of China’s fiscal and financial policies, as well as the elite politics of China. He was the first analyst to identify the risk of massive local government debt, and is the author of two books published by the Cambridge University Press, entitled "Factions and Finance in China: Elite Conflict and Inflation" and "Coalitions of the Weak: Elite Politics in China from Mao’s Stratagem to the Rise of Xi." He is also editor of "Economic Shocks and Authoritarian Stability: Duration, Institutions and Financial Conditions," published by the University of Michigan Press. An active member of the China Data Lab, he is also constructing a large database on biographical information of elites in China, as well as the activities of the elite. Previously a principal in The Carlyle Group’s global market strategy group, Shih is a PI or co-PI on several research projects on China funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Henry Luce Foundation and Smith Richardson Foundation. He currently leads a project at 21CCC on the political economy of digital currency in China and the Asia Pacific region.
Laura Silver is an associate director at Pew Research Center. She is an expert in international survey research and writes about international public opinion on a variety of topics, including media usage and partisanship in Europe, Chinese public opinion, and global attitudes toward China. She is involved in all aspects of the research process, including designing survey questionnaires and sample designs, managing fieldwork, processing and analyzing data, and writing reports. Prior to joining Pew Research Center, she was a foreign affairs research analyst at the U.S. Department of State in the Office of Opinion Research where she designed and implemented surveys in multiple countries in East Asia. She received a dual Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication and the political science department at the University of Pennsylvania where her work focused on American public opinion of China, particularly in the context of presidential elections.
Li Song is the Managing Director of Asia at Silicon Valley Bank, A Division of First Citizens Bank. He leads the strategy, execution, and growth of SVB’s banking mandates for VC/PE and innovation companies in Asia. Since joining SVB in 2000, Li has had the privilege of personally working with over 1,000 dynamic and innovative startups on both sides of the Pacific. Some of his clients later grew to hundred-billion-dollar market cap companies while some never made it. Li has been taking detail mental notes of the key ingredients that fueled the successful clients’ growth as well as the common mistakes the failed ones made. He generously shares these insights with his clients, prospects, and the greater Asian American innovation community in the US. In the early days of his career, Li was a global trade aide in the top of the Chinese government, where he travelled with Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Premier Li Peng on more than 20 overseas state visits.
KR Sridhar is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Bloom Energy. In 2001, he co-founded Ion America, which later became Bloom Energy, a solid oxide energy platform company with a mission to make clean, reliable energy affordable for everyone on earth. Prior to founding Bloom Energy, KR was Director of the Space Technologies Laboratory (STL) at the University of Arizona where he was also a professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. Under his leadership, STL won several nationally competitive contracts to conduct research and development for Mars exploration and for flight experiments to Mars. KR has served as an advisor to NASA and has led major consortia of industry, academia, and national labs. His work for the NASA Mars program to convert Martian atmospheric gases to oxygen for propulsion and life support was recognized by Fortune Magazine, where he was cited as “one of the top five futurists inventing tomorrow, today.” KR serves on the Board of Directors for C3 AI, the External Advisory Board at Caltech’s Resnick Sustainability Institute, and the Board of Visitors at the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Additionally, he has served as a strategic limited partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and as a special advisor to New Enterprise Associates. An early pioneer in green tech, KR has also served on many technical committees, panels, and advisory boards and has several publications and patents. He received his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with Honors from the University of Madras (now called NIT, Trichy), India, as well as his master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Kharis Templeman is Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the manager of the Project on Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Region. He is also a Lecturer at the Center for East Asian Studies at Stanford University. From 2013-19, he was a social science research scholar in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, where he was the program manager of the Taiwan Democracy and Security Project (TDSP) in the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC). Outside of Stanford, he is a member of the U.S.-Taiwan Next Generation Working Group, and he was a 2019 National Asia Research Program (NARP) Fellow at the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR). He has also served since 2012 as a contributor to the Varieties of Democracy project, and from 2016-18, he was the coordinator of the Conference Group on Taiwan Studies (CGOTS), a Related Group of the American Political Science Association. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. from the University of Rochester.
