U.S.-China Higher Education Partnerships: U.S. Universities in China and Confucius Institutes in the United States


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When: Sep 8 2020 - 5:00pm until Sep 8 2020 - 6:00pm
Where: Zoom Webinar

The East-West Center in Washington invites you to the
Indo-Pacific Virtual Seminar Series:

 US-China Higher Education Partnerships:
US Universities in China and Confucius Institutes in the United States


Mr. Jason Bair
Director, International Affairs and Trade,
US Government Accountability Office

Mr. Joe Carney (Discussant
Assistant Director,
US Government Accountability Office

Ms. Caitlin Mitchell (Discussant)
Senior Analyst, International Affairs and Trade,
US Government Accountability Office

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

The United States and China have established various higher education partnerships—a number of US universities have opened institutions in China, and there Government Accountability Office logowere at one time nearly 100 Confucius Institutes in the United States. This panel discussed GAO findings on US universities in China (GAO-16-757) and Confucius Institutes (GAO-19-278), including academic freedom, international agreements, and program operations.



Jason Bair is a Director in GAO’s International Affairs and Trade team. He leads GAO’s work overseeing the management of foreign affairs agencies including the Department of State and USAID.  Key oversight issues in his portfolio include diplomatic security, embassy construction, Foreign Service staffing and training, consular affairs, and public diplomacy. Jason joined GAO in June 2000 after receiving a bachelor’s degree from American University and a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin.   

Joe Carney is an Assistant Director for the US Government Accountability Office. He has worked on a variety of issues in this capacity, including US-Chinese higher education partnerships, such as Confucius Institutes; US rule of law assistance around the world; and US assistance to Central America, among others. Prior to joining the GAO in 2004, Joe worked for an international relief and development agency. Joe has a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University in Baltimore, and a master’s degree from Iowa State University. He is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

Caitlin Mitchell is a Senior Analyst in GAO’s International Affairs and Trade team and leads performance audits of federal programs in the areas of national security and foreign policy. Her work focuses on the intersection of international affairs and domestic policy, on topics such as compact migration, Confucius Institutes on US campuses, financial contributions to UN peacekeeping operations, and US efforts to counter ISIS messaging. Prior to joining GAO in 2014, she worked at the Department of Defense, and studied at the University of Pittsburgh (MPIA) and Dickinson College (BA, Russian).

Satu 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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