2022 EWC/EWCA International Conference Pod Staff Researcher Profiles

zakia adeli

Dr. Adeli was the Deputy Minister of Justice of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and a Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Kabul University before joining EWC (2018-2021). With more than ten years of master’s and bachelor’s degree teaching experience at Kabul university, she has also guided, advised and judged more than 300 master’s theses.

She was a member of the Preparatory Contact Committee for Peace with the Taliban in 2019 in Doha (Qatar), and also served on many senior government commissions in the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, including the High Commission for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders of Afghanistan; High Council of Women of Afghanistan, High Commission for the Prevention of Violence against Women; Political Parties and Civil Society Commission of the Supreme National Reconciliation Council of Afghanistan; The Commission on Women and Human Rights of the Supreme National Reconciliation Council of Afghanistan.

Area of Expertise: 
Politics and security in Afghanistan, comparative foreign policy, (Track II Diplomacy), Democratization in South Asia, Globalization and Its Impact on the Politics and Economy of South Asia, Crisis Management in Conflict Countries, International Relations Theories, Human Rights and Women’s Studies

dr. micah fisher

Fellow, Research Program

Micah R. Fisher is a Fellow in the Research Program at the East-West Center. He conducts research on the human-dimensions of environmental change such as deforestation, land degradation, and urbanization in the Asia-Pacific. Recent research has focused on deforestation, land rights, and tenure policies in Indonesia and Southeast Asia; Disaster risk, vulnerability, and water insecurity in Greater Jakarta; Agrarian change and livelihoods in Sulawesi; and Technologies of Participation. He has previously worked with the World Bank, Mercy Corps, Asia Foundation, and other international development organizations. He is an affiliate graduate faculty at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa and lectures in the Department of Forestry at Hasanuddin University in Indonesia. He currently serves as co-Editor in Chief for the academic peer reviewed journal Forest and Society.

Area of Expertise: 
Landscapes and Watersheds; Climate Vulnerability and Adaptation; Community-based Resource Management, Participatory Mapping and Engaged Methodologies; Environment and Community Planning; Disaster Risk Reduction; Southeast Asia; Indonesia

jefferson m. fox

Acting Director, Research Program

Jefferson Fox is the Acting Director of the Research Program at the East-West Center. He conducts research on land-use and land-cover change in Asia and the impact of these changes on the region and the global environment. Other areas of study include resource-management systems and land-cover transitions in Montane Mainland Southeast Asia—their role in altering regional hydrological processes under a changing climate; the ethics, values, and practice of spatial information technology and society; and natural resources and violent ethnic conflict in the Asia Pacific region. He has worked with watershed management projects in Nepal, and lectured in the Geography Department at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He is an affiliate graduate faculty member in ­geography and anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i. He holds a Ph.D. in development studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and speaks Nepali and Bahasa Indonesia.

Area of Expertise: 
Land cover/land-use change in Southeast Asia; climate variability, change, and risk; community-based management of natural resources in South and Southeast Asia; forest fragmentation and degradation; spatial information technologies and society

sandeep kandikuppa


Sandeep Kandikuppa has PhD from the University of North Carolina and studies rural indebtedness, common pool resources, village institutions, and food security. His current research projects include assessing the impact of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana in Bihar, Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Telangana, in India, studying the impact of climate change on the financial health of rural households in India, and examining the driving factors behind farmers’ movements in India.

He worked for ten years with two leading Indian non-profits, the Foundation for Ecological Security, Anand, and the Deccan Development Society, Hyderabad. He has been a consultant at the Foundation for Ecological Security and International Food Policy Research Institute.

Area of Expertise: 
Rural livelihoods-natural environment nexus; rural household finance and financial inclusion; common pool resources and community-led governance; food (in)security in rural areas

