Promoting democracy and public service.
Building a stronger Indo-Pacific region.

The Western Pacific Fellowship Project is led by prominent experts in U.S.-Asia relations drawn from the academic, legal, diplomatic, nonprofit, and public sectors

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Richard Pearson Executive Director

Richard Pearson is Executive Director of the Western Pacific Fellowship Project and Managing Director, Taiwan Fellowship. He has roughly two decades of experience in U.S.-Asia economic relations and the political-economy of the Asia-Pacific largely in the public service sector.

Mr. Pearson’s professional experience includes time as a business reporter based in Taipei and in public service focusing on the Indo-Pacific. From 2010-2014 Mr. Pearson was an Associate Director at the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation during which time he originally conceived and explored the Taiwan Fellowship concept. Mr. Pearson founded the Western Pacific Fellowship Project in late-2019 to operationalize this concept.

Mr. Pearson received his undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College and his graduate degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Immediately after college, he held a Fulbright scholarship to Taiwan. His essays on U.S.-Asia relations have been published in various outlets in the U.S. and East Asia including the Taipei Times and The Diplomat.

William Vocke Vice President

Executive Director Emeritus, Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (Fulbright-Taiwan)
Board Member and Treasurer, Fulbright Association

William Vocke serves as Vice President of the Western Pacific Fellowship Project . He has spent his career in international education. He is Executive Director Emeritus of the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (FSE or Fulbright Taiwan), where, before retiring in late 2019, he was Executive Director for almost nine years.

Between 2004 and 2008, Dr. Vocke was a full-time Professor in the Department of Diplomacy at National Chengchi University and taught at Taiwan’s Foreign Service Institute and at the Ministry of Justice International Investigation Bureau. He was also a consultant and Board Member of both the American Chamber of Commerce and of FSE. From 2008 to 2011, Dr. Vocke was a Senior Fellow and Program Director at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in New York City.

In addition to serving as Vice President of the Western Pacific Fellowship Project, Dr. Vocke is on the Board of the Fulbright Association as Treasurer and is on the Board of the Taiwan Fulbright Alumni Association. He is also the non-paid Global Coordinator for Fulbright Executive Directors. He produced and hosted over 600 television and radio programs on public radio & TV in Milwaukee and Cincinnati. He received his PhD from the University of South Carolina.

Su-Chun Li Country Director, Taiwan

Su-Chun Li is Country Director, Taiwan, and oversees Western Pacific Fellowship Project operations and staff in Taiwan.

Dr. Li has worked extensively in Taiwan’s domestic and foreign governmental affairs and has experience with non-profit, media, and academic institutions. Trained in Public Administration, International Development Policy, and Asia-Pacific Studies, Dr. Li has served as a policy analyst, budget and strategic planner, and diplomat. She has also taught at National Open University and Ming Chuan University.

Dr. Li started her career with Taiwan’s Presidential Office, then moved onto foreign service with the Government Information Office, which later merged into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Dr. Li retired as Deputy Director-General of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). She was posted in Chicago, New York, and Washington to deal with media and public relations and with academic institutions.

Dr. Li received her Ph.D. degree in Asia-Studies from National Cheng-Chi University (NCCU), MA degrees in Public Policy/Public Administration from Duke University and NCCU. She has also studied at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Pace University, San Jose State University, and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. She was a visiting faculty member at the University of Arkansas with a research grant from Taiwan’s MOST for her dissertation research, and a Visiting Fellow at Duke University’s Policy and Organizational Management Program.

She currently serves as an advisor to the Association of International Educational and Cultural Exchange Taiwan (AICEE Taiwan) and a Director of Yu-Lin Cultural and Educational Foundation, which she also helped establish.

Cathy Lin Associate

Cathy Lin is an Associate focusing on program management and research for WPFP. In this role, she coordinates WPFP activities in Taiwan including all programs and outreach.

Leo Bosner Research Fellow

Leo Bosner is an emergency management specialist, researcher, author, and lecturer with over 30 years of experience, and a member of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). From 1979 until his retirement in 2008, Leo served as an emergency management specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Washington, D.C., where he helped plan and manage responses to incidents such as floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, and a terrorist bombing. During FEMA disaster activations, he served as a planning section chief at FEMA Headquarters, where he was in charge of developing information and reports in support of national disaster response operations.

