U.S. and Thailand Perspectives on Geostrategic Landscape and Regional Architecture

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Webinar

When: Jul 27 2021 - 8:00am until Jul 27 2021 - 9:00am
Where: Zoom Webinar
What:

Left to right: East-West Center logo, Royal Thai Embassy Logo

The East-West Center in Washington and the Royal Thai Embassy, Washington, D.C. invite you to
New Opportunities for the United States-Kingdom of Thailand Alliance in the Indo-Pacific Webinar Series:

 U.S. and Thailand Perspectives on
Geostrategic Landscape and Regional Architecture

Featuring:

Opening remarks

H.E. Manasvi Srisodapol
Ambassador of Thailand to the United States of America

H.E. Dr. Vijavat Isarabhakdi
Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Thailand

 Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL)

Panel Discussion

Dr. Darmp Sukontasap
Co-founder and Director,
Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies (IDIS), Rangsit University

Former Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.)
Board Member,
Michael Best Strategies

Mr. Alex Feldman,
President & CEO,
US-ASEAN Business Council

Dr. Satu P. Limaye (Moderator)
Vice President, East-West Center &
Director, East-West Center in Washington


Since the United States and Thailand established a security alliance through the 1954 Manila Pact and the 1962 Thanat-Rusk Communique, both countries have fought shoulder-to-shoulder, maintaining stability and promoting their shared values and norms in the region. The alliance no longer faces a clear common enemy and must adapt to a rapidly changing geostrategic landscape in Southeast Asia and the wider Indo-Pacific region. This webinar explored perspectives from both countries regarding new opportunities in the U.S.-Thailand alliance as the Biden administration frames its national security strategy amidst strategic competition, and advocates for a free and open Indo-Pacific, and the promotion of democratic values and human rights.

The New Opportunities for the United States-Kingdom of Thailand Alliance in the Indo-Pacific webinar series is a collaboration between the Royal Thai Embassy, Washington, D.C., the East-West Center in Washington, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, and the International Studies Center to further promote engagement and better understanding between the United States and Thailand’s respective government officials, parliamentarians, private sectors,  academic and think tank analysts, and the general public.


SPEAKER BIOGRAPHIES

Vijavat Isarabhakdi has served as Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand since his appointment on 13 August 2019. He had previously held the position of Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2018-2019. A career diplomat, who retired from the Thai diplomatic service in October 2017, Ambassador Vijavat was previously Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Thailand to Canada from 2015-2017. Concurrently, he was non-resident Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago as well as non-resident Ambassador to Jamaica. He also held the position of Permanent Representative of Thailand to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal during the same period. From 2013 to 2015, Ambassador Vijavat served as Thailand’s Ambassador to the United States of America, and Permanent Representative of Thailand to the Organization of American States (OAS). He has held various other senior positions in the Thai Foreign Service, including Deputy Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, overseeing Thailand’s bilateral relations with other countries, from 2012 to 2013; Director-General of the Department of International Organizations in Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2011 to 2012; and Ambassador/ Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the United Nations Office in Geneva from 2006 to 2011. Ambassador Vijavat received his undergraduate degree (First Class Honours) in 1980 from the Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. In 1982, he received a Fulbright scholarship to pursue graduate studies in the United States of America, earning his Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (M.A.L.D.) degree in 1984 as well as his PhD in International Relations in 1989 from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Massachusetts.

H.E. Manasvi Srisodapol has served as Thailand's ambassador to the United States of America since early 2021. Before this most recent posting, Ambassador Srisodapol served as Thailand's ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium (2017), the Special Representative of the Chair of the Group of 77 and China for Climate Change (2016) and Thailand's ambassador to the Republic of Poland (2015). In 2009 he served as the Permanent Representative of Thailand to ASEAN in Jakarta. Throughout his career, Ambassador Srisodapol has been awarded numerous decorations in honor of his service to Thailand. Ambassador Srisodapol has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Ottawa, Canada and a Master of Arts in International Affairs and Certificate for South Asian Studies from Columbia University. 

