MISSOULA – Kathleen Stephens, the first female U.S. ambassador to Korea, will present “U.S. Public Diplomacy and Leadership in East Asia” on Tuesday, Sept. 17, at the University of Montana. The event is free and open to the public.
Stephens will speak at 7:30 p.m. in the Dell Brown Room of UM’s Turner Hall. She was ambassador to Korea from 2008 to 2011 and also has served as acting undersecretary for public affairs and public diplomacy during her distinguished 30-year career in East Asia and Europe.
The Obama administration announced a “rebalance” of U.S. priorities and resources toward engaging Asia in 2011 to strengthen the future of the Unites States and its commitment to that region. This shift, however, has not been entirely smooth, bringing new challenges, uncertainties and opportunities for the U.S government. In particular, Asian governments have responded differently to U.S. efforts to become more deeply involved in the Asia-Pacific region.
Stephens will discuss how the United States can face these changes and challenges through public diplomacy and leadership to achieve its strategic goals in Asia. In addition, she will talk about how the recent sweeping leadership changes in China, Japan, North Korea and South Korea impact U.S. efforts in the region.
Afterward, Stephens will reflect on her journey in foreign affairs, beginning with her early Peace Corps experience in Korea during the 1970s and her long distinguished career at the Department of State and abroad. Her talk will be followed by a Q-and-A session.