2023 Project Bridge Graduation (June 17, 2023)

The Los Angeles based Project Bridge program graduation took place at PCI Headquarters on Saturday, June 17, 2023. The event started with a welcoming remarks by Angie Pak followed by congratulatory remarks by PCI Chair, Ambassador Kathleen Stephens, Friends of Korea (FoK) Chair, Dr. Gerard Krzic, and Los Angeles District 12 Councilmember John Lee. The program proceeded with the eight Youth Ambassadors’ final presentations on the following expert topics:

• Social Classes in Pre Modern Korea by Alonzo Flores
• Music and Dance by Perla Solano
• Religions by Sasha Sengelmann
• Gender Roles in Korean Society by Jenny Tran
• Korean War & the DMZ by Iverlyn Alicon
• Government and Politics by Andrea Taubkin
• Economic Development by Alexander Xie-McCarthy
• Education in Korea by Isabella Li

The program concluded with a Q&A session, award presentation along with lifetime membership to Friends of Korea organization and closing remarks by Spencer Kim, co-founder, Pacific Century Institute.
Remembering Our Friend Tom Plate
Gregory F. Treverton
May 2023
I had the great good fortune a few years ago to write a letter of recommendation for Tom. That letter is my text for this tribute. I'm glad I found it because it was written with an edge of advocacy; my prose today about Tom will be tinged with more than a wisp of nostalgia. Tom’s wife Andrea put it far better than I could, and I trust she will forgive me for quoting her: "Your letter of recommendation was better than any admission to any elite organization. And he treasured it. He was proud to be your friend and associate."

And I was just as proud to be his friend and associate. Tom and I never got to see as much of each other as we would have liked, and that was wonderful in its own way, for it meant that we always wanted more; for too many people one encounters in life, less would be better. I would have loved to teach with him, for instance, but the closest we came was Tom’s cameos on China in my class at the University of Southern California, and those were in the last few years via zoom. What we did manage was a few martinis at the Marina Yacht Club, which, lacking any other, Tom characteristically had turned into his own Loyola Marymount faculty club.

Tom always thought of himself as a journalist, or that’s what he often said. No knock on journalists, but Tom was that and so much more. For their part, political “scientists” – to use that pretentious descriptor – tend to think of history as great waves driven by the power politics among great powers. Happily, observers like Tom understand that, in the end, it is people who not only ride those waves but also sometimes create them. And so he embarked on his “giants of Asia series,” beginning with Lee Kuan Yew, who illustrates the power of individuals as well as anyone in our era. Think what Singapore, a city-state with no natural resources, would be like today without him, surely not one of the richest countries in the world. I know of no better book on Lee Kuan Yew than Tom's.

In addition to insight, Tom brought two other delightful traits to what he would have called journalism, but I would call accessible scholarship or history. He wrote with a light and lively touch, and so his books are very readable, even inviting. Second, he was always on the lookout for upsides, for where things were going well or might. He was no Pollyanna, but his work is a nice antidote to so much of the scare mongering that seeks to grab our eyeballs these days.

Tom had a special ability to escape the usual straitjackets of our debates, and see foreign countries somewhat as they see themselves. On that score, Kishore Mahbubani’s Foreword to Tom’s In the Middle of China's Future got it just right, “The world's biggest story is the rise of China. The world's biggest media is the Western media. The world's biggest mystery is how the world's biggest media got the world's best story wrong. Tom Plate is one of the few Western journalists who have gotten the world's biggest story right." George Yeo, the former diplomat, also was right on the money, "Tom Plate is an atypical American commentator of Asian affairs. He was politically incorrect before political incorrectness became fashionable and remains so. He has a sense of China. More importantly, he has what is not in common supply and that is common sense."

What struck me when I returned to Los Angeles in 2017 from my latest stint in government, as chair of the National Intelligence Council, was his deep commitment to students and to mentoring. His enthusiasm for his subject was contagious, and his students saw it. Every time I met him, usually at the yacht club, he was surrounded by a group of his students. He created Asia Media at Loyola Marymount, where he hung his hat after many years at the Los Angeles Times and UCLA. It was a shoestring operation that laced up a role as a major voice on Asia and its connections to the rest of the world.

