Dr. Pamela Sodhy
Dr. Pamela Sodhy is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Asian Studies Program, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. She also gives occasional lectures on Southeast Asia at the US State Department’s Foreign Service Institute (FSI) Prior to that, she taught for many years at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, where she was an Associate Professor in the History Department. She is the recipient of an American Field Service Scholarship, an American Council of Learned Societies Research Fellowship, and a Fulbright-Hays Grant. She has also served as Honorary Secretary of the Malaysian International Affairs Forum; President of the Malaysian Association for American Studies; and Secretary-General of the Asian Federation of American Studies Associations. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Malaysia-America Society. Her publications include The US Malaysian Nexus: Themes in Superpower-Small State Relations (Institute of Strategic and International Studies, ISIS, Malaysia, 1991); Meeting of Minds, MACEE, 1963-1993 (Malaysian-American Commission for Educational Exchange, 1993); The United States and Malaysia: The Socio-Cultural and Legal Experience (Malaysian Association for American Studies, 1988); US-ASEAN Trade: Current Issues and Future Strategies (Malaysian Association for American Studies, 1988); and an e-book on Malaysia-US Relations, 2000-2011 (ISIS, 2012). She has also authored two study guides for FSI: Malaysia: Self-Study Guide and Singapore: Self-Study Guide. In addition, she has published many articles on US-Southeast Asia relations. Her degrees in History are from the University of Malaya (BA Hons.), Louisiana State University (MA) and Cornell University (MA, Ph.D.).
Dr. Lynn Juhl
Dr. Lynn Juhl is a retired mathematics and statistics educator who taught in the Arlington Public Schools from 1974-2006. President of the Malaysia-America Society and a Founding Board Member of the Malaysia-America Foundation, he is also President of the Arlington Retired Teachers Association. He serves on several other professional boards, including the Friends of Malaysia, which is an organization of former Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) who served in Malaysia, and the Committee of 100, which is the principal forum for citizen education in local and regional public affairs in Arlington, Virginia. He considers his two-year PCV experience (1967-1969) in Malaysia as one of the formative highlights of his professional and personal life. He became personally and intimately familiar with the people of Malaysia when he taught Mathematics at a lower secondary school in Kroh (now Pangkalan Hulu), Perak. Since then, he has maintained a keen interest in Malaysian affairs. He has also been an Advanced Placement Exam Reader for the College Board and now serves as Senior Project Special Panelist to judge student graduation projects. Furthermore, he has conducted cross-cultural awareness workshops for teachers and for PCVs undergoing training; worked for Habitat for Humanity by building houses in El Salvador; and served as Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts. Active in the Hash House Harriers, a running club, he has been a 25-year member and is on its executive board. His undergraduate degree in English and Mathematics is from Concordia College, Minnesota, while both his Master’s degree and his doctorate in Education, or Ed. D. in Mathematics and Statistics Education, are from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Amb. (ret.) Alphonse F. La Porta
Ambassador (ret.) Alphonse F. La Porta is the elected President of the Board of the Malaysia-America Foundation. He retired from the US Foreign Service in Fall 2003 after serving the Department of State for 38 years. Altogether, his government career has spanned over 50 years. He served as Ambassador to Mongolia (1997-2000) and as Political Advisor to the Commander of NATO forces in Southern Europe at Naples, Italy (2000-2003). His overseas postings included Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Turkey. In Washington, D.C., he served as Executive Director to the Special Envoy for Philippine Economic Reform; Director of the Office of Cambodian Genocide Investigations; and Senior Advisor to the Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands for Economic Reform. Moreover, he directed a USAID project to advise the foreign ministry in Pristina, Kosovo; co-chaired the intensive Southeast Asia Area Studies course at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI); and served as President of the United States-Indonesia Society (2004-2007). Presently, he is a Senior Watch Director in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, US Department of State, and a Consultant to the US Pacific Command (PACOM), headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the US African Command (AFRICOM). He is a frequent lecturer on Southeast and Northeast Asia at FSI, to foreign affairs groups, and at area universities. He is also an Advisor to the Hawaii-Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and serves as a Board Member of three organizations: the National Center for State Courts; the Malaysia-America Society; and the Friends of Mongolia. A graduate of the U.S. National War College, he has a BSFS from Georgetown University, an MA in History from New York University, has completed Ph.D. studies at Georgetown, and attended the US National War College.
