March 19, 2008 — The Asia Foundation is now convening Asian and American working groups to guide the successful America’s Role in Asia (ARA) program for 2008. Held on a quadrennial cycle since 2000, ARA examines critical issues in U.S.- Asian relations through a series of high-level discussions across Asia and the United States. These activities culminate in published reports that provide American and Asian policymakers and business leaders with views and recommendations designed to address challenges and opportunities in the region. The recommendations generated out of the 2008 program will coincide with the upcoming presidential and congressional elections in the United States and will provide a unique perspective for forthcoming U.S. policy toward Asia.
The American working group is co-chaired by Ambassador Michael Armacost, Shorenstein Distinguished Fellow at Stanford University’s Asia-Pacific Research Center, and Ambassador J. Stapleton Roy, Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates. Ambassadors Armacost and Roy are members of the Foundation’s board. Ambassador Armacost served as U.S. ambassador to Japan and the Philippines and as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs at the State Department, while Ambassador Roy served as ambassador to China, Indonesia, and Singapore, and Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research.
The Asian regional chairs are Ambassador Han Sung-joo, President of Korea University in Seoul (Northeast Asia), Ambassador Tommy Koh, Chairman of the Institute of Policy Studies and Ambassador-at-Large in Singapore (Southeast Asia), and Dr. C. Raja Mohan, Professor at Nanyang Technological University (South Asia). The Asian and American Groups’ findings will be presented to the Platform Committees of the Democrat and Republican parties just prior to their respective national conventions. Afterwards, the reports will be distributed widely in the U.S. and Asia.
Initial funding was generously provided by American International Group, Inc. (AIG) and Chevron.