Five New Members Appointed to EWC’s Board of Governors


HONOLULU (Jan. 25, 2021) – The US State Department has appointed five new members to East-West Center’s Board of Governors. The three-year appointments, made by former Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo before leaving office, are:

  • Recent Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Academic Programs Caroline Casagrande;
  • Recent Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Kelley E. Currie;
  • Recent Ambassador to India Kenneth I. Juster;
  • Recent Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David R. Stilwell; and
  • Hawai‘i State Rep. Gene Ward.

The new members replace outgoing board members Jeffrey L. Bleich, Kurt M. Campbell, Margaret Carpenter, Jennifer Park Stout and Kirk Wagar.

Fellow Board of Governors members and EWC management extended a warm welcome to the new members and a grateful farewell to the departing ones. “We welcome the dynamic experience and vision that our distinguished new colleagues bring to the board’s important mission of guiding this special institution forward,” said Board Chairman Dr. James A. Scott. “To the departing members, we offer our deepest thanks for their dedicated service.”

About the appointees:

As the recent Deputy Assistant Secretary for Academic Programs in the US State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Caroline Casagrande oversaw the Fulbright Scholarships and other prestigious fellowships, undergraduate and teacher exchanges, the promotion of US higher education and study abroad for Americans, and language study programs. Previously, she served as the Special Advisor to ECA Assistant Secretary Marie Royce. Ms. Casagrande served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 2008 to 2016 as the youngest woman assembly member ever elected in that state. Earlier, she was a partner in the law firm of Menna, Supko & Casagrande and served as township attorney and special counsel for municipalities throughout New Jersey. Among a variety of international exchanges, she traveled to India as a 2015 participant in EWC’s New Generation Seminar for emerging political and social leaders.

Before being appointed US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues in 2019, Kelley E. Currie served as Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and as Acting Deputy US Representative to the UN. An attorney, Currie was previously a senior fellow at the Project 2049 Institute, a think tank focused on security issues and public policy in Central Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. She served as a policy advisor to Illinois Rep. John Porter and on the Congressional Human Rights Caucus staff. She has also worked as a senior advisor to the International Committee of the Red Cross and as the director of government relations at the International Campaign for Tibet.

Before being named US Ambassador to India in 2017, Kenneth I. Juster served as Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. His distinguished record of public service includes the Office of the US Trade Representative’s independent Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations; Undersecretary of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security; and Senior Advisor to former Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger. He has been a partner at the global investment firm Warburg Pincus, a senior executive at the software company, and a senior partner at the law firm Arnold & Porter. Mr. Juster has chaired the Advisory Committee of Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, been Chairman of Freedom House and Vice Chairman of the Asia Foundation, and a member of the Trilateral Commission. He is currently a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Diplomacy.

Prior to serving as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, David R. Stilwell served as the Director of the China Strategic Focus Group at US Indo-Pacific Command in Hawai‘i. He served in the Air Force for 35 years, retiring in 2015 as a Brigadier General then serving as the Asia advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He served multiple tours of duty in Japan and Korea as a linguist, fighter pilot, and commander, and as the Defense Attaché at the US Embassy in China. He was an East-West Center grantee while studying for his Master’s Degree in Asian studies and Chinese language at the University of Hawai‘i and was an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center from 2016 to 2019.

Rep. Gene Ward has served in the Hawai‘i State House of Representatives since 1990 and currently serves as the House Minority Leader and Minority Floor Leader. He was a cofounder of the body’s Small Businesses Caucus and also cofounded the Hawai‘i Entrepreneurship Training Development Institute. Rep. Ward, who speaks Malay, Indonesian, and Vietnamese, previously served as a USAID Senior Democracy Adviser and as the Peace Corps country director for East Timor. He was an East-West Center degree fellow while he pursued his doctorate in business sociology at the University of Hawai‘i.

About the EWC Board of Governors:

The East-West Center Board of Governors consists of 18 members, including five appointed by the governor of Hawai‘i, five appointed by the US secretary of state, five members from Asia and the Pacific islands who are elected by the full board, and three ex-officio members who include the governor of Hawai‘i, the assistant US secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, and the president of the University of Hawai‘i, or their designees.