2018 Annual Gala DinnerVIEW EVENT DETAILS
Honoring George Takei and Thomas McLain
Join us for a festive evening in support of Asia Society's mission to build bridges of understanding between Asia and the world.
Our honorees this year are leaders in the arts and business, whose life work has been to forge cross-cultural ties. George Takei has broken barriers as an actor and eloquently championed Asian-American actors, Japanese Americans and other minorities seeking a more inclusive society. Thomas McLain has built an international legal practice with a focus on Asia and been a leader of Asia Society for more than 12 years as a Global Trustee and Chairman of Asia Society Southern California.
George Takei has been a game changer for more than six decades as an actor and prominent advocate for social justice. His signature “Star Trek” role as Hikaru Sulu on the bridge of the original Starship Enterprise heralded his real-life role building bridges for Asian-American actors and many others. Imprisoned with his family in a World War II internment camp, Takei has raised awareness about injustices against Japanese Americans and championed other causes, including immigrant and LGBTQ rights and marriage equality, in the fight for an inclusive society. His acclaimed work spans television, film, radio and new media (he has his own YouTube channel) – not to mention Broadway, where he debuted in 2015 in “Allegiance,” a musical inspired by his life story. Takei is reprising his role in the play’s Los Angeles run. He is also an accomplished fiction and nonfiction author. Among his many civic roles, Takei is Chairman Emeritus and a Trustee of the Japanese American National Museum. As a President Clinton appointee, he served two terms on the board of the Japan-United States Friendship Commission. In 2004, Emperor Akihito awarded Takei with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette in recognition of his contribution to U.S.-Japan relations.
Thomas McLain has worked to connect the U.S. and Asia as an attorney, investment banker and private-equity investor – and as a leader of Asia Society. He is currently senior counsel at international law firm Hogan Lovells, where he brings more than 40 years of expertise in Asia to a practice that focuses on complex international and domestic business transactions and international corporate counseling. McLain began his career as a foreign law trainee at Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu in Tokyo in 1974 and has maintained close ties with Japan.
He speaks Japanese, has lived, studied and worked in Japan on several occasions, and taught Japanese law at the University of Southern California Law Center. McLain was appointed by President Clinton to serve as a Commissioner of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and as a member of the U.S.-Japan Committee on Cultural and Educational Exchange. He has been active in Asia Society for 20 years – more than 12 of them serving as a Global Trustee and Chairman of Asia Society Southern California. He championed the growth of regional Asia Society centers, and his leadership was pivotal in stabilizing and rebuilding ASSC after the financial crisis. McLain has also served on the boards of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and the Terry Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, his undergraduate and law school alma mater.
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Skirball Cultural Center
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