Mr. W. Scott Butcher
Mr. W. Scott Butcher is the Treasurer of the Board of the Malaysia-America Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of the Malaysia-America Society. A retired U.S. Senior Foreign Service Officer, he has over 30 years experience dealing with Asia in the U.S. and abroad. For example, he has managed the Political Sections in US embassies in Malaysia and Indonesia, served as a Political Officer in Bangladesh (former East Pakistan), and as a Consular Officer in Burma. He has also held various senior positions, such as heading the State Department office in charge of U.S. relations with Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Brunei and serving as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur from 1990-1993. In addition, he has served as head or deputy head of offices responsible for India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Asian regional security policy (including arms transfer issues) in the Political-Military Affairs Bureau. He has served as a Senior Watch Officer in the State Department’s 24/7 Operations Center. After retirement from the State Department, he served as an international business consultant, providing specialized advisory services for multinational companies via his Maryland-based company, Asia-Pacific Opportunities. He has helped with civilian training support as a subject matter expert/exercise planner for U.S. military elements at facilities in the U.S. and overseas. He speaks Malay, Indonesian, Burmese and French and has received numerous State Department performance awards. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Miami University in Ohio and a Master's degree from Johns Hopkins Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) focusing on Asian government, politics and economics.
Mr. Thomas J. Reckford
Mr. Thomas J. Reckford is Secretary of the Board of the Malaysia-America Foundation and the immediate past President of the Malaysia-America Society (MAS). He is presently President of the Foreign Policy Discussion Group; Vice Chairman of the World Affairs Council of Washington, DC; and President Emeritus of MAS. He is also a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he was a Senior Fellow in the 1980s. A pioneer in applying the techniques of political risk analysis and county assessment to the business world, he has been a Consultant on East Asia and Latin America for the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation and an Advisor on Southeast Asia for corporations and institutional investors. He has also served as Regional Director for East Asia and Latin America for the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation; Regional Director for East Asia at the National Leadership Forum on Global Challengers; Senior International Analyst with the Eaton Corporation; Vice President of InterMatrix Incorporated; Senior Advisor, the Government Research Corporation; and an Expert Consultant to the Commerce Department. Moreover, he has worked in the Office of National Estimates at the Central Intelligence Agency; in the Commission on the Organization of the Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy; and in U.S. Army Intelligence in France and Germany. He has also led annual seminars on doing business in China for the American Management Association and chaired the International Committee at the University Club. A former Director of the Council on International Business Risk Management, he is now on the advisory committee of the Asia Society’s Washington Center. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard University.
Dr. Evan S. Medeiros
Dr. Evan S. Medeiros leads Eurasia Group's research on Asia. In June 2015, he stepped down from the position of special assistant to the president and senior director for Asian affairs at the White House's National Security Council (NSC). In that role, Evan served as President Barack Obama's top advisor on the Asia-Pacific and was responsible for coordinating US policy toward the Asia-Pacific across the areas of diplomacy, defense policy, economic policy, and intelligence affairs. Evan was one of the longest serving officials on President Obama's NSC staff and was his longest serving advisor on Asia-Pacific affairs. He joined the National Security Council staff in summer 2009 as director for China, Taiwan and Mongolian affairs. In total, he served on the NSC staff for nearly 6 years and was actively involved in US-China relations throughout his NSC tenure, including by developing the initial proposal for the Sunnyland's Summit, planning the president's successful summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in fall 2014, and managing numerous other high-level US-China interactions. Evan previously worked for seven years (2002-2009) as a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. He specialized in research on the international politics of East Asia, China's foreign and national security policies, U.S.-China relations, and Chinese defense and security issues. From 2007 to 2008, he served as policy advisor to the special envoy for China and the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue at the Treasury Department, serving Secretary Henry "Hank" Paulson. Evan has written several books and journal articles on a broad range of Asian security issues. In 2009, he published the book China's International Behavior: Activism, Opportunism and Diversification (RAND, 2009) and in 2008 co-authored Pacific Currents: The Responses of U.S. Allies and Security Partners in East Asia to China's Rise, (RAND, 2008). In 2007, he published the internationally recognized volume: Reluctant Restraint: The Evolution of China's Nonproliferation Policies and Practices, 1980-2004 (Stanford University Press, 2007). He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science, an M.Phil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge (where he was a Fulbright Scholar), an M.A. in China Studies from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and a B.A. in analytic philosophy from Bates College in Maine. He travels to Asia frequently and speaks, reads and writes Mandarin Chinese.
