Our Keynote Speakers

Dr. Huong Le Thu

Dr. Huong Le Thu is a senior fellow at Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Prior to joining ASPI she worked at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs (ANU), Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore), and Institute of International Relations (Taiwan). Her research interests include multilateral security in Asia, foreign policy in post-socialist countries, as well as identity politics.

She has held short-term research fellowships in Seoul (private think-tank), Kuala Lumpur (University of Malaya) and Jakarta (the ASEAN Secretariat). She is an alumna of the DKI Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu, and a recipient of the U.S. State Department Fellowship for East Asian Security and IISS ShangriLa Dialogue Southeast Asian Fellow.

Professor Harry Harding

A specialist on Asia and American relations with Asia, Harry Harding’s major publications include The India-China Relationship: What the United States Needs to Know (co-edited with Francine Frankel, 2004); A Fragile Relationship: The United States and China Since 1972 (1992), Sino-American Relations, 1945-1955: A Joint Reassessment of a Critical Decade (co-edited with Yuan Ming, 1989), China’s Second Revolution: Reform After Mao (1987), China’s Foreign Relations in the 1980s (editor, 1984), and Organizing China: The Problem of Bureaucracy, 1949-1976 (1981).

From 2009 to 2014, Harding served as the founding dean of the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia.  Upon leaving the deanship, he was appointed a University Professor and Professor of Public Policy.  Before coming to Virginia, he was a member of the faculties of Swarthmore College and Stanford University, a Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution, Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University, Director of Research and Analysis at Eurasia Group, and University Professor of International Affairs at George Washington University, and held visiting professorships at Georgetown University, the University of Washington, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the University of Hong Kong.

Harding presently serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the Rajaratnam School of International Studies (Singapore), and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.    His previous positions include membership on the Senior Advisory Panel that advised the Asian Development Bank on its Long Term Strategic Framework in2000-01, the Scientific Advisory Board of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, and the U.S. Defense Policy Board.  He has also served as a Trustee and Vice-Chairman of the Asia Foundation.

Professor M. Shamsul Haque

Prof. Shamsul Haque has a Ph.D. from University of Southern California. He is interested in diverse research and teaching areas, and believes in a multi-disciplinarity approach to knowlege construction and deconstruction. He has extensively published on development theory, public governance, public sector reform, ethics and accountability, policy and politics (privatization), environmental politics, globalization and the state, and other current issues. What inspires him most is the role an academic can play in demystifying prejudiced assumptions, generating critical awareness, and emancipating hegemonic existence. Although research and writing remain his main passion, he likes to explore unknown societies and listen to traditional music of different cultures.

Dr. Woosang Kim

Dr. Kim Woosang, Professor of Political Science at Yonsei University, has served as the President of the Korea Foundation and the Korean Ambassador to Australia. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in 1988. He has researched and taught international politics as research associate at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and as a professor in the Department of Political Science, Texas A&M University, Sookmyung University, and Yonsei University. He served as the Director of the Institute of East and West Studies at Yonsei University, Honorary Professor at the Queensland University in Australia, Special Adviser to the Speaker of the National Assembly for the MIKTA, member of the Steering Committee of the CSCAP, the Guest Columnist of the Dong-A Daily Newspaper, member of Advisory Committees of the National Security Council and the ROK Air Force, and currently serves as member of Advisory Committee of the Ministry of National Defense. He has published many articles in such journals as World Politics, American Journal of Political Science, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Conflict Resolution and books on middle power diplomacy, national security strategy, and international relations in East Asia.

Prof. Alex Tan

Alex Tan is Head of Department and Professor of Political Science and International Relations, Honorary Professor of the NZ Defence Force Command and Staff College, Associate Director of the NZ Contemporary China Research Centre, Senior Fellow of the University of Nottingham China Policy Institute (UK), Fellow of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies (Dallas, USA), and University Chair Professor of Political Science (adjunct) at National Chengchi University (Taiwan). He is recipient of the 2017 UCSA College of Arts Lecturer of the Year, 2015 College of Arts Teaching Excellence Award and the 2014 UCSA University and College of Arts Lecturer of the Year Awards. He received his PhD from Texas A&M University, MA (Economics) from University of California-Santa Barbara, and AB (Economics) from the Ateneo de Manila. Before joining UC, he was tenured associate professor at the University of North Texas, worked as a banker with HSBC and researcher at Taiwan Institute of Economic Research.  He was visiting scholar in universities in the USA, Germany, Japan, and Taiwan and represented New Zealand in numerous Track II security and economic dialogues.  Alex is editorial board member of several top international political science journals such as Electoral Studies, Political Science, Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs. He has published extensively in the areas of political parties and elections, political economy, Asian politics and international affairs.

Professor Evan Berman

Evan Berman is Professor of Public Management for the School of Government. Evan’s research interests lie in the areas of performance, leadership and human resources management. Evan is recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Scholarship Award from the American Society for Public Administration, Section on Personnel and Labor Relations, in recognition of outstanding scholarship in public human resource management throughout a career of research. He also received the Fred Riggs Award for Lifetime Achievement in International and Comparative Public Administration from the American Society for Public Administration. Evan is listed among the very most productive scholars of his generation, and has 14 books and over 140 articles that have appeared in all of the leading journals of the discipline. Evan has directed international, comparative studies in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific. He is the current editor-in-chief of Emerald’s book series on Public Policy & Governance (UK), and senior editor of Public Performance & Management Review. He serves on the editorial boards of many other leading journals.