Mr. Bosner received a Mike Mansfield Fellowship in 1999, allowing him to study the Japanese emergency management system and conduct research in the Japan Defense Agency, the Cabinet Office for Disaster Management and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. The findings from this research were published in the paper Emergency Management in Japan.

Mr. Bosner holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a Master’s Degree from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Board of Directors

Ryan Shaffer President

President, Japan-America Society of Washington, DC

Ryan Shaffer (President) is President of the Japan America Society of Washington D.C. He previously served as Director of Programs and Development at the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, where he oversaw integration of programmatic efforts to advance shared interests in U.S. relations with Japan and other Asian partners. Mr. Shaffer was the founding director of the U.S.-Japan Space Forum and the U.S.-Japan Nuclear Working Group and has produced a variety of publications on the topics. Prior to joining the Mansfield Foundation, Mr. Shaffer served as a research analyst for the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan. Mr. Shaffer has an MSc in Asian politics from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a BS in environmental policy from Bates College. Mr. Shaffer is on the Board of Directors of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Raymond Burghardt

President, Pacific Century Institute
Chairman, American Institute in Taiwan, 2006-2016
U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, 2001-2004
Director, American Institute in Taiwan, 1999-2001

Raymond Burghardt has a long history of involvement with Taiwan. Ambassador Burghardt served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) from February 2006 to October 2016. He was Director of AIT from 1999 to 2001. Ambassador Burghardt was Consul General in Shanghai (1997-1999), a position in which he served as the U.S. government’s chief interlocutor with the late Wang Daohan, the People’s Republic of China’s lead negotiator with Taiwan. In the mid-1970s, Ambassador Burghardt studied for one year in Taichung at the State Department’s Chinese Language School. He served for many years as one of the leading Asian specialists in the U.S. Foreign Service. He was Ambassador to Vietnam (2001-2004), Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassies in Manila (1993-1996) and Seoul (1990-1993) and Political Counselor in Beijing (1987-1989). Ambassador Burghardt’s earlier career included an assignment on the National Security Council staff as Special Assistant to President Reagan and Senior Director of Latin American Affairs. From 2006 until December 2012, he served concurrently with his AIT position as Director of East-West Seminars at the East-West Center in Honolulu. He established a new public diplomacy division organizing exchange and dialogue programs for Asian and American journalists and political figures. Ambassador Burghardt is President of the Pacific Century Institute. He received a BA from Columbia College in 1967 and did graduate study at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.

James Yeck

Chair, Electron-Ion Collider, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Independent Advisor on Large Projects to Brookhaven, Lawrence
Berkeley, and Fermi National Laboratories
Chief Executive Officer, European Spallation Source, 2013-2016

James Yeck (Treasurer) is an advisor on large science projects to Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, and Fermi National Laboratories. He currently directs the $2.6 billion Department of Energy-funded Electron-Ion Collider at Brookhaven. From 2013 to 2016 Mr. Yeck was Chief Executive Officer of the European Spallation Source (ESS) project in Sweden. Prior to ESS, Mr. Yeck was Director of the IceCube neutrino telescope project, an international project under construction at the South Pole, and based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mr. Yeck has extensive experience managing large-scale research projects. Mr. Yeck worked from 2006-2009 to help launch construction of the National Synchrotron Light Source II project at Brookhaven National Laboratory serving as Deputy Project Director during this critical phase of the project. Earlier in his career he served as Project Director for the U.S. contribution to the CERN Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. His career in project management started as the U.S. Department of Energy’s Project Manager for the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. From 1982 to 1984 he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand, where he managed rural development projects and became proficient in Thai.

Mr. Yeck has received several prestigious awards for good project management, including the prestigious Project Manager of the Year from the U.S. Department of Energy. Mr. Yeck has a BS in engineering and an MS in mechanical and nuclear engineering from the University of Illinois, and studied risk assessment for large science projects as part of graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania.

Richard Pearson ex officio

Richard Pearson is Executive Director of the Western Pacific Fellowship Project.

Advisory Council, Taiwan Fellowship

Douglas Paal

Distinguished Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Director, American Institute in Taiwan, 2002-2006

Douglas Paal is a distinguished fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He previously served as vice chairman of JPMorgan Chase International (2006–2008). From 2002 to 2006 he was Director, American Institute in Taiwan. Dr. Paal was on the National Security Council staffs of Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush between 1986 and 1993 as director of Asian Affairs and then as senior director and special assistant to the president.