My visual memories of Tom always bring a smile to my face. That is because there was always a smile on his face. It is also because he didn’t take himself too seriously, almost always turning up in some zany, slightly comical outfit, always full of self-deprecating humor. In that sense as well as others, he was a mentor to us as well as to his students. We will miss him dearly but remember him mightily. And that, in this life, is as good as it gets.

Gregory Treverton is Tom Plate's friend, associate and admirer. More prosaically, he is Professor of the Practice of International Relations and Spatial Sciences at the University of Southern California. He is also a member of the board of the Pacific Century Institute, which Plate served as Vice President.
PCI 2023 Annual Award Dinner (Feb 16, 2023)

The Pacific Century Institute’s Annual Awards dinner took place on Thursday, February 16, 2023 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. With more than 200 distinguished guests, supporters, and members of PCI, PCI honored Ambassador Donald P. Gregg, former US Ambassador and Chairman Emeritus of the Pacific Century Institute and Ewha Womans University, represented by its President Eun Mee Kim. PCI President Raymond Burghardt served as the master of ceremonies, and the welcoming remarks were delivered by PCI Chair Kathleen Stephens, and closing remarks by PCI Vice President Professor Tom Plate.

The 2023 Institutional Building Bridges award was awarded to Ewha Womans University. Ewha Womans University was established in 1886 as the first women’s educational institution in the Republic of Korea by Mary Scranton who was dispatched by the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society of the United Methodist Church of the United States. Ewha was established to educate girls and women who did not have the opportunities for any education in the late Joseon dynasty. In 1887, "Po Goo Nyo Goan” was established in the compounds of Ewha as the first women's hospital to help treat women patients by women doc-tors and nurses. Ewha continues to fulfill its educational mission— based on the Christian spirit of love, dedication, and sharing— to educate and train women around the world in all fields of academic study.

President Eun Mee Kim of Ewha Womans University accepted the award on behalf of the institution, its faculty, and its students. President Kim remarked that "It is an honor to receive such a meaningful award rep-resenting Ewha and its students and faculty." She added "Ewha Womans University, with 137 years of history, has produced many of the first women leaders in almost all fields in Korea, and now is continuing its mission by educating and training women leaders from around the world."

The 2023 Individual Building Bridges award honoree was Amb. Donald P. Gregg, former US Ambassador to Republic of Korea and Chairman Emeritus of the Pacific Century Institute, for his efforts and exemplifying PCI's vision of building bridges of understanding. After enlisting in the military in 1945, Ambassador Gregg attended Williams College in Massachusetts, where he was recruited to join the CIA. Over the next 31 years of service, he was assigned to Japan, Burma, Vietnam, and Korea. By 1979, Mr. Gregg was also holding the position of Asia Policy and Intelligence Matters Specialist on the United States National Security Council, and by 1981 he was Director of the NSC's Intelligence Directorate. In September 1989, Ambassador Gregg was appointed Ambassador to The Republic of Korea. Prior to his departure from the country in 1993, he received the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, an honorary doctoral degree from Sogang University, and a decoration from the prime minister of South Korea.

In his video remarks, Ambassador Gregg talked about the importance of dialogue and building bridges – an effective way to move from a posture of mutual ignorance to a position of mutual understanding. He also mentioned what inspired him to start the Kids to Korea pro-gram 30 years ago that subsequently evolved into what today is Project Bridge. Mr. Frederick Carriere received the award on behalf of Ambassador Gregg.

The Pacific Century Institute would like to thank our corporate benefactor, 3Plus Group, corporate sponsors and supporter.