mohammad sadiq sohail

Mohammad Sadiq Sohail is Research Specialist at the Research Department of East-West Center. His study and work background focuses on political economy and security in south and central Asia, He is conducting research on Water, Food and Energy Security Nexus in Afghanistan and Its Impact on regional Connectivity. He is the Founder and Director of Afghanistan Institute for Strategic Research and Development Studies which has conducted many projects and researches in Afghanistan. Mr. Sohail is a proud Human Right and Women Rights Activist and has been active in this regard for almost more than a Decade and he has held many National Conferences in Afghanistan. He has lectured collectively for almost 8 years at MASHAL University, GHARJISTAN University, RANA University and ASHNA University and he was also Dean of Political Science faculty at ASHNA University in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Prior to joining East-West Center he was Socio-Political Advisor to the Ministry of Justice of Afghanistan for almost four years and he was advising the leadership of MoJ in areas of Legal Aid and Human Rights Directorates; and Political Parties and Social Societies Organizations Directorate where he has registered more than 4000 SSOs. Mr. Sohail has also served at Afghanistan National Directorate of Security as a Security Analyst and has briefed to National Security Council and Presidential Palace of Afghanistan.

Area of Expertise: 
Political economy, economic-security, International Relations, Policy Studies, Security Studies, Women Rights and Human Rights

sumeet saksena

Senior Fellow, Research Program

Sumeet Saksena served as a Fellow at the Centre for Environmental Studies, The Energy and resources Institute, India till 2001. He is also Affiliate Graduate Faculty, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Hawaii at Manoa. Member of the International Society of Exposure Assessment; Committee on Indoor Environment Quality, United States Department of Energy; Advisory Group for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment; Standing Research Advisory Committee for the Central Statistical Organization; and the Technical Working Group, Cities 21 Pilot Project, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. His research has been funded by the US National Science Foundation, US Department of State, The World Bank, etc. Publications: Evidence for the Convergence Model: the Emergence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (H5N1) in Viet Nam; Classifying and mapping the urban transition in Vietnam; Environmental justice in the context of commuters’ exposure to CO and PM10 in Bangalore, India; Domestic Environment and Health of Women and Children, Development of Environment Statistics in Developing Asian and Pacific Countries, Policy Uses of Particulate Exposure Estimates, Total Exposure as the Basis of Economic Valuation of Air Pollution in India; etc.

Area of Expertise: 
Interdisciplinary research in: Environmental Risk Analysis; Exposure Assessment; Environmental Health; Air Pollution; Emerging Infectious Diseases, Environmental Justice, Impacts of Peri-urbanization; and Public Perceptions of Environmental Risks

tammy tabe


Tammy Tabe possesses a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Bergen, in Norway. In 2019 she became a Lecturer at the Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development at The University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji, and previously worked there as an Assistant Lecturer since 2016.

She serves as a member of the Advisory Committee for Solomon Islands Climate Change Resettlement Policy, and as a member of the Climate Change Human Mobility Technical Advisory Group (TAG) administered by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Fiji.

Area of Expertise: 
Pacific Islands States and communities; Community displacement and relocation; Climate change vulnerability and adaptation; Climate risk and vulnerability assessments; Community-based Adaptation; Ecosystem-based Adaptation; Disaster Risk Reduction and Management; Gender and climate change; Indigenous and local knowledge; Identity and Diaspora

dr. kevin woods

Fellow, Research Program

Dr. Kevin Woods has been professionally trained at Yale University and UC Berkeley as a political ecologist and human geographer, with a focus on land and natural resources, ethnic-based armed conflict and rebel governance. His geographic focus is in mainland Southeast Asia, especially Myanmar, where he has worked in varying capacities for nearly two decades. In addition to his academic training, he has worked as a policy analyst for several international non-profits on land and environmental governance reforms in war and postwar settings. He also considers himself a scholar-activist; his collaborative and participatory research projects has arisen out of deep engagements with indigenous communities and their leaders who live in and navigate through armed conflict zones. He is recently a research Fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawai’i working as an environmental social scientist in mainland Southeast Asia. For many years he has been a Senior Policy Analyst at Forest Trends in Washington, DC, where he has co-managed their Myanmar program on land and resource governance decentralization, customary land rights, and political federalism. He’s also an Adjunct Assoc. Prof. at the Department of Geography and Environment at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Area of Expertise: 
Politics of land use change, resource extraction, and environmental conservation; resources and armed conflict dynamics; environmental peace building; Chinese investment in Southeast Asia; mainland Southeast Asia, with focus on Burma/Myanmar.

dr. phanwin yokying

Fellow, Research Program

Dr. Phanwin Yokying is an applied microeconomics researcher. She studies development and gender issues affecting the livelihoods and well-being of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in Asia and Africa. Her research areas of interest include time use, migration, remittance, land rights, rural food security, informal employment, child labor, and domestic violence. At the East-West Center, her research work focuses primarily on the policy implications of women and children’s time allocation in South and Southeast Asia. Under close collaboration with Tribhuvan University, she is currently co-leading the State of Social Inclusion in Nepal: A Study of Time Allocation (SOSIN-SOTA) project in Nepal. She is also involved in a multi-disciplinary research project that investigates long-term changes and spatial variability of rice production systems in Southeast Asia.