Dr. Paal has held positions in the policy planning staff at the State Department, as a senior analyst for the CIA, and at U.S. embassies in Singapore and Beijing. He has spoken and published frequently on Asian affairs and national security issues. Dr. Paal received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Chinese Studies and Asian History from Brown University and his PhD in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University.

Shelley Rigger

Brown Professor of Political Science, Davidson College
Fulbright Scholar, Cross-Strait Fellowship

Shelley Rigger is the Brown Professor of East Asian Politics and chair of political science at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. She has a PhD in government from Harvard University and a BA in public and international affairs from Princeton University. She has been a visiting researcher at National Chengchi University in Taiwan (2005) and a visiting professor at Fudan University in Shanghai (2006).

Dr. Rigger is the author of numerous books on Taiwan’s domestic politics and U.S.-Taiwan relations including, Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2011), Politics in Taiwan: Voting for Democracy (Routledge, 1999) and From Opposition to Power: Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2001). She has published articles on Taiwan’s domestic politics, the national identity issue in Taiwan-China relations and related topics. Her current research studies the effects of cross-strait economic interactions on Taiwan people’s perceptions of China. Her monograph, Taiwan’s Rising Rationalism: Generations, Politics and ‘Taiwan Nationalism’ was published by the East-West Center in Washington in November 2006. Dr. Rigger is a director of the National Committee on United States-China Relations.

Gerrit van der Wees

Professorial Lecturer, George Washington University
Editor, Taiwan Communiqué, 1980-2016
Senior Political Advisor, Formosan Association for Public Affairs, 2005-2015

Gerrit van der Wees is a former Dutch diplomat who served in the Dutch government from 1982 through 2005, including seven years at the Netherlands’ embassy in Washington (1994-2000). From 1980 through 2016 Dr. van der Wees served as chief editor of Taiwan Communiqué, a bi-monthly publication chronicling developments in and around Taiwan’s transition to democracy. The publication played a key role in focusing the attention of the U.S. Congress, the State Department, and the international community on Taiwan’s special history and status.

After retiring from the Netherlands’ government, he worked for the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), a Taiwanese-American grassroots organization, from 2005 to 2016. At FAPA, he was responsible for contacts with the U.S. Senate, the State Department, foreign embassies, and think tanks in Washington. Since 2012 he has been teaching History of Taiwan at George Mason University. Since January 2020 he also has been teaching a graduate course on current issues in East Asia at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He continues to write commentaries on Taiwan’s history and political developments in and around East Asia for the Taipei Times, The Diplomat, and Taiwan Insight (University of Nottingham).

Dr. van der Wees did his undergraduate studies in aerospace engineering at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and received graduate degrees (MSc 1973, MAA 1975 and PhD 1981) from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Julian Ku

Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Faculty Director of International Programs, and Maurice A. Deane Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law, Hofstra University School of Law

Julian Ku is Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Faculty Director of International Programs, and Maurice A. Deane Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law at Hofstra University School of Law in Hempstead, New York. He served as a law clerk to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and as an Olin Fellow and Lecturer in Law at the University of Virginia Law School. He also practiced as an associate at the New York City law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, specializing in litigation and arbitration arising out of international disputes. He teaches international, constitutional, and corporate law, and his main research interest is the intersection of international and domestic law.

Professor Ku has published articles in the Yale Law Journal and the Supreme Court Review. His recent writings include essays and articles on the Taiwan Relations Act, the Taiwan Travel Act, and South China Sea maritime issues. He has testified before Congress on cross-Straits issues and U.S. foreign policy in East Asia. Professor Ku has been a visiting professor at the College of William & Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law; a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in Law at East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai; and a Taiwan Fellow at National Taiwan University. Professor Ku is a graduate of Yale University and Yale Law School.

Frank Jannuzi

President and CEO, Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation

Frank Jannuzi is President and CEO of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation. Prior to joining Mansfield in 2014, he served as Deputy Executive Director (Advocacy, Policy and Research) at Amnesty International, USA. There he shaped and promoted legislation and policies to advance universal human rights.

From 1997-2012 Mr. Jannuzi was Policy Director, East Asian and Pacific Affairs, for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he advised Committee Chairmen Joseph Biden and John Kerry on a range of security, political, economic, and human rights issues pertinent to U.S. relations with East Asia. During his tenure with the Foreign Relations Committee he also was a Hitachi Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations from 2006-2007, serving as a visiting lecturer at Keio University and a visiting scholar at the Institute of International Policy Studies in Tokyo. Early in his career he served for nine years as an analyst in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

Mr. Jannuzi holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University and Master in Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He has written extensively on East Asia policy issues, including U.S. relations with Japan, China, and North Korea.