For more info, please contact Angie Pak at pci@PacificCenturyInst.org.
2022 William J. Perry Lecture Series

The 7th Annual William J. Perry Lecture Series at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea took place on Thursday, September 15, 2022. This year’s guest lecturer, Ambassador Kathleen Stephens, is President and CEO of the Korea Economic Institute of America, the Chair of the Pacific Century Institute, and former United States Ambassador to South Korea from 2008-2011.

Opening remarks were given by Dean Brendan Howe of Ewha's Graduate School of International Studies. Ewha President Eunmee Kim followed with a warm welcome to those who attended and introduced Ambassador Stephens. Her topic, "Gender in Politics and Diplomacy: American and Korean Perspectives" provided first hand, real life insight into the subject. Following the lecture, PCI board member and Ewha Professor Jie-ae Sohn moderated a lively Q & A session between the audience and Ambassador Stephens.

In attendance were PCI co-founder, Spencer Kim, PCI Board Members Ambassador Raymond Burghardt and Dr. John Linton, former Foreign Minister of South Korea Kang Kyung-wha.
Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity

The 17th Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity (formerly known as Jeju Peace Forum) took place from September 14-16, 2022 at the International Convention Center Jeju, Jeju-do, South Korea. This year’s topic, “Beyond Conflict, Towards Peace: Co-existence and Cooperation” attracted attendees from around the world.

The Pacific Century Institute sponsored a session entitled "The US-ROK Alliance: Changes, Challenges, Opportunities," which PCI Chair Kathleen Stephens moderated. Speakers were former ROK Vice Foreign Minister Sung-nam Lim, PCI co-founder Spencer Kim, and PCI board members Professor Jie-ae Sohn and Dr. John Delury. In this session, they discussed clear chal-lenges on how to keep peace; how to deal with North Korea’s nuclear weapons; how to deal with China given South Korea’s economic relationship; and more.
2022 PCI Junior Fellow

Ella Kelleher is a summa cum laude graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles (May 21), where she majored in English with a concentration in multi-ethnic literature, focusing primarily on East Asian literature. Ella is the book review editor-in-chief of Asia Media International and one of its contributing staff writers. Her portfolio consists of over twenty book reviews on famous and rising literary stars in Asia and several influential articles on sociopolitical issues in Central Asia. She has also edited over a dozen additional book reviews posted in the magazine. Ella has lived in Tokyo, Japan, where she studied abroad at Sophia University. Currently, Ella lives in Incheon, South Korea, where she works as an English foreign language instructor at a private language academy. As a speaker of English, Russian, and Japanese, Ella is devoted to language, and she hopes to master more in the future. Through her experiences living in Asia, Ella aspires to gain a greater understanding of journalism, Asian cultures, and literature.
PCI 2022 Annual Award Dinner (Feb 24, 2022)

The Pacific Century Institute’s Annual Awards dinner took place on Thursday, February 24, 2022 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA. PCI President Ambassador Raymond Burghardt served as the master of ceremonies, the welcoming remarks delivered by PCI Chair Ambassador Kathleen Stephens, and closing remarks by PCI Vice President Professor Tom Plate.

The 2022 Institutional Building Bridges award was awarded to Loyola Marymount University (LMU). Founded in 1911, LMU is a Catholic, Jesuit, and Marymount university that fosters diversity, equity, and inclusion with an academic community rich in opportunity for intellectual engagement and real-world experience. LMU was designated as a National University/ /High Research Activity (R2) by Carnegie Classifications and an elite top-ranked national university by U.S. News and World Report. LMU President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., accepted the award on behalf of the institution, its faculty, and its students.

The 2022 Individual Building Bridges award honoree was Glyn Ford, Director of Track2Asia and former Member of the European Parliament (1984-2009) for his efforts and exemplifying PCI's vision of building bridges of understanding. When he left the European Parliament in 2009, Glyn Ford founded the consulting company Polint, which he still leads today. In parallel, he continued his political and academic engagement with the DPRK and the East Asian region in the framework of his Brussels-based NGO Track2Asia.Thanks to his engagement with the DPRK and his close to 50 visits to the country, he is now considered one of the most pre-eminent European experts on the Korean peninsula in particular, and East Asia in general. During the dinner event, Mr. Ford delivered an address entitle, "The Hermit Kingdom as seen from Europe" was very well received by the attendees.