Area of Expertise: 
Development and gender issues in developing countries, quantitative analysis of time use surveys, and agricultural development.

dr. ming li yong


Ming Li Yong is a researcher focused on issues around transboundary water governance and hydropower development in the Mekong River Basin, particularly in relation to livelihoods, community-based natural resource management, civil society movements, institutional arrangements, and public participation. Much of her research has taken place in Thailand and Cambodia.

Ming Li is from Singapore and possesses a PhD from The University of Sydney. She has previously taught courses on environmental ethics, development, and sustainability at The School for Field Studies’ Center for Conservation and Development Studies and Pannasastra University while based in Siem Reap, and at the National Institute of Education in Singapore.

Area of Expertise: 
Transboundary water governance and environmental governance; Community-based natural resource management; Public participation; Development and its impacts on livelihoods and the environment; Southeast Asia, Mekong Region

2022 EWC/EWCA International Conference In-Person Participant Profiles

Ronny Adhikarya, Ph.D.

📍Hawaii, USA

Man with glasses in a Hawaiian print shirt, laughing.

Ronny Adhikarya is a retiree of the World Bank in Washington D.C. and United Nations/FAO in Rome. He currently gives lectures at conferences on topics, such as the challenges of digital disruption and AI-tech-based applications. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Hawaii-Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and on the EWC Executive Board.

Connect with him here on LinkedIn: Ronny Adhikarya

Mrs. Daphne Roberts bell

📍New Zealand

Woman with short, brown hair with glasses, smiling.

Daphne Roberts Bell has worked in social work, community development, and philanthropy and has served nine years on the local council, along with supporting settlement services for Hawai’i’s community. She advocates for effective action on climate change locally and nationally and encourages and supports able younger women to stand for council.

Her topics of interest: Environment and Climate, Gender Equality, and Social Issues

Mr. Jonathan Bensky

📍Washington, USA

Man smiling at the camera.

After joining the Peace Corps in Nepal, Jonathan (Jon) Bensky began his career in the U.S. Foreign Service, State & Commerce Departments, in Vancouver, Madras/Chennai, Colombo, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, New Delhi, Singapore, and Brussels. Now retired and living in Seattle, he is involved in local volunteer activities, including domestic politics and international affairs.

His topics of interest: Economics, Politics and International Relations, and Science and Technology

Connect with him here on LinkedIn: Jonathan Bensky

Mr. Arvinder S. Brara


Man wearing a suit and a red turban smiling at the camera.

Arvinder (Ari) Brara likes to spend his time writing articles and books and has a great interest in health and environment-related matters. His future interests are in health and the environment, and he would like to collaborate with the East-West Center to plan an international conference focused on environmental issues.

His topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Environment and Climate, and Leadership

Connect with him here on LinkedIn: Arvinder Brara


📍California, USA

Man wearing a multicolored plaid shirt and glasses, smiling.

Dr. Jaswinder (Jay) Brara has worked on poverty alleviation strategies in India, project and financial management in the U.S., and also teaches Economics in online MBA Programs. At the conference, he looks forward to building a multimedia interactive database of EWC Alumni continuing from the EWCA Southern California Impact Retreat Conference.

His topics of interest: Economics, Education and Exchange, and Politics and International Relations

Charles Chen, Ph.D., PMP, Pe

📍Hawaii, USA

As an APLP Generation 4, Charles Chen is currently teaching, researching, and publishing in the Social Science and Science Citation Indexes, the European Reference Index for the Humanities, and the Arts and Humanities Citation Index journals. In the future, he is interested in collaborating with other EWC colleagues in publishing works in more of these journals.