Dr. Michael H. Anderson
Dr. Michael H. Anderson is a public diplomacy and Asian affairs specialist with nearly 30 years of diplomatic experience serving in the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) and working in both South Asia and Southeast Asia. He has also been a journalist for newspapers in Minnesota, an instructor at the University of Minnesota, and an information officer with UNICEF in New York. Moreover, as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia (1968-1971), he served as an English teacher and a journalism lecturer/trainer. His last Foreign Service position in public diplomacy (2006-2010) was as Counselor for Public Affairs in Jakarta, Indonesia. Recently he was brought back into the Department of State for special assignments as outreach coordinator for the Third Round of the China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington in 2011 and as Acting Press Attache in the US Embassy in Tokyo in 2012. His earlier Foreign Service postings were in the Philippines, Singapore, India, Pakistan, and Papua New Guinea. He has also served as the Policy Officer in the U.S. Information Agency’s Office of North African, Near Eastern, and South Asian Affairs in Washington, D.C. He has conducted policy and media research in Southeast Asia and has authored Madison Avenue in Asia: Politics and Transnational Advertising and co-edited Crisis in International News: Policies and Prospects. He has won numerous Foreign Service awards, including the Secretary’s Career Achievement Award, two meritorious honor awards, and two special act or service awards. He has a BA and MA in Journalism/Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Hawaii.
Mr. Wei (Marcus) Tan
Mr. Wei (Marcus) Tan is a co-founder and partner of Yukon Capital LLC and serves as Vice President of Montrose Environmental Group, Inc. The Montrose Group is a national high growth environmental company offering Air Quality and Environmental Laboratory services to a diverse range of clients in industry and government. He is a member of the team at Montrose that has acquired 21 entities in the Environmental industry across the USA. Prior to joining Montrose, he has held various operational roles in the industrial sector and has dealt extensively with closely-held, family businesses. He was previously a Management Associate with APM Automotive Holdings Berhad, the largest auto parts manufacturing company in Malaysia and part of the Tan Chong Group of companies in Southeast Asia. He was instrumental in effecting positive change throughout the entire organization, including the production, finance, sales, and treasury business divisions. Marcus received his M.B.A. from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, received a full Maxis Scholarship and graduated with honors from the London School of Economics and Political Science with a MSc in Management Science.
Amb. (ret.) James R. Keith
Ambassador (ret.) James R. Keith is the Co-Chair of the Board of the Malaysia-America Foundation. He is a Senior Director in the Asia practice at McLarty Associates, an international strategic advisory firm with more than 150 clients in every region of the world. He was the US Ambassador to Malaysia from 2007-2010, a period that covered the last part of the George W. Bush Administration and the early part of the Barack H. Obama Administration. During his 31-year career as a U.S. diplomat, he became one of the U.S. government’s top experts on China, serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for China, Mongolia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau at the Department of State; Director for China at the National Security Council (NSC); Consul General in Hong Kong; and a political officer in the U.S. Embassy at Beijing, China. He also has broad experience in Asia outside China. For example, he served in one of several Ambassadorial slots in Kabul, Afghanistan, from 2010-2011. He was previously posted in Seoul, South Korea, and Jakarta, Indonesia, as well as serving as NSC Director for Southeast Asia. Keith grew up across Asia, living in Tokyo, Jakarta, Hong Kong, and Taipei. He joined the US Foreign Service in 1980 after graduating with a bachelor's degree in English from the College of William and Mary. His language background includes Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the board of the US-China Policy Foundation.
Mr. Antony Vaz is a professional engineer, contractor, farmer, entrepreneur, and a humanitarian. He is the principal at EBV Engineering, Inc. dba Insight Engineering, Inc. IEI was established in 1991 and is organized to provide comprehensive land development engineering and construction services which include development feasibility analysis, civil engineering and construction. His firm is currently on contract with the Ministry of Health in Malaysia to build an International Food Safety Center in Selangor, Malaysia. His partner on the project is JIFSAN at The University of Maryland, and his consultants include former FDA officials. Some of the notable projects that his company has worked on include the construction of the Malaysian Embassy in Washington DC, the construction of the Libyan Ambassador’s Residence in Washington DC, the construction of the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC, several public works infrastructure projects for WSSC, Prince George’s County Department of Public Works, DC Department of Transportation and various projects in California, and the International Chancery Center for the US Department of State. He received his education at Victoria Institution, Kuala Lumpur, Bachelor’s at United States International University, San Diego, and several Professional Certifications from University of California, Irvine.