The Pacific Century Institute would like to thank our corporate benefactor, 3Plus Group, corporate sponsors and supporter.

For more info, please contact Angie Pak at pci@PacificCenturyInst.org.
2021 William J. Perry Lecture Series

The 5th Annual William J. Perry Lecture Series at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea took place on Thursday, November 4, 2021. This year’s guest lecturer, Sec. Janet Napolitano, is a professor of Public Policy and Director of Center for Security in Politics at University of California, Berkeley. She has served as the president of the University of California from 2013 to 2020, as the US Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013, as Governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009, as Attorney General of Arizona from 1998 to 2003, and as US Attorney for the District of Arizona from 1993 to 1997.

This year’s lecture topic, “Preparing to Lead: Today’s Challenges for Tomorrow’s Leaders” with the overall focus on women in leadership which was very well received by the in-person and virtual audiences.
Project Bridge Graduation

The 2019-2021 Project Bridge cohorts enjoyed and celebrated their Project Bridge graduation at the Korea-US Friendship Night hosted by the Consulate General of Republic of Korea in Los Angeles at the Consul General Park Kyung Jae’s residence on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. The Youth Ambassadors were warmly welcomed by Consul General Park with his welcoming remarks followed by congratulatory remarks by Spencer Kim, Co-founder, Pacific Century Institute and Mary Broude, Friends of Korea. The program proceeded with a special keynote speech by California District 38 Senator Dave Min, addressing the current issue of anti-Asian hate crimes that has been on the rise since the beginning of Covid-19. To conclude, Youth Ambassador Faith Chang, shared her program reflection.
Due to the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic, the Youth Ambassadors were unable to participate in the fully funded ten-day study tour to South Korea to enhance intercultural awareness. However, they had the opportunity to virtually meet with Daedong Taxation High School and Jeonbuk Foreign Language High School students and participate in virtual events with special guest speakers: Dr. Edward Park, Loyola Marymount Univ.; Dr. Jieun Baek, Harvard Univ., Dr. Laurel Kendall, Columbia Univ.; and more.
Zoom Session with Dr. Park

Amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Project Bridge Youth Ambassadors participated in a special zoom session with Dr. Edward Park, professor and chair of the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies at LMU yesterday on the development of the Korean American politics since the 1992 Los Angeles Riots.
2020 PCI Awards Dinner

The Pacific Century Institute’s Annual Awards dinner took place on Thursday, February 27, 2020 in Los Angeles. PCI President Ambassador Raymond Burghardt served as the master of ceremonies and the welcoming remarks delivered by PCI Chair Ambassador Kathleen Stephens.

PCI honored Dr. Siegfried S. Hecker as this year’s Individual Building Bridges awardee and the Asia Foundation (AFT) for Institutional Building Bridges award, represented by President & CEO David D. Arnold. The two recipients participated in a panel discussion led by PCI vice president Tom Plate which was well received by the attendees.
2019 William J. Perry Lecture Series

"The 4th annual William J. Perry Lecture Series" was held at Yonsei University’s Millennium Hall on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, in Seoul, S. Korea. With ‘Opening Remarks’ by Professor Sohn Jie-Ae of Ewha Womans University, ‘Welcoming Remarks’ by Yonsei University President, Dr. Kim, Yong-Hak, and ‘Introductory Remarks’ by Professor John Delury of Yonsei University, this year’s lecturer, Robert L. Carlin, visiting scholar at Stanford University, gave a lecture entitled, “Bad Decisions, Bad Consequences: The Rocky Road of Dealing with the DPRK” to a large group of guests and students. Throughout the one hour long lecture, Mr. Carlin highlighted some of the differences and similarities of the current situation that we face now with the DPRK and back during the 1998 negotiations. A General Discussion was led by Professor Sohn, Jie-Ae following the lecture.
Project Bridge Study Tour (April 18-28, 2019)

