After the pandemic, Asia faces new challenges following several decades of peace & economic growth. China has emerged from the crisis stronger while it pursues a much more assertive policy in the region. North Korea has expanded its nuclear arsenal and poses a real threat to its neighbors. In Southeast Asia, nascent democratic institutions have been overtaken by more authoritarian voices. This session focuses on current security issues, political developments, and economic trends in Asia and their implications for US interests. 

Ambassador William Itoh is professor of the practice in the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He was a career Foreign Service officer and served as executive secretary of the National Security Council at the White House and as Ambassador to Thailand. He holds BA and MA degrees from UNM, was a logistics officer in the US Air Force and assistant professor of history at California State University Humboldt before entering the Foreign Service.