Asia Spotlight: 2024VIEW EVENT DETAILS
Asia Spotlight: 2024 was a one-day conference hosted by the Asia Society Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. This event provided a platform for highly substantive conversation between top government officials, policy experts, and private sector leaders on the key challenges and opportunities ahead for Asia in 2024.
Discussions addressed enduring U.S. interests in Asia and how to sustain stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific, Asia's geopolitical outlook in an increasingly complex policy landscape, options for advancing U.S. economic leadership in the Indo-Pacific, Taiwan's 2024 elections, navigating the climate-security nexus, and more.
8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 - 9:10 a.m.
9:10 - 9:40 a.m.
Congressional Perspectives: U.S.-Asia Relations in 2024
09:40 - 9:50 a.m.
Coffee and tea break
9:50 - 11:00 a.m.
Telling Asia’s Stories: Reporting on the Region
11:00 - 11:10 a.m.
Coffee and tea break
11:10 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.
Geopolitical Outlook: Asia's Decade of Living Dangerously
Ambassador Kevin Rudd, Australian Ambassador to the U.S.; 26th Prime Minister of Australia; President Emeritus, Asia Society (Introductory Remarks)
12:30 - 1:00 p.m.
Keynote Address and Fireside Chat: "U.S. Policy Priorities for the Indo-Pacific"
1:00 - 1:40 p.m.
Lunch and Networking
End of Public Program
Ambassador Chan Heng Chee is Ambassador-at-Large with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore and Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities in the Singapore University of Technology and Design. She was appointed to the Presidential Council for Minority Rights in 2012. Ambassador Chan is the Chair of ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, the premier research Institute on Southeast Asia in the region. Ambassador Chan serves as the Deputy Chairman of the Social Science Research Council and is a member of the Science of Cities (SoC) committee of the National Research Foundation (NRF). She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the National University of Singapore and Yale-NUS Governing Board. She is a Trustee of the University of the Arts Singapore. Ambassador Chan is Global Co-Chair of Asia Society. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) and a member of the Council of Urban Initiatives led by LSECities, UCLIPP and UN Habitat. Previously, she was Singapore’s Ambassador to the United States and Singapore’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations with concurrent accreditation as High Commissioner to Canada and Ambassador to Mexico.
Jon Finer currently serves as President Joe Biden’s Principal Deputy National Security Advisor. Prior to joining President Biden’s staff, he was an Adjunct Senior Fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. Before that, he was Chief of Staff and Director of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State, where he previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy. He also previously worked for four years at the White House, including as Senior Adviser to Deputy National Security Adviser Antony Blinken and as Special Adviser for the Middle East and North Africa and foreign policy speechwriter for Vice President Joseph R. Biden. He joined the Obama administration in 2009 as a White House Fellow, assigned to the Office of the White House Chief of Staff and the National Security Council Staff. Prior to entering government service, Mr. Finer was a foreign and national correspondent for the Washington Post, in which capacity he reported from more than 20 countries and spent 18 months covering the war in Iraq, embedding with the U.S. Marines during the 2003 invasion and based in Baghdad in 2005–2006. He also covered conflicts in Gaza (2009), Russia/Georgia (2008), and Israel/Lebanon (2006), the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign, and the 2004 Major League Baseball playoffs. Mr. Finer spent a year in Hong Kong as a Henry Luce Foundation Scholar, working as a reporter and editor for the Far Eastern Economic Review. He holds a law degree from Yale University, where he co-founded the International Refugee Assistance Project; an M.Phil. in international relations from Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar; and an undergraduate degree from Harvard. He was born and raised in Norwich, Vermont.
Cui Tiankai is Advisor to the Council of the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Cui Tiankai was born in 1952. He earned his M.A. at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC, and before that he studied in Shanghai Normal University and Beijing Institute of Foreign Languages. Mr. Cui became a translator of the UN Secretariat in 1981, and joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in 1984, where he served successively as Director at the Department of International Organizations and Conferences, MFA Spokesperson, Director-General of the Policy Planning Department, and Director-General of the Department of Asian Affairs. He was posted in New York as Minister Counselor at China’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations between 1997 and 1999. He was Assistant Foreign Minister (2006-2007), Chinese Ambassador to Japan (2007-2009), and Vice Foreign Minister (2009-2013). He was appointed Chinese Ambassador to the United States in 2013, and served the position until 2021.
