NBR Impact Update

September–November 2023

 Dear NBR Board/Chairman’s Council/Advisors/President’s Circle Members,

I am pleased to share with you my quarterly NBR Impact Update for a very productive period from September through November 2023.

As I have already shared with some of you, I started off the quarter with a trip to Seoul in September—my most meaningful visit to date, reflecting the quality of interlocutors, the opportunity to grow NBR’s profile in public settings, and new interactions with Korean industry at a high level. I am grateful to NBR board member Ambassador Ahn Ho-young for coordinating meetings with two former foreign ministers and two other ambassadors, as well as to members of our Board of Advisors for their part in facilitating other introductions—Tami Overby introduced me to Poongsan Group Chairman Jin Roy Ryu, while Dr. Se Hyun Ahn arranged a meeting with Vice Minister of Defense Shin and Lt Gen (ret.) Chun In-Bum was instrumental in my invitation to join the Pyeongtaek Forum and introduced me to Mayor Seo Jung-hyup.

I had the privilege of hosting Ambassador Bi-khim Hsiao, Taiwan’s Representative to the United States, for a Chairman’s Council roundtable in early November just weeks before Lai Ching-te, the DPP frontrunner for Taiwan’s presidency, named her as his vice-presidential running mate. Our September Chairman’s Council guest, Ambassador Ahn, shared his perspectives on the historic ROK-U.S.-Japan summit at Camp David and the prospects of future trilateral security, economic, and technological cooperation. Leslie Palti-Guzman, head of research and market intelligence at SynMax, joined us for our 25th President’s Circle dialogue as the special guest.

I look forward to offering more candid discussions with policy leaders and influential experts on U.S. affairs in Asia and deeply appreciate the participation of Chairman’s Council and President’s Circle members in these forums as well as their financial support toward NBR’s mission.

Please share the quick reference on NBR’s impact below with your own networks.

Bipartisan engagement on the Hill

  • In November, NBR held a series of private briefings for offices at the United States Trade Representative, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Department of State to share findings from the new Strategic Asia volume Reshaping Economic Interdependence in the Indo-Pacific, which explores shifts occurring in the global trading system and their strategic implications for U.S. policy on Asia.
  • An off-the-record Pacific Rim Congressional Study Group dinner for senior congressional staff in September was joined by Rush Doshi, deputy senior director for China and Taiwan at the National Security Council, and James Steinberg, former deputy secretary of state and dean of John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies. Participants exchanged ideas on dimensions of the Russia-China relationship, Beijing’s continued cultivation of influence in regions beyond the Asia-Pacific, and the extent to which authoritarian leaders’ mistrust of the United States might limit opportunities to improve relations or reduce friction at present.
  • Congressional staff and members of the Washington policy community attended a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the ROK-U.S. alliance and the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Korea, organized by NBR in partnership with the Korea Foundation, at which South Korea’s Minister for Public Diplomacy Kim Hakjo delivered remarks on the relationship between the two allies.
  • NBR’s November 8 “Energy on the Hill” provided opportunities for engagement with the U.S. Department of State and led to meetings with staff of Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI). The event marked the launch of the new Energy Security Program report “The Revenge of Energy Security: Reconciling Economic Security with Climate Ambitions in the U.S. and Asia.”


Facilitating collaboration on energy security

“Thank you to NBR for hosting this very important and timely conference. I love the event title on ‘The Revenge of Energy Security,’ which is an apt description of what is going on in the world.”
U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK)

“As vice ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, I’ve had the opportunity to discuss and pose questions on making the U.S. energy grid cleaner, more reliable, and more affordable. I am so grateful to NBR for hosting this event to explore how we can continue to innovate for a more secure, greener future.”
U.S. Representative Kim Schrier (D-WA)

  • U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Representative Kim Schrier (D-WA) delivered keynote remarks at the event marking the launch of the 2023 Energy Security Report, which included a panel discussion on competing energy and economic security pressures and climate goals and the implications for regional countries and the United States.