His topics of interest: Economics, Education and Exchange, and Environment and Climate

Connect with him here on LinkedIn: Charles Chen

Dr. gaye christoffersen

📍California, USA

Woman with short blond hair and wearing glasses, smiling at the camera.

Gaye Christoffersen is the editor of Russia in the Indo-Pacific: New Approaches to Russian Foreign Policy, Routledge (2022), and author of “Russian Thinking about CSTO Peacekeeping: Central Asia, China, and the Ukraine War,” The Asan Forum (May 2022). She is currently working on co-authoring a book titled Russia’s Turn to the East.

Her topics of interest: Environment and Climate and Politics and International Relations

Connect with her here on LinkedIn: Gaye Christoffersen

Ms. Moushumi Das Purkayastha


Moushumi Das Purkayastha has a long professional experience in supporting the cause of marginalized women and children in the fields of education, women, and child rights through various top-level NGOs. She is now working in the field of business and continues to support small groups of young woman entrepreneurs.

Her topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Gender Equality, and Leadership

Connect with her here on LinkedIn: Moushumi Das Purkayastha

Mrs. Gulbadan Habibi

📍New Jersey, USA

Gulbadan Habibi worked for UNICEF as a Program Officer. She was instrumental in drafting committees of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities. Her work focuses on protecting the rights of children, women, and refugees.

ms. najma haque

📍Bangladesh, USA

Najma Haque is a retired government officer of the Ministry of Education in Bangladesh and is now working with some EWC friends for social uplift-ment in some of the villages there. With the help of her fellow EWC colleagues, she hopes to create something more permanent. She believes young, talented Bangladeshi’s can work wonders with a little help and encouragement.

Her topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Environment and Climate, and Population

Mr. C. David Hickey

📍Florida, USA

David Hickey is now retired from the University of Florida Smathers Libraries, as an Asian Studies Bibliographer. Currently, he is continuing to pursue research and avocational interests in Chinese Studies, films, and reading. In the future, he would like to support EWC endeavors, such as hosting possible grantee visits to the University of Florida.

His topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Arts and Culture, and Travel and Tourism

Connect with him here on LinkedIn: David Hickey

Dr. Ahmad Reza Hoshmand

📍California, USA

Man in a suit smiling at the camera.

Reza Hoshmand is a Senior Advisor at the Global Institute of Service Leadership and former Director of General Education at Hong Kong Baptist University. In the future, he hopes to collaborate with EWC colleagues to discuss the economic development in the Asia Pacific Region.

His topics of interest: Economics, Politics and International Relations, and Leadership

Connect with him here on LinkedIn: Reza Hoshmand

Mr. Ishfaq Hussain


Ishfaq Hussain is a current video journalist. In the future, he hopes to progress and work for a renowned organization.

His topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Environment and Climate, and Media

Mrs. May Imamura-uruu

📍Hawaii, USA

Woman with short black hair, wearing a green shirt, smiling at the camera.

May Imamura is a Special Ed. Teacher from Waipahu Elementary with 35 years of experience writing curriculum for American Samoa, Western Samoa, Fiji, and Tongan culture. She is also a donor to the East-West Center and offers scholarships for current EWC students. Since retiring in 2000, she likes to spend her time traveling.

Mr. greg knudsen

📍Hawaii, USA

Man in a Hawaiian print shirt and wearing glasses, smiling.

Greg Knudsen is a former Director of Communications at the Hawaii State Department of Education, as well as a former magazine editor and Peace Corps volunteer. Now retired, he enjoys photography, traveling, and mental health support. He is also an EWC alumni and a Hawaii Chapter board member of the East-West Center Association.

His topics of interest: Politics and International Relations, Arts and Culture, and Media

dr. dayaprasad g. kulkarni

📍New York, USA

Dayaprasad Kulkarni is the founder and director at Aarogya Seva. Dr. Kulkarni is also a medical doctor, public health specialist, entrepreneur, artist, and development consultant. He would like to collaborate with his fellow EWC colleagues on addressing healthcare problems with innovative solutions, as he has initiated several health-tech solutions.

His topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Public Health, and Arts and Culture

Connect with him here on LinkedIn: Dayaprasad Kulkarni

Claire Koch Langham, Ph.D.

📍California, USA

Woman with blonde hair and dangled earrings.