Wendy Cutler is Vice President at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) and the managing director of the Washington, D.C. office. In these roles, she focuses on leading initiatives that address challenges related to trade, investment, and innovation, as well as women’s empowerment in Asia. She joined ASPI following an illustrious career of nearly three decades as a diplomat and negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), where she also served as Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative. During her USTR career, she worked on a range of bilateral, regional, and multilateral trade negotiations and initiatives, including the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, U.S.-China negotiations, and the WTO Financial Services negotiations. She has published a series of ASPI papers on the Asian trade landscape and serves as a regular media commentator on trade and investment developments in Asia and the world.
Ambassador Dino Patti Djalal is Founder of Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI). Previously, he was a career diplomat and ambassador, best selling author, accomplished academic, youth activist, and leader of the Indonesian diaspora community. He earned his Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada); a Masters Degree in Political Science from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada), and a Phd in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (London, UK). In 2004, when President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono began his term, Dino was appointed Special Staff of the President for International Affairs. From 2010 to 2013, Dino served as Indonesia's ambassador to the United States. In June 2014, Dino was appointed Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, until October that year. He has founded the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia, which now has become the largest foreign policy group in the country, with over 90,000 people in the FPCI network.
United States Senator Bill Hagerty was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2020 and is currently serving his first term representing the state of Tennessee. His committee assignments include: U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, & Urban Affairs; U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations; U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations; and the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules & Administration. Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Hagerty served as the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, the world’s third largest economy and America’s closest ally in the region.
C. Raja Mohan is a Senior Fellow with the Asia Society Policy Institute in Delhi — a division of the Asia Society India Centre, Mumbai. He is a Visiting Research Professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), National University of Singapore, and was previously the Director of ISAS. Mohan was the founding director of Carnegie India in Delhi, the sixth international center of Carnegie Endowment for Peace. He was associated with several Indian think tanks, including the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses, the Observer Research Foundation, and the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi. Mohan was a Professor of South Asian Studies at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and the Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore. He served on India’s National Security Advisory Board. He was the Henry A. Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations at the Kluge Center, US Library of Congress, Washington DC, during 2009-10. He convened the India chapter of Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, during 1995-2005. Mohan has published widely on India’s foreign and security policies, Asian geopolitics, and the global governance of advanced technologies. In his most recent, Mohan co-authored the Adelphi Book, The New Asian Geopolitics: Military Power and Regional Order published by the International Institute of Strategic Studies, London in 2021. He is a columnist for Foreign Policy and the Indian Express.
Takeo Mori served as Vice Foreign Minister in Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) from June 2021 to August 2023. Mori entered the MOFA in 1983 after graduating from Tokyo University (with a BA in Law). His assignments abroad include First Secretary at the Embassy of Japan in Singapore (1997-1999), Counsellor at the Embassy in Germany (1999-2002), and Minister and Head of the Economic Section of the Embassy of Japan in the US (2010-2013). In Tokyo, he held positions including Director of the International Agreement Division in the Treaty Bureau, Director of the Treaty Division in the International Law Bureau, Director of the First North America Division in the North American Affairs Bureau, and Director of the Policy Coordination Division in the Foreign Policy Bureau. He was Ambassador in charge of Economic Diplomacy and chief negotiator for the Japan-U.S. Parallel Negotiation and head of the negotiation team for the motor vehicle part of the TPP negotiation (2013-2015). He served as Director-General of the North American Affairs Bureau at the MOFA in 2015 and Senior Deputy Minister in 2018.
HE the Hon Dr Kevin Rudd AC is Australia’s Ambassador to the United States of America, taking up his posting in Washington in March 2023. Ambassador Rudd served as Australia’s twenty-sixth Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010, then as Minister for Foreign Affairs, before a second term as Prime Minister in 2013. He was Member for Griffith in the Australian Parliament from 1998 to 2013. Since leaving government, Ambassador Rudd has resided in the United States where he is recognized as a leading analyst of China. In 2015, he became inaugural President of the Asia Society Policy Institute in New York. In 2020, he was appointed President and CEO of the Asia Society globally and, in 2022, he founded the Asia Society Policy Institute’s Center for China Analysis. In 2019, Ambassador Rudd was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to Indigenous reconciliation, innovative economic initiatives, and major policy reform, and through senior advisory roles with international organizations. Ambassador Rudd holds honorary positions at the Atlantic Council and Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC; the Asia Society, Schwartzman Scholars and Bloomberg New Economy Forum in New York; the Paulson Institute in Chicago; the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po in Paris, France; the Chancellor Helmut Schmidt Foundation in Hamburg, Germany; and Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House in Canberra. He is founder and co-chair of an Australian charity, the National Apology Foundation, and a trustee of the Cathedral of St John the Divine in New York City. Ambassador Rudd started his diplomatic career in 1981 with postings to Beijing and Stockholm. In 1988, he was appointed Chief of Staff to the Hon Wayne Goss and served him as Premier of Queensland. He was Director-General of the Cabinet Office in Queensland from 1991 to 1995, and Senior China Consultant for KPMG from 1996 to 1998. Ambassador Rudd graduated with Honours in Asian Studies from the Australian National University and received his PhD from Oxford University in 2022. He also studied at National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei.