Engaging with government officials and analysts on Indo-Pacific security issues

“”I first traveled to the then Republic of China—now in official parlance Taiwan—in 1971 while a member of the U.S. Military Academy Chinese Language Club. In my opinion, China’s Military Decision-making in Times of Crisis and Conflict is one of the most insightful and useful policy-relevant publications written over the five decades since that very different time and era.”
Karl Eikenberry, former U.S. Ambassador and Lieutenant General (U.S. Army, ret.), in his foreword to China’s Military Decision-making in Times of Crisis and Conflict (NBR, September 2023)

  • In October, Congressman Adam Smith, ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, delivered the opening keynote at the inaugural Pacific Security Forum, which drew 130 experts from government, academia, and the private sector. The event also included keynotes by Admiral Samuel Paparo, Commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, and Lieutenant General Xavier Brunson, Commanding General of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, as well as a tribute to special guest Rear Admiral Mark Sucato, Commander of Navy Region Northwest, the U.S. Navy’s third-largest fleet concentration in the world.
  • A November 14 event marking the launch of the 21st book in the series of edited volumes from the Strategic Asia Program featured remarks from NBR vice president Alison Szalwinski, a presentation by the program’s research director Ashley J. Tellis (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), and a panel discussion with contributors moderated by NBR executive vice president Michael Wills.
  • NBR’s distinguished fellow in China studies Nadège Rolland led a workshop in Seattle for her new project Mapping China’s Strategic Space. Experts from the United States and Europe gathered to discuss the project’s research on China’s economic strategic space and Beijing’s perspectives on contending with differing visions for the Indo-Pacific.
  • In October, NBR’s U.S.-ROK Next Generation Leaders Program brought a delegation of nine rising Asia policy professionals to Seoul for a week of meetings with government officials and industry and civil society leaders. Led by Tami Overby (Albright Stonebridge Group) and NBR director Doug Strub, the delegation met with Ambassador Ahn Ho-young, the Federation of Korean Industries, officials from the Office of the President, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Ministry of Science and ICT, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Philip Goldberg.

Fostering cooperation on trade and economic issues

  • In partnership with the Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), NBR hosted the inaugural U.S.-ROK Strategic Cooperation Forum in September. The forum featured remarks from ROK Ambassador to the United States Cho Hyundong and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Don Graves and was attended by over 125 U.S. and Korean government officials, corporate representatives, and academic and think-tank experts as well as members of the media. Yonhap and Chosun Ilbo were among the news outlets that covered the event.
  • On October 25, NBR hosted former Korean Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Energy Chung Duck-Koo for a discussion on the state of U.S.-ROK bilateral relations, with a focus on the economic and trade relationship and the state of ROK-China economic linkages.
  • On November 7, NBR hosted a delegation from the Taiwan Institute for Economic Research (TIER) for a discussion on key research priorities related to U.S.-Taiwan economic and trade relations, including the state of bilateral negotiations and developments in Taiwan’s semiconductor industry. TIER researchers accompanied the Taiwan delegation to this summer’s APEC meetings in Seattle, including NBR’s event with Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua, and TIER hopes to engage with future NBR tech and economic work in the Pacific Northwest.


Training the next generation

“Thank you very much for this wonderful educational experience. I have barely been back in the office for half a day, and I have been able to share what I learned last week in several conversations. I am definitely more informed and more intellectually curious about the PLA and the PRC having taken the course.”

PLA Executive Education Course Participant

  • NBR hosted the seventh iteration of its Executive Education Course on the People’s Liberation Army with Chad Sbragia, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for China, as senior mentor. Course participants represented a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities, including the UK Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Defense of the Netherlands, U.S. National Defense University, RAND Corporation, CNA, and the Korean National Defense University.
  • Rear Admiral (ret.) Michael Studeman, a member of NBR’s Board of Advisors and former commander of the Office of Naval Intelligence, spoke to the participants as part of a working lunch discussion.
    Fellows from the Undergraduate Diversity Fellowship, Ellings-Korduba Research Fellowship, and Japan Studies Research Fellowship programs all returned to resume studies at their home academic institutions after spending the summer participating in NBR’s 2023 Summer Seminar.
  • As the 2023–24 Chinese Language Fellows arrived in Beijing and Taipei to begin a year of intensive language training, NBR opened the application period for the 2024–25 cohort.

As our Annual Campaign is underway this month, I am grateful for your ongoing support of NBR’s work. The importance of our role as the nation’s Asia policy think tank at this critical time in U.S.-Asia relations was underscored by Lieutenant General Xavier T. Brunson in his remarks at the Pacific Security Forum:

    We’ve come to the end of ourselves as a military where we realize that pure military solutions aren’t going to solve anything. It’s a recognition that there are a host of capabilities that exist across the government—to include think tanks like this one—that are going to help us to come to solutions to this brave, brave new future that we’re all wading into.

With gratitude for your ongoing support of NBR’s Next Generation programs and work on the critical issues that today’s leaders—in America and beyond—need to understand,


Roy D. Kamphausen
President, The National Bureau of Asian Research