When thousands of Buddhist Monks and Burmese citizens conducted peaceful protests calling for fairness and democracy in their country, global onlookers were stunned by the Burmese government's harsh response. What are the next steps for resolution in Burma? Join in a riveting discussion with Priscilla Clapp, Derek Mitchell, Bo Hla Tint and Drew Thompson to examine possible scenarios for this nation's future- World Affairs Council of Washington, DC
Priscilla A. Clapp is a retired Minister-Counselor in the U.S. Foreign Service. She is currently involved in community and academic work with several institutions. During her career, Mrs. Clapp served as Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Burma (1999-2002), Deputy Chief of Mission in the US Embassy in South Africa (1993-96), Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Refugee Programs (1989-1993), and other prestigious positions in embassies abroad. She has also worked on the State Department’s Planning Staff, in the East Asian, Political Military, and International Organizations Bureaus, and with the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Prior to her government service, Mrs. Clapp spent ten years in policy and arms control research, under contract to the MIT Center for International Studies as a research associate of the Brookings Institution. She has authored many influential works, most recently including “Building Democracy in Burma” for the US Institute of Peace and Bureaucratic Politics and Foreign Policy (2006). Mrs. Clapp speaks Russian, Japanese, French, and some Burmese.
Derek J. Mitchell is senior fellow and director for Asia in the CSIS International Security Program (ISP), having joined the Center in January 2001. He is responsible for managing all Asia-related studies conducted in ISP, which currently include projects involving the security of the Taiwan Strait, the future of the U.S.-Japan and U.S.–South Korea alliance, China’s foreign and security policy and U.S.-China relations, U.S. perspectives toward Southeast Asia, and the integration of India into the strategic mix of East Asia. Mitchell was special assistant for Asian and Pacific affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1997 to 2001, when he served alternately as senior country director for China, Taiwan, Mongolia, and Hong Kong (2000–2001). Prior to joining DOD, Mitchell served as senior program officer for Asia and the former Soviet Union at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in Washington, D.C. From 1993 to 1997, he developed the institute’s long-term approach to Asia and worked on democratic development programs in Armenia, Burma, Cambodia, Georgia, Pakistan, and Thailand. Mitchell received a master of arts in law and diplomacy degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1991 and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia in 1986. He studied Chinese language at Nanjing University in China and speaks Mandarin Chinese proficiently.
Drew Thompson is the Director of China Studies and Starr Senior Fellow at The Nixon Center in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining The Nixon Center, he was the National Director of the China-MSD HIV/AIDS Partnership in Beijing, a 5 year, $30 million HIV/AIDS program established by Merck & Co. and the Chinese Ministry of Health. Mr. Thompson served previously as Assistant Director to the Freeman Chair in China Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He also was the President of a Washington, D.C. company that manufactured snack food in Qingdao, China. He lived in Shanghai from 1993 to 1998 where he was the General Manager of a U.S. freight forwarding and logistics firm, overseeing offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing. Mr. Thompson was the founder and Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce Transportation and Logistics Committee in Shanghai and has traveled extensively throughout China in both urban and rural areas. Mr. Thompson studied Chinese language at Beijing University in 1990, and was a graduate student in 1992 at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Chinese and American Studies in Nanjing, China. He graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Asian Studies from Hobart College in 1992, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 2004, Mr. Thompson received an M.A. in Government, with a concentration in Homeland Security, from Johns Hopkins University.
Bo Hla Tint
Bo Hla-Tint currently serves as Minister Elect for the Office of the Prime Minister, Member of Foreign Affairs Committee, and Chairman of Finance Committee for the National League for Democracy (NLD) Chairman of the NCGUB Finance Committee. He was born in 1957 and graduated from the Rangoon Institute of Technology in 1981. Bo Hla Tint began his political career in 1988, playing a leading role in the demonstrations that brought down the military-dominated Burmese Socialist Program Party (PSP) in his native town, Mogok. He was arrested the day after the military staged a coup in the name of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) and imprisoned for two months. When he was released, Bo Hla-Tint joined the NLD, led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and served as secretary of the NLD-Mogok city Organizing Committee. He was elected to the Parliament in 1990, but the military refused to honor this election. The NLD caucus held secret meetings and decided to form a provisional government to restore democracy in Burma, and Bo Hla-Tint became a cabinet minister of this new government. He has made many public appearances and attended international forums speaking on behalf of the people of Burma and supporting the restoration of democracy.