Robert Parker

Senior Counsel, White and Case (retired)
Chairman, American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei, 1979-1980

Robert P. Parker is a retired international lawyer, venture capitalist and the former chairman of Taipei’s American Chamber of Commerce. He is the only American in the private sector to receive Taiwan’s highest civilian honor, the Order of the Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon, awarded by President Lee Teng-hui for his role in shaping Washington’s Taiwan Relations Act and founding Taiwan’s English language radio network ICRT.

In the 1970s and ’80s, Mr. Parker founded and managed two of the leading international law firms in Taiwan. Prior to his retirement from law practice in 2015, he was senior counsel for White & Case, one of the world’s largest law firms. He is a former director of the US-Taiwan Business Council in Washington, D.C. and has served on the board of directors of many other business and educational organizations in the U.S. and Taiwan, including Tunghai University and the U.S.-Taiwan Fulbright Scholarship Commission. He is currently a director of the China Foundation for Promotion of Education and Culture, based in Taipei.

Early in his career, Mr. Parker served on the national campaign staffs of U.S. President Lyndon Johnson and Vice President Hubert Humphrey in Washington, D.C. He testified several times before committees of the U.S. Congress.

Thomas Gold

Professor, Graduate School, University of California, Berkeley, 2018 -present
Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley, 1981-2018
–Associate Dean, International and Area Studies; Chair, Center for Chinese Studies
–Executive Director, Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies, Taipei and Beijing

Thomas B. Gold is Professor of the Graduate School at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught in the Department of Sociology from 1981 to 2018. He also served as Associate Dean of International and Area Studies, Chair of the Center for Chinese Studies, founder of the Berkeley China Initiative, and Executive Director of the Inter-University Program in Chinese Language Studies.

His research focuses on topics such as youth, civil society, guanxi, entrepreneurship, micro-scale private business, popular culture, political change, and identity in China and Taiwan. He is a frequent visitor to Asia and he regularly lectures and consults with numerous groups. Dr. Gold received his BA in Chinese Studies from Oberlin College, and M.A. in East Asian Studies and PhD in Sociology from Harvard.

Margaret Lewis

Professor of Law and Ronald J. Riccio Fellow, Seton Hall University School of Law
Fulbright Scholar, National Taiwan University School of Law

Margaret Lewis is Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law. Professor Lewis’s research focuses on law in China and Taiwan with an emphasis on criminal justice and human rights. She has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar at National Taiwan University, a visiting professor at Academia Sinica, a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Public Intellectuals Program Fellow with the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and a delegate to the United States-Japan Foundation’s US-Japan Leadership Program. Professor Lewis has participated in the State Department’s Legal Experts Dialogue with China, has testified before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and is a consultant to the Ford Foundation. She received her BA from Columbia University and her JD from New York University School of Law.

Richard Bush

Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Chairman, American Institute in Taiwan, 1997-2002

Richard Bush is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and holds the Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies in the Center for East Asia Policy Studies (CEAP). From July 2002 to June 2018, he served as the director of the center. He also holds a joint appointment as a senior fellow in the Brookings John L. Thornton China Center.

Dr. Bush came to Brookings in July 2002, after serving almost five years as the chairman and managing director of the American Institute in Taiwan.

Dr. Bush began his professional career in 1977 with the China Council of The Asia Society. In July 1983, he became a staff consultant on the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs. In January 1993, he moved up to the full committee, where he worked on Asia issues and served as liaison with democratic members. In July 1995, he became national intelligence officer for East Asia and a member of the National Intelligence Council (NIC), which coordinates the analytic work of the intelligence community. He left the NIC in September 1997 to become head of AIT.

Dr. Bush is the author of a number of articles on China’s relations with its neighbors, particularly Taiwan. He is author of “At Cross Purposes: U.S.-Taiwan Relations Since 1942,” a book of essays on the history of America’s relations with Taiwan published in March 2004 by M.E. Sharpe; and of “Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait,” a book on cross-Strait political relations published by the Brookings Institution Press in July 2005. Bush co-wrote “A War Like No Other: The Truth About China’s Challenge to America” (Wiley, 2007), which examines the challenges that the United States faces in avoiding conflict and developing its relationship with China. He is the author of “Perils of Proximity: China-Japan Security Relations,” published by the Brookings Institution Press in October 2010. His “Uncharted Strait: The Future of China-Taiwan Relations,” was published by the Brookings Institution Press in January 2013. In Fall 2016, Brookings Institution Press published his most recent book, “Hong Kong in the Shadow of China: Living with the Leviathan,” a study of recent developments in Hong Kong and its political and economic future.