Evan’s current focus is on strengthening relations with leading institutions in Asia-Pacific and the U.S.  SOG recently achieved eligibility for accreditation by NASPAA, the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. Evan has fostered a range of new activities with leading universities in China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, and often participates in major international events in these countries.  Evan is also a dedicated teacher who has won teaching awards. He is author of two leading and widely used textbooks in the field, “Human Resources Management in Public Service” (Sage 2015, 5th ed), and “Essential Statistics for Public Managers and Policy Analysts,” (Sage/CQ Press 2012, 3rd ed). The HRM text received a Best Book Award from the American Society for Public Administration, Section on Personnel and Labor Relations (2001), and a Cornerstone Author Award from Sage for the latest edition, recognizing the quality of scholarship.

Evan’s research on performance, leadership and HRM is frequently cited and he often presents in international settings. His articles cover a wide range of topics, including public performance management strategies, public executive leadership, network management, creativity management in a leading city, use of psychological contracts, job satisfaction, and application to diverse policy settings such as sustainability.  His trilogy on Public Administration in Asia (Taylor & Francis, 2010, 2011, 2013) was well-received and is often used. Evan is also actively engaged in in executive education and has conducted trainings around the world as well as at VUW for visiting international delegations. Before joining Victoria University of Wellington, Evan was University Chair Professor and Director of International Ph.D. Program in Asia-Pacific Studies at National Chengchi University (Taipei, Taiwan), and is currently Adjunct Chair Professor at NCCU. He was also Huey McElveen Distinguished Professor at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, USA). He has also taught at the University of Central Florida and the University of Miami, and has worked for the U.S. National Science Foundation. Evan is an active member of the American Society for Public Administration and other professional associations.

Prof. Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao

Prof. H. H. Michael Hsiao is Chairman of Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation and Chairman of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at National Chengchi University. He is also Distinguished Research Fellow, Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica and Professor of Sociology in National Taiwan University and National Sun Yat-Sen University. Prof. Hsiao is also Chair Professor of Hakka Studies, National Central University. He served as National Policy Advisor to the President of Taiwan between 1996 and 2006, and is currently Senior Advisor to the President of Taiwan.

His areas of specialization include: middle class, civil society and democratization in Asia; environmental movements, sustainability and risk society; and comparative Hakka studies in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Prof. Syaru Shirley Lin

Syaru Shirley Lin is a member of the founding faculty of the master’s program in global political economy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and teaches political science at the University of Virginia. She offers courses on theories of international political economy and cross-Strait relations at both universities. Her book, Taiwan’s China Dilemma: Contested Identities and Multiple Interests in Taiwan’s Cross-Strait Economic Policy , was published by Stanford University Press in 2016. Professor Lin graduated cum laude from Harvard College and earned her masters and Ph.D. from the department of politics and public administration at the University of Hong Kong.

Professor Lin retired as a partner at Goldman Sachs, where she led the Principal Investment Area for Asia ex-Japan, managing investments in more than fifty companies across multiple industries in twelve countries. In that capacity, she spearheaded the firm’s investments in many technology start-ups and was a founding board member of Alibaba Group and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation. Prior to her work in private equity and venture capital, she specialized in the privatization of state-owned enterprises in mainland China, Taiwan and Singapore.

Professor Lin’s present board service includes Goldman Sachs Asia Bank, Langham Hospitality Investments and Mercuries Life Insurance. Appointed by the Hong Kong government, she is a member of the Hong Kong Committee for Pacific Economic Cooperation. She also advises Crestview Partners, a private equity fund based in New York, and the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, a Virginia-based foundation that supports the development of new therapeutic medical technology.

Director William Brent Christensen

Mr. William Brent Christensen, the new Director of the American Institute in Taiwan’s Taipei office, arrived in Taipei on August 11, 2018. He is very happy to be back in Taiwan, and looks forward to continuing to develop the many areas of U.S.-Taiwan cooperation.

Mr. Christensen has been in the United States Foreign Service for more than 29 years and has extensive experience in senior positions related to Taiwan and China. Mr. Christensen previously served as Deputy Director of the American Institute in Taiwan’s Taipei office. Prior to that, he was Director of the State Department’s Office of Taiwan Coordination, where he had a primary role in formulating U.S. policy toward Taiwan. He has served three assignments at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, the most recent being Environment, Science, Technology and Health Counselor.

Mr. Christensen has also served as a Senior Level Career Development Advisor in the State Department’s Human Resources Bureau. Prior to that assignment, he served as the Foreign Policy Advisor at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS). Other overseas postings include Hong Kong and South Africa. Mr. Christensen also served as a Congressional Fellow on the staff of Senator Olympia Snowe. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he was a captain in the U.S. Air Force.

Mr. Christensen is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service and holds the personal rank of Minister-Counselor. Mr. Christensen earned an M.A. in East Asian Studies from the George Washington University, a B.A. in Chinese language and literature from Brigham Young University, and a Doctor of Medical Dentistry degree from the Oregon Health and Sciences University. Mr. Christensen is married to Brenda Barrus Christensen and has three children. He is a native of Provo, Utah.