Claire Langham has done field study in many different countries as a Fulbright recipient. She has 12 years of experience in the U.S. Diplomatic Service and is a former chapter leader of the EWCA Southern California Chapter. She looks forward to upcoming EWCA SoCal Chapter activities and the EWC International Conference.

Her topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Politics and International Relations, and Travel and Tourism

miss cheryl cadeline lee

📍Singapore, USA

Cheryl Lee is an environmentalist interested in community building, policy analysis, and social innovation.

Her topics of interest: Environment and Climate, Politics and International Relations, and Social Issues

Connect with her here on LinkedIn: Cheryl Cadeline Lee

Dr. Maria Chelo Manlagnit-De Venecia

📍Maryland, USA

Woman in professional attire and pearl necklace, smiling at the camera.

Maria Manlagnit’s past and current works include economic research and policy analysis in the fields of monetary & banking, development economics, women empowerment & racial equity, and housing and urban economics. She is looking forward to participating in new EWC programs, particularly in the Washington D.C. area, and furthering the mission of the EWC.

Her topics of interest: Economics

dr. ingebord kendall maranto

📍California, USA

Ingeborg Kendall Maranto is currently interested in sustaining growth and encouraging and enabling cooperation.

Her topics of interest: Economics, Leadership, and Travel and Tourism

Connect with her here: Ingeborg Kendall Maranto

Mr. Lawrence Meacham

📍Hawaii, USA

Lawrence (Larry) Meacham teaches American and World Politics in the University of Hawaii system and volunteers at the Democratic Party of Hawaii and in election campaigns. In the future, he is looking forward to constructing information and community networks for seniors, as well as mentoring students.

His topics of interest: Politics and International Relations

Prof. Linda K. menton

📍Hawaii, USA

Linda Menton is a retired professor of education at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. At the alumni conference, she hopes to catch up with her former EWC classmates.

Her topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Politics and International Relations, and Arts and Culture

Dr. Linda Miller

📍Nevada, USA

Woman wearing a blue dress and blazer is smiling at the camera.

Dr. Linda Miller is a retired educator who does re-enactments. In 2020, she provided the East-West Center a $25,000 scholarship for students. Her future interests include preserving the legacy of the USS Nevada in World War II, as well as collaborating with the EWC Art Department.

Ms. yukiko miyazato


Yukiko Miyazato has conducted research within the cruise industry, international trade and Education. In the future, she would like to coordinate with scientists and researchers on international networking and educator’s exchange.

Her topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Travel and Tourism, and Science and Technology

Dr. Fumiteru Nitta


Man in a burgundy suit is smiling at the camera.

Fumiteru Nitta is interested in intercultural interaction between Americans and Japanese and multicultural interactions among Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Americans.

His topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Arts and Culture, and Social Issues

Ms. Regina M. Ordonez


Regina Ordonez is a facilitator of human and management development workshops for multiple projects. She is also a former professor at the Asian Institute of Management and DeLaSalle University in Manila. She hopes to help resolve education challenges of Filipino students and parents and address the broken values of virtual environments among its voter population due to social media.

Her topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Media, and Leadership

Dr. Rebecca S. Ovitt

📍Hawaii, USA

Rebecca Ovitt conducts support group classes for divorced, widowed and separated individuals. In the future, she will continue her work in the same field- reaching out to broken-hearted people.

Her topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Leadership, and Social Issues

Dr. shafiqur Rahman

📍South Carolina, USA

Man in a striped shirt and white suit, wearing glasses, is smiling at the camera.

Shafiqur Rahman is a Bangladesh TV Producer, Mass Media Professor and Chairman at Mississippi Alcorn State & South Carolina State Universities. In the future, he hopes to collaborate with his EWC colleagues on media management, press freedom, social media cyber security, and other similar topics.

His topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Politics and International Relations, and Media

mr. ronald Richmond


Man at the beach, wearing sunglasses.

Ronald (Ron) Richmond is a former Fiji grantee and geologist. He started the EWC Soccer Team and is a Hawaii Rugby Union Representative. In Fiji, he was the Director for Mineral Development and founder of the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission. He is also a member of the Scientific Review Board. He is now retired and interested in climate change-related topics.