After series of bi-monthly workshops, Project Bridge Youth Ambassadors embarked on a journey to experience firsthand, a country they had been studying. The study tour to South Korea took place from April 18 – 28, 2019. During the study tour, students visited several high schools, historical sites including Andong Folk Village, Bulguksa & Seokguram; visiting major economic powers i.e. Hyundai Heavy Industries and POSCO, participating in several roundtable Q & A sessions with journalists at JoongAng Ilbo and government officials, attended a show production, Jump, learned how to drum the jang-gu at Busan National Gugak Center, meditating and completing 108 bows at Naesosa Buddhist temple during the overnight stay, and truly and gracefully immersed in a culture foreign to them.
PCI 2019 Annual Award Dinner (Feb 28, 2019)

The Pacific Century Institute had its successful 2019 Annual Award Dinner took place on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at the InterContinental Downtown Los Angeles, CA nestled inside Wilshire Grand Center. With more than 220 distinguished guests, friends, supporters and members of PCI, PCI honored both Dr. Peter Hayes, Director of the Nautilus Institute and the Pacific Forum represented by its President Emeritus, Ralph A. Cossa.

The event commenced with PCI Chair Ambassador Kathleen Stephen’s welcoming remarks where she emphasized that PCI will continue to “do our part to contribute to building lasting bridges of cooperation and understanding in a time of uncertainty and opportunity”.

Mr. Cossa, who is the president emeritus of Pacific Forum, the nonprofit, private, foreign policy research institute, accepted the Institutional Building Bridges award on behalf of Pacific Forum. The title of his address was, “Finding a Better Way” which is the mission statement of the forum’s founder, Admiral Joe Vasey, based on his World War II experiences.

PCI honored Dr. Hayes with the Individual Building Bridges award for his efforts and exemplifying PCI’s vision of building bridges of understanding. His address entitled, "Ideational power in a realist world: pan-Pacific bridge building by non-state actors" was well received by the attendees.

For more info, please contact Angie Pak at pci@PacificCenturyInst.org.
Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University – “Future of the Korean Peninsula” Workshop (Nov 9, 2018)

Fifteen students from Syracuse University attended a special workshop, “Future of the Korean Peninsula” on Friday, November 9, 2018 at the United Nations Headquarters located in New York, New York. Under the guidance of PCI senior fellow and professor at Syracuse University, Frederick Carriere, the students were warmly welcomed by Central Mennonite Committee representative and participated in multiple sessions with various speakers followed by dinner and discussion hosted by Ambassador Park Hyo-sung, Republic of Korea Consul General in New York.

Session I: Yeri Im, Senior Program Assistant, World Vision Korea
Session II: Amb. Ham Sang-wook, Deputy Permanent Representative, ROK Mission to the UN
Session III: David Y. Lee, Political Adviser for North Korea, U.S. Mission to the UN
Dinner/Discussion hosted by Amb. Park Hyo-sung, ROK Consul General

Click here Student Evaluations
William J. Perry Lecture Series (Sep 27, 2018)
The 3rd Annual 'William J. Perry Lecture Series' at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea took place on Thursday, September 27, 2018. This year’s guest lecturer, Dr. Siegfried S. Hecker is a former director at Los Alamos National Laboratory, professor emeritus in the Department of Management Science and Engineering and a senior fellow emeritus at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) at Stanford University. His internationally recognized expertise in plutonium science, global threat reaction, and nuclear security attracted a large crowd, filling up the auditorium with students, professors, and the media. Dr. Hecker spoke on: "North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons: A Treasured Sword or An Unnecessary Burden?"