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth is an Iraq War Veteran, Purple Heart recipient and former Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs who was among the first handful of Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Duckworth served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years before retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2014. She was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016 after representing Illinois’s Eighth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for two terms. In 2004, Duckworth was deployed to Iraq as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot for the Illinois Army National Guard. On November 12, 2004, her helicopter was hit by an RPG and she lost her legs and partial use of her right arm. Senator Duckworth spent the next year recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where she quickly became an advocate for her fellow Soldiers. After she recovered, she became Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, where she helped create a tax credit for employers that hire Veterans, established a first-in-the-nation 24/7 Veterans crisis hotline and developed innovative programs to improve Veterans’ access to housing and health care. In 2009, President Obama appointed Duckworth as an Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs, where she coordinated a joint initiative with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help end Veteran homelessness, worked to address the unique challenges faced by female as well as Native American Veterans and created the Office of Online Communications to improve the VA’s accessibility, especially among young Veterans. In the U.S. House, Duckworth served on the Armed Services Committee and was an advocate for working families and job creation, introducing bills like her bipartisan Friendly Airports for Mothers (FAM) Act to ensure new mothers have access to safe, clean and accessible lactation rooms when traveling through airports, which is now law. Duckworth is fluent in Thai and Indonesian. She attended college at the University of Hawaii and earned a Master of Arts in International Affairs from the George Washington University. Following graduation, Duckworth moved to Illinois and began pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science at Northern Illinois University and later worked for Rotary International.

Dr. Darmp Sukontasap is Co-Founder and Director of the Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies (IDIS), Rangsit University, Thailand. He is also representative of Thailand to the Governing Council of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (ASEAN-IPR), a research and advisory body established by the decision of the ASEAN Summit Meeting in 2011. His other current responsibilities include, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Export-Import Bank of Thailand and Advisor to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Senate of Thailand. Dr. Sukontasap specializes in regional security issues and topics on regional trade and economic development. He has also done extensive work on ASEAN affairs, as well as regional cybersecurity issues. A Fulbright and John E. Peurifoy Scholar, Dr. Sukontasap received his doctorate degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He also completed the Program on Managing Global Business for Senior Executives at L’ Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires (INSEAD), France.

Cory Gardner is a former U.S. Senator who honorably represented the state of Colorado from 2015 to 2021. During this time, he was selected to serve as the Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee from 2017 to 2019. After the midterm elections in 2018, he became one of only two Republicans to hold statewide elected office in Colorado. In addition to chairing the NRSC, Cory also served on powerful Senate Committees including the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Prior to being elected to the U.S. Senate, Cory represented Colorado’s 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2011 to 2015. During this time, he was an active member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Cory also served in the Colorado State House as a State Representative from 2005 until 2011.

Alexander Feldman is President & CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council. Founded in 1984, the Council represents more than 160 of the largest American businesses in Southeast Asia through its headquarters in Washington, DC and its seven regional offices. Since Mr. Feldman assumed his role in June of 2009, the Council has grown its membership by more than 90%, added two new regional offices, and established major initiatives such as ASEAN Matters for America, the US-ASEAN Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs, and the ASEAN Economic Ministers Roadshow. Mr. Feldman served in the Administrations of Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.  He has been involved in the ASEAN region for over 25 years in a career spanning both the public and private sectors. He resided in Asia for more than a decade, and has conducted business in all 10 ASEAN member countries. From 2004-2008, Mr. Feldman held senior roles in the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Commerce. He worked under Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, leading the Bureau of International Information Programs, with the rank of Assistant Secretary of State, and responsibility for public diplomacy. Mr. Feldman also served as a Senior Advisor to the U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Satu P. Limaye is Vice President of the East-West Center and the Director of the East-West Center in Washington where he created and now directs the Asia Matters for America initiative and is the founding editor of the Asia Pacific Bulletin. He is also a Senior Advisor at CNA Corp (Center for Naval Analyses) and Senior Fellow on Asia History and Policy at the Foreign Policy Institute at Paul H. Nitze School of International Studies (SAIS). He is magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Georgetown University and received his doctorate from Oxford University (Magdalen College) where he was a George C. Marshall Scholar. Recent publications include: “America’s ‘Pacific Principle’ in an Indivisible Pacific Islands Region,” (Asia Pacific Bulletin); “Despite Stumbles, America’s Engagement with Southeast Runs Deep,” (Global Asia); Raging Waters: China, India, Bangladesh, and Brahmaputra Water Politics (Marine Corps University Press); and Russia’s Peripheral Relevance to US-Indo Pacific Relations (Center for the National Interest).

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Sarah Wang
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