74th Program Year – Sixth Meeting
The Program: The Year of Living Dangerously? Asia in 2024
After decades of peace & economic growth, Asia now faces serious security challenges including possible conflict with China over Taiwan and a North Korea which poses a real threat to its neighbors. In Southeast Asia nascent democratic institutions are facing challenges from more authoritarian voices. US policy has never fulfilled the promise of a “Pivot to Asia” and the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and our fractious political scene have raised questions about our future role in the region. This presentation will focus on current security challenges, political developments, and economic trends in Asia and their implications for US interests in a presidential election year.
Presenter: Ambassador William H. Itoh
Ambassador William H. Itoh is a Senior Advisor to McLarty Associates, an international business consulting firm. He also serves as a Professor of Practice in the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Ambassador Itoh had a distinguished career in public service with the Department of State. From 1995-1999 he served as U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand. Prior to his appointment to Bangkok, he was Executive Secretary of the National Security Council at the White House (1993-1995).
During his career as a Foreign Service Officer, Ambassador Itoh served abroad in the U.S. Embassy in London (1976-1978) and as the U.S. Consul General to Western Australia in Perth (1986-1990), in addition to his assignment in Thailand. His Washington assignments included service in the Office of the Under Secretary for Political Affairs, the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and the Bureau of Congressional Relations. He was Deputy Executive Secretary and Acting Executive Secretary of the Department of
State from 1991-1993. As Ambassador to Thailand, he was the 1998 recipient of the Department of State’s Charles S. Cobb Award for outstanding support of the American business community. He was also awarded an honorary PHD in Economics by Khon Kaen University, presented by His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej in December 1998, in recognition of his efforts in support of Thailand’s recovery during the Asian financial crisis.
Ambassador Itoh was born in Tokyo, Japan, and resided in Canada before moving to Albuquerque, New Mexico where he attended primary and secondary schools. He is a graduate of the University of New Mexico with a B.A. in Social Science (1966) and an M.A. in History and Anthropology (1971). He was Assistant Professor of History at California State University, Humboldt (1972-1973). Ambassador Itoh was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force reserve in 1967 and served on active duty 1968-1969. As a State Department participant, he attended the National Defense University and was a Distinguished Graduate of the National War College class of 1991.
Ambassador Itoh currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the International Career Advancement Program, the Board of the World Affairs Council of Albuquerque, and the Board of Oasis Albuquerque Learning in Retirement. Ambassador Itoh is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a member of the Battlefield Preservation Trust, the Historical Society of New Mexico, and the Southwest Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association. He also served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Glorieta Battlefield Preservation Society.
Thursday, January 18th, 2024 6:00pm Tanoan Country Club