Dr. Hecker concluded his lecture with an emphasis on 'Phased approach to denuclearization and normalization' and the importance of cooperative measures to achieve verification.
2018 East-West Center International Media Conference in Singapore
The Pacific Century Institute supported a timely and intellectually stimulating conference held in Singapore June 24 - 27 titled “What is New Now/” The international media gathering, organized by the East-West Center and held at the Law School of Singapore Management University, was attended by 350 Asian, Pacific Island and American journalists, media professionals and experts on a range of regional and global issues.Like the five previous biannual East-West Center media conferences, this one made an in- depth examination of current issues in the Asia-Pacific region as well as challenges and trends faced by the media industry in the digital age. In addition to the EWC and PCI, key supporters were the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, Doris Duke Foundation, Facebook, Google and Straits Times. PCI President, Ambassador Raymond Burghardt co-hosted the welcoming reception held at the National Gallery Singapore. Coming only ten days after the historic Trump - Kim summit in the same city, the conference provided a good opportunity to inform attendees about PCI’s long history of encouraging US - DPRK engagement.

The conference received excellent coverage in the Singapore press, some of which was picked up by international news outlets. The hundreds of journalists who attended also filed reports on conference sessions of interest to their audiences. Like all East-West Center conferences this one was a valuable networking opportunity among a talented and influential group of people as well as an opportunity to increase understanding of some important subjects.

In recent months, the Trump administration has emphasized broadening the scope of US foreign policy toward Asia into what it terms an “Indo Pacific” approach. In this media conference conversation, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Walter Douglas discusses the policy shift in conversation with moderator Ambassador Burghardt.
Project Bridge Youth Ambassadors Panel Discussion (June 21, 2018)
Panelists include: Tracy Luong (2005-2006; Group Leader: 2016)
Kevin Tang (2010-2011)
Katie Xing (2014-2015)
Litzy Santoyo (2017-2018)

PCI's Project Bridge Youth Ambassadors participated in Panel Discussion at the recent Peace Corps Korea Reunion in Los Angeles on Thursday, June 21, 2018.

Four panelists, featuring past and current Youth Ambassadors, talked about how the program experience and their role as Youth Ambassadors have influenced their lives, studies and career interests - and opportunities they now have to pay it forward.

2017-2018 Project Bridge Graduation (June 2, 2018)
Project Bridge culminated in a ten-day study tour of Korea, where Youth Ambassadors explored Korea’s cultural, political and economic centers, accompanied by four group leaders and three program coordinators. The purpose of the study tour was to enable students to see Korea and meet Koreans in their own societal context. The tour enhanced intercultural objectives of the program as a whole. Furthermore, by bringing two groups of participants from disparate areas of the U.S. together during the tour, Project Bridge extended the exploration of the meaning of diversity—both within America and with a nation different from their own.

Upon returning from the study tour, each student wrote final program reflection, evaluating on their own team-building efforts in the past seven months and their personal growth as an intercultural leader. On Saturday, June 2, 2018, the Los Angeles based Youth Ambassadors shared and presented their experiences and expert topics in front of families, friends and PCI board members.

The presentation topics included: Social Classes in Pre Modern Korea; Music and Dance; Religions; Gender Roles in Korean Society; Korean War & the DMZ; Government and Politics; Economic Development; and Education in Korea.

2017-2018 Los Angeles Youth Ambassadors

Adrianna Rodas Kimi Vo
Gabrielino High School Gabrielino High School
Andrea Gonzalez Litzy Santoyo
Lynwood High School Lynwood High School
Cora Wu Meo Andrei Cantiller
La Cañada High School Ambassador Global Leadership HS
Isabella Lau Thomas Chung
Gabrielino High School Gabrielino High School
2018 PCI Annual Award Dinner (February 22, 2018)

The Pacific Century Institute established the Building Bridges Award in 2000 to each year honor an individual and an institution that have enhanced relations between the peoples of the Pacific Rim, and who exemplify PCI's commitment to building bridges to a better future. Every year, academics, policy makers, journalists, and interested individuals come together at an annual dinner to give out this prestigious award and to celebrate the dedication and the accomplishments of the recipient.
For information about the award and the annual dinner, including opportunities for providing sponsorship support please contact us. pci@pacificcenturyinst.org.