Dr. Bush received his undergraduate education at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. He did his graduate work in political science at Columbia University, getting a master’s in 1973 and his doctorate in 1978.

Grant Newsham

Senior Research Fellow, Japan Forum for Strategic Studies
Colonel, United States Marine Corps (ret.)

Grant Newsham is a Senior Research Fellow at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies – particularly focusing on Asia/Pacific defense, political and economic matters. He is a retired U.S. Marine Colonel and was the first U.S. Marine Liaison Officer to the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. He also served as head of intelligence for Marine Forces Pacific, and was the U.S. Marine Attaché, U.S. Embassy Tokyo on two occasions.

Mr. Newsham lived in Tokyo for twenty years and worked for over a decade in executive roles at a Western investment bank and a major American high-tech firm. He is also a former U.S. Foreign Service Officer – with work covering a number of regions – including East and South Asia, and specializing in insurgency, counterinsurgency, and commercial matters.

Mr. Newsham is also an attorney with experience in international trade and public international law. He speaks regularly at a variety of forums on Asian affairs, and is widely published. He has had long involvement in Taiwan defense matters and spent 2019 in Taipei on a Ministry of Foreign Affairs fellowship researching how to improve Taiwan’s defense capabilities.

Kelly Shih

Manager, Partnership for Public Service

Kelly Shih is a Manager at the Partnership for Public Service where she coordinates the Partnership’s flagship federal civil servant leadership development program, Excellence in Government Fellows. Ms. Shih’s career has focused on promoting good government through developing federal human capital. Prior to joining the Partnership for Public Service, she was employed by Deloitte where her work focused on federal human capital development and was also an active member of the Taiwanese American Citizens League (TACL). Ms. Shih received her B.A. from the University of Maryland.

Christian Castro

Director, CMCastro Global Consulting LLC
Senior Advisor, Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy
Director, Office of Taiwan Coordination, Department of State, 2014-2016

Formerly a Senior Foreign Service career diplomat, Chris Castro currently directs CMCastro Global Consulting LLC and serves as a Senior Advisor at the Krach Institute for Tech Diplomacy. He is also a member of the Poligage Experts Network.

At the Department of State, Mr. Castro was Director of the Taiwan Coordination Office, leveraging Taiwan’s unique role as a top-ten U.S. trading partner, vital technology hub, key regional security cornerstone and democratic powerhouse. During his tenure as Chief of the American Institute in Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Office, Mr. Castro and his team energized U.S. engagement with the ten-million people of southern Taiwan, setting post records for U.S. export successes for three consecutive years. He also launched and directed the State Department’s first office devoted exclusively to U.S. multilateral engagement with the ten-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). As the East Asia Bureau’s first-ever Senior Advisor for Cyber Policy, he promoted U.S. cyber policy goals in the Indo Pacific, one of the world’s fastest-growing information and communications technology markets. In other assignments, Mr. Castro also served as Special Assistant to Deputy Secretary Richard Armitage and later to Deputy Secretary Robert Zoellick.

Mr. Castro graduated from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and was awarded Georgetown’s Sun Yat-sen China Studies Fellowship for graduate studies in international law and diplomacy at National Chengchi University in Taipei, Taiwan. He received a Master’s Degree in National Security Studies at the National War College, earning Distinguished Graduate Honors.

Did you know…?

Hosea B. Morse

Raised in Medford, Massachusetts, Hosea B. Morse was a public servant and historian of Chinese foreign relations. After graduating from the Boston Latin School and Harvard College, in 1874 he joined the Imperial Maritime Customs Service. Initially stationed in Shanghai where he studied Chinese, Morse would later serve at numerous locations including Beijing and Tianjin. From 1892 to 1895, he served in Tamshui where he witnessed the Japanese invasion of Taiwan.

After leaving government service in 1908 Morse became a historian and author. His works include The Trade and Administration of the Chinese Empire and The International Relations of the Chinese Empire as well as essays in magazines and journals. His article, “A Short Lived Republic,” recounted his opposition to Japan’s 1895 occupation of Taiwan. Morse influenced a later generation of American scholars of Asia including John King Fairbank.

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