His topics of interest: Environment and Climate, Leadership, and Science and Technology

Connect with him here: ronrichmond88@gmail.com

Ms. Cerell rivera

📍California, USA

Woman with long brown hair and wearing a green turtleneck is smiling at the camera.

With a unique focus on business strategy and operations, Cerell Rivera has developed new business models and managed global programs in a variety of industries, including Fortune 100 enterprises, start-ups, and nonprofits. She is passionate about creating opportunities for people to achieve their full potential- personally, professionally, and economically.

Her topics of interest: Economics, Education and Exchange, and Social Issues

Connect with her here on LinkedIn: Cerell Terese Rivera

Ms. Cindy yoshiko shirata


Woman with short hair, wearing a white blazer is smiling at the camera.

Cindy Yoshiko Shirata is the former Secretary-General of the Science Council of Asia in 2010 and 2011. In 2005 she helped organized the EWC Tokyo Conference. In the future, she hopes to collaborate with EWC colleagues to discuss the East-West Center’s Leadership Program from a Japan Management point of view.

Her topics of interest: Economics, Environment and Climate, and Gender Equality

Connect with her here on LinkedIn: Cindy Yoshiko Shirata

mr. mohammad sadiq sohail


Mohammad Sohail has held positions as a director of a research institute, a university lecturer, a socio-political advisor, and a security analyst. His areas of interest are political economy and economic security in South Asia, international relations, policy studies, security studies, women’s rights, and human rights.

His topics of interest: Politics and International Relations, Leadership, and Social Issues

mr. david stilwell

📍Hawaii, USA

David Stilwell has served 35 years in the US Air Force, including as the Defense Attache to the People’s Republic of China, and transitioned to the State Department as Assistant Secretary for East Asia and the Pacific. He would like to collaborate on improving K-12 education and working to get news outlets back to reporting news and information.

His topics of interest: Politics and International Relations and Media

Connect with him here on LinkedIn: David Stilwell

Ms. sri liana suryo-atmojo


Sri Liana Suryo-Atmojo’s enduring interests have been in anthropology and teaching languages, especially English as a second language to immigrants to Canada. She plans to continue nurturing her interests in anthropology, languages and history.

Her topics of interest: Education and Exchange, Gender Equality, and Social Issues

mr. richard tillotson

📍Hawaii, USA

Since retiring from a career in advertising, Richard Tillotson has published two novels, produced a play, and written several (unproduced) screenplays. He has also written newspaper columns on climate change. In the future, he hopes to collaborate with EWC colleagues to discuss more creative writing and the future United States elections.

His topics of interest: Environment and Climate, Arts and Culture, and Media

Mr. takashi Tsuchiya


Takashi (Taka) Tsuchiya is a former CLI grantee and used to assist Japanese companies’ overseas business with Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). Though he is now retired from his full-time job, Tsuchiya is a Japanese Licensed Guide Interpreter and may facilitate interchange of visitors to Japan.

His topics of interest: Politics and International Relations and Travel and Tourism

representative gene ward, ph.d.

📍Hawaii, USA

Man in suit with striped yellow and black tie, smiling at the camera.

Since leaving the East-West Center, Representative Gene Ward served 12 terms in the Hawaii House of Representatives. He now serves on the EWC Board of Governors and helps to make the East-West Center into the best thought leadership and cross-cultural instrument for better relationships in the world.

His topics of interest: Economics, Politics and International Relations, and Leadership

mr. michael s. zdanovich

📍Virginia, USA

Michael Zdanovich currently teaches English for Academic Purposes at George Mason University, Korea. He wishes to discover more about the history of the Japanese and Korean people in the Pacific islands and has interests in the archaeological record of the Pacific islands.