Tricia Wang, a social scientist, consultant, and thought leader, is on a relentless quest to ensure technology serves humanity, fostering social impact at the intersection of data and humanity. Tricia co-founded Sudden Compass and has advised industry giants like Google, Spotify, and P&G. Her insights have been featured in publications like Quartz, New Yorker, Buzzfeed, Techcrunch, The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Slate, Wired, The Guardian, and Fast Company. Tricia's unique fusion of ethnography and data science offers an invaluable perspective on technology, design, and human experience. She has been instrumental in launching tech labs with clients, including a recent collaboration with The World Economic Forum. As an acclaimed speaker, Tricia's enlightening keynotes and her TED Talk delve into AI, data, and their societal, economic, and personal impacts. Her concept of "thick data" advocates for deep human understanding in AI and emerging technologies. Her ethnographic fieldwork spans from China to South America and North America, offering unique insights into the adoption of social media under authoritarian regimes and advocating for consumer-centric approaches in the private sector. Tricia’s diverse career have ranged from filmmaker at NASA for Sally Ride, to director at New York's first youth television network, and an HIV/AIDS education advocate. She is a Fulbright Fellow, National Science Foundation Fellow, and the first Western fellow at The China Internet Network Information Center in Beijing, China. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tricia co-founded Last Mile, an underground supply chain that distributed over 1 million masks across the USA, gaining recognition in The New Yorker in a feature story. Tricia currently serves as an advisor to Dangerous Ventures, ReSeed.Farm, and SKU. Tricia holds affiliations with Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, US Japan Leadership Program, and Data & Society. She is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Futures Data Council and Climate Coalition and has served as a fellow at the Geo Tech Atlantic Council. Currently penning a book on how humans can be more human in the age of AI, she is investigating how the emergence of AI is leading to a shift in our identities from users to what she calls "shapers," people who have a new set of skills to cooperate with AI by being more human. Tricia holds a Ph.D. in Sociology.
Gita Wirjawan is the chairman of Ancora Group, an Indonesian business group with interests in real estate, natural resources, arts and technology, which he founded in 2007. His public service has included positions as Indonesia's minister of trade, chairman of its Investment Coordinating Board, and chair of a 159-nation WTO ministerial conference in 2012 that focused on easing global trade barriers. He led his country's national badminton association from 2012 to 2016, when Indonesia won 3 gold medals at the World Championships, four titles at the All England Championships, and one gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. As an investment banker, he has held key appointments at Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, where he led many mergers, corporate restructuring, corporate financing and strategic sales involving leading companies in Southeast Asia. His various board roles included service as a commissioner of the state-owned oil giant, Pertamina, and an independent board director of Axiata Group Berhad. Gita hosts the educational podcast "Endgame", focused on the region to promote Southeast Asia's growth and prosperity. He is a visiting scholar at Stanford University's Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, researching Southeast Asia's nation-building directionality. Gita is a member of the Angsana Council, a non-profit group dedicated to boosting the region's businesses and economies, and global advisory firm Macro Advisory Partners. His degrees are from the Harvard Kennedy School (MPA), Baylor University (MBA), and the University of Texas at Austin (BSc).
Keith Zhai is a co-founder of a stealth AI startup and a Senior Adviser to Global Counsel. Prior, Keith was Senior Correspondent with The Wall Street Journal. He has more than two decades of journalism under his belt, and specializes in decoding China's complex political and economic landscapes. His work has been featured in top global publications including Bloomberg, South China Morning Post, and Thomson Reuters. Keith is a Pulitzer Prize Finalist for his coverage notably of the 2020 Hong Kong protests. His insights and analyses have been cited in U.S. congressional testimonies and have guided crucial global policy decisions. Keith was part of a Wall Street Journal team that won the Malcolm Forbes Award at the 2021 Overseas Press Club Awards, and is a recipient of multiple awards from the Society of Publishers in Asia (SoPA), Asia’s Pulitzer equivalent. Keith also held key roles at China’s digital conglomerate Ant Group and at broadcast news. Zhai also contributed to the craft of journalism as a judge for SoPA. This role complements his commitment to upholding journalistic integrity and advocating for press freedom in the Asia-Pacific region.
Margaret Conley, a Bay Area native, is the Executive Director of Asia Society Northern California and Asia Society Seattle. She is Chair of the global Asia Society task force "Asian Americans Building America". 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. She was part of the global ABC team that won a News and Documentary Emmy Award for presidential inauguration coverage. Her interviews include Howard Schultz, Richard Branson, Ban Ki-Moon, LeBron James and Beyoncé. She has 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. Margaret was selected as one of the Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business by the San Francisco Business Times in 2019. She is on the Advisory Committee of TiE, and is a member of the board of the International Women's Forum.
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