The East-West Center promotes better relations and understanding among the people and nations of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific through cooperative study, research, and dialogue.

Established by the US Congress in 1960, the Center serves as a resource for information and analysis on critical issues of common concern, bringing people together to exchange views, build expertise, and develop policy options. The Center is an independent, public, nonprofit organization with funding from the US government, and additional support provided by private agencies, individuals, foundations, corporations, and governments in the region.

Designed by acclaimed architect I.M. Pei, Jefferson Hall is home to the Hawai'i Imin International Conference Center.

Over 60 years of serving as a US-based institution for public diplomacy in the Indo-Pacific region with international governance, staffing, students, and participants, the Center has built a worldwide network of 65,000 alumni and more than 1,100 partner organizations. The Center’s 21-acre Honolulu campus, adjacent to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, is located midway between Asia and the US mainland and features research, residential, and international conference facilities. The Center’s Washington, DC, office focuses on preparing the United States for an era of growing Asia Pacific prominence.



An 18-member international board governs the East-West Center. Suzanne Vares-Lum is President of the Center.

The East-West Center carries out its mission through the following programs of cooperative study, training, and research:

  • The Research Program conducts multidisciplinary research on issues of contemporary significance to Asia, the Pacific, and the United States. Dr. Satu Limaye is Director of the Research Program.
  • The Education Program provides graduate students with a wide range of opportunities to help prepare the United States and the Asia Pacific Region for a new era of increased interdependence. Ann Hartman is Dean of the Education Program.
  • The Professional Development Program provides short-term educational experiences for policymakers, professionals and scholars from Asia, the Pacific, and the United States. Niruban Balachandran is the Director of the Professional Development Program. 
  • The Pacific Islands Development Program (PIDP) conducts a broad range of activities to enhance the quality of life in the Pacific islands. The founding mission of PIDP, established in 1980, is to assist Pacific islands leaders in advancing their collective efforts to achieve and sustain equitable social and economic development consistent with the goals of the Pacific islands region's people. Dr. Mary Hattori is the Interim Director of PIDP.
  • The East-West Center in Washington (EWC Washington) conducts collaborative research, training, seminars, and outreach around the theme of conflict reduction in Asia. Dr. Satu Limaye is Director of EWC Washington.
  • Communications and External Relations conducts a broad range of public and internal communications, as well as arranging expert briefings and special events. Chief Communications Officer Jake Hamstra also oversees the Center's Arts Program and the Friends of the East-West Center community volunteer organization.
  • The Office of Alumni Engagement oversees relations with the Center's more than 68,000 past participants through a broad variety of special programs, the EWCA alumni organization, a biennial international alumni conference, and some 50 alumni chapters worldwide. Christina Monroe is the Director of Alumni Engagement.
  • The Office of Development enhances support for the Center through fundraising efforts and donor relations. In addition, development efforts are supported by the East-West Center Foundation, which is governed by a separate Board of Directors. Jung Song is the Chief Development Officer.
  • The Office of Management Operations provides support services to the East-West Center, including administrative, financial, human resources, facilities management, Housing, Hawaii Imin International Conference Center, mail services and information technology and support services. Ambassador Robert Riley is the Director of Management Operations.