Daniel Russel is Vice President for International Security and Diplomacy at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI). Previously he served as a Diplomat in Residence and Senior Fellow with ASPI for a one year term. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service at the U.S. Department of State, he most recently served as the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Secretary on July 12, 2013, Mr. Russel served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Asian Affairs. During his tenure there, 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.
Nick Schifrin is PBS NewsHour’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Correspondent. He leads NewsHour’s daily foreign coverage, including multiple trips to Ukraine since the full-scale invasion, and has created weeklong series for the NewsHour from nearly a dozen countries. Prior to PBS NewsHour, Schifrin was Al Jazeera America's Middle East correspondent and the ABC News correspondent in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a board member of the Overseas Press Club Foundation.
Demetri Sevastopulo is U.S.-China correspondent for the Financial Times. Over two decades at the FT, he has served as Washington Bureau Chief, U.S. Politics Correspondent, Pentagon & CIA Correspondent and South China Correspondent. He also ran the FT’s Asia news operations from Hong Kong. Demetri began his career as a currency derivatives trader at Citibank in Tokyo before becoming a journalist. He graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a degree in finance and has an MA in East Asian studies from Harvard University. He also studied at Beijing University and Sophia University in Tokyo. He speaks near-native level Japanese and rusty Chinese. He was born and raised in Ireland. He enjoys photography in his spare time.
Senator Chris Van Hollen was elected to the United States Senate by the people of Maryland in November 2016, Chris Van Hollen is committed to fighting every day to ensure that our state and our country live up to their full promise of equal rights, equal justice, and equal opportunity. Senator Van Hollen believes that every child deserves the opportunity to pursue their dreams and benefit from a quality education, and that anyone willing to work hard should be able to find a good job. That's why his top priorities include creating more and better jobs, strengthening small businesses, and increasing educational and job training opportunities for individuals of all ages and in every community. Senator Van Hollen started his time in public service as a member of the Maryland State Legislature, where he became known as a tenacious advocate for everyday Marylanders and someone who was unafraid to take on powerful special interests on behalf of working people. In 2002, he was elected to represent Maryland's 8th Congressional District. In the House of Representatives, he served as a member of the Democratic leadership and was elected by his colleagues to be the Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee and protect vital interests like Social Security and Medicare.
Selina Wang joined ABC News in 2023 as senior White House correspondent. Wang, an award-winning journalist, was previously in CNN’s Beijing bureau as the network’s sole correspondent in China. She has reported on key stories from China and the Asia-Pacific region, leading coverage on China’s economic, political and societal transformation and its evolving relationships with governments and leaders around the world. During the pandemic, Wang was the only American broadcaster reporting on the ground in China during the historic anti-zero-COVID protests. Prior to her role in Beijing, Wang was a Tokyo-based correspondent, where she covered the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, leading the network’s coverage from Japan. Wang was also a host of CNN’s long-form feature program “Marketplace Asia,” taking viewers into different business trends with comprehensive interviews and profiles. Prior to joining CNN, Wang was a correspondent and anchor for Bloomberg TV based in Beijing. Before moving to China, she was based in San Francisco, covering the global technology, venture capital and social media industries for Bloomberg News, Television and Businessweek Magazine. Wang has also reported across Bloomberg’s platforms in New York and Hong Kong. Wang was selected for the Forbes “30 Under 30” Asia list in 2023 and won the Emmy for Outstanding Emerging Journalist. Born in Washington State and fluent in Mandarin, Wang graduated from Harvard University.
Lingling Wei is the chief China correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and author of the WSJ China newsletter. She covers China's political economy, focusing on the intersection of business and politics. Born and raised in China, she has a master's in journalism from N.Y.U., got her start covering U.S. real estate, and has won many awards for her China coverage. She was among a team of reporters and editors whose work was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2021. Lingling is co-author of the book Superpower Showdown.
Edward Wong is a diplomatic correspondent for The New York Times and author of At the Edge of Empire: A Family’s Reckoning with China, to be published by Viking Books in May 2024. He has reported for the Times for nearly 25 years, working for 13 of those as a correspondent and bureau chief from China and Iraq. Edward was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and has been a visiting professor at Princeton University and U.C. Berkeley. He was a recent fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington and at the Belfer Center at Harvard Kennedy School. Edward is a recipient of the Livingston Prize for his war correspondence from Iraq and was on a team that was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the war.