His topics of interest: Education and Exchange and Politics and International Relations

Connect with him here on LinkedIn: Michael Zdanovich

Theodore “Ted” Bo Lee as Remembered by Dr. Linda Miller

In the summer of 2004, I was fortunate to have been selected by the Korea Society for their Alumni Fellowship to Korea. The Alumni Fellowship required participants to conduct a teacher workshop with teachers in their district upon their return. One participant joked, “Oh Linda won’t have any trouble getting sponsorship for her workshop in Las Vegas, just call a casino.” An article appeared in the Las Vegas paper that Ted Lee (former EWC staff, member of the EWC Board of Governors, Seminar participant 2008, 2009, international alumni and media conferences 2008, 2010), had donated the sign for the Sunrise Park. He was an owner of the local Eureka Casino so I went there and asked to see him. They told me he was in San Francisco and gave me his contact information. When I contacted him and told him that I was an East-West Center alumna (EWC Summer Institute 1991), he asked me how much I needed. I said $500. He said he would send it. His wife and partner Doris wrote me a note. “Good Luck with your seminar. Anything that promotes better understanding between countries and cultures is good. Sincerely, Doris and Ted.”  The money paid for a workshop at my school, the College of Southern Nevada.

I later nominated The Lees for an award at the College of Southern Nevada which they received and I accepted for them.

As an East-West Center Alumna teaching about Asia and the Pacific, I have continued to be involved with the Center serving on the EWCA Development Committee.  I donated $1000 towards Ted Lee’s Wall of Honor which describes his achievements.

On September 10, 2021, I attended his memorial service at the University of Nevada Las Vegas where he was remembered for his contributions to the Business School. I am pictured below with his son Gregg Lee. I was further inspired by Ted Lee as he had given a scholarship for the Center. I also recently gave a scholarship.

Dr. Linda Miller and Ted Lee’s son, Gregg

To learn more about the Wall of Honor or to make a contribution, click here.

Get Ready for the 2021 EWC/EWCA Conference!

Come join alumni and friends on July 16-17 from 2:30 pm-6 pm HST for the 2021 EWC/EWCA International Conference, Bridge to 2022: Virtual Mini-Conference and Awards. We are excited to invite our 68,000+ alumni from 179 countries to participate and experience the conference. A dynamic, easy to use platform will give a different look and feel.

Mahalo to the 156 alumni who told us what they wanted to see at the conference. In the survey, you told us you want to get updates and hear what’s happening at EWC and learn about interesting things alumni are doing. Your topics of choice are Climate Change; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Misinformation in the Media; and Pandemics and Planetary Health. We’re now working to make your suggestions a reality!

Registration and program information are coming soon.

Check for updates on the conference website http://eastwestcenter.org/2021AlumniConference

Questions? Contact the Office of Alumni Engagement by email at alumni@eastwestcenter.org or phone 1-808-944-7506. #EastWestCenterAlumni

Burma: Should We Care?—

The following appeared in The Free Press on April 6, 2021

The above was the title of a piece that I wrote, published in The Free Press 14 years ago, in October 2007, following the massacre of monks in the streets of Rangoon by the military regime. Nothing has changed. Today, in early April, over 500 protestors have been killed by the new dictator, who took over February 1. It is heartbreaking to be retired in Maine and observing, yet again, decade after decade, the cruelty in that land.

I have had a special relationship with Burma for close to 60 years and it grieves me.

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Legacy and Recommitment to Advocacy, Equality, Justice

I came to this land, the land of indigenous Native Hawaiians, from the Philippines. Today I want to speak to my fellow immigrants and fellow AAPIs: to the essential workers on the front line, to the service members who wear our flag, to the parents with big dreams for their children. No matter where we came from, AAPIs and immigrants belong in our country’s long fight for justice. We belong in the America we are building together.

Amefil “Amy” Agbayani

Legacy and Recommitment to Advocacy, Equality, Justice for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and All Racial Groups” by Doris Ching (EWC/EWCA International Conference, 2014) and Amefil “Amy” Agbayani (Institute for Student Exchange, PhD in Political Science 1964-1969), is based on a survey of national community and higher education Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) leaders. The article focuses on five current challenges: 2020 Census, COVID-19, immigration, elections, racism and discrimination. The diverse AAPI community is the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States (6%). An internally strong and united AAPI, coupled with external partnerships with all racial/ethnic groups, can create a more powerful force for equity and justice for all racial/ethnic groups than standing alone.

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Stop Asian Hate

The analysis released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, this month examined hate crimes in 16 of America’s largest cities. It revealed that while such crimes in 2020 decreased overall by 7 percent, those targeting Asian people rose by nearly 150 percent. 

“Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Increased by Nearly 150% in 2020, Mostly
in N.Y. and L.A., New Report Says”, NBC News, March 9, 2021

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