During the Asia Society's 36th Annual Williamsburg Conference in April in Bali, Indonesia, we asked leaders from across the Asia-Pacific region what one piece of advice they would give the next president of the United States.
Most of the 16 respondents emphasized the need for humility, while others encouraged the US to support democratization, to be more multilateral in its dealings with the world, and to adopt a more nuanced perspective on Islam- Asia Society
Dr. Abdullah Abdullah
Dr. Abdullah was the foreign minister of the Afghan United Front government from 1998 onwards.
Following the assassination of Massoud in 2001, he became one of the three dominant figures in the Northern Alliance and later the Transitional Afghan Government along with Mohammed Fahim and Yunus Qanuni.
In 2001 he was selected as Foreign Minister for the Interim Administration of Afghanistan; a post which he lost in a cabinet reshuffle on March 22, 2006.
He is generally considered to be, along with former Ministers Mohammed Fahim and Yunus Qanuni, a leader of the Tajik faction, although his mother is actually an ethnic Pashtun. Unlike many other former Northern Alliance officials, he was not removed from his ministerial post immediately after the 2004 Presidential Election.
M.J. Akbar is a leading Indian journalist and author. He is the Chairman of the fortnightly newsmagazine Covert which he launched in May 2008.
He is also the founder and former editor-in-chief and managing director of The Asian Age, a daily multi-edition Indian newspaper with a global perspective.
He has written several non-fiction books, including Byline, a biography of Jawaharlal Nehru titled Nehru: The Making of India, a book on Kashmir titled Kashmir: Behind the Vale, Riot After Riot and India: The Siege Within. He also authored The Shade of Swords, a cohesive history of jihad.
Akbar's recent published book is Blood Brothers, a skilfully crafted family saga covering three generations and packed with information of events in India and the world, particularly the changing Hindu-Muslim relations.
Dewi Fortuna Anwar
Dr. Dewi Anwar has been Associate Director for Research, The Habibie Center since November 1999.
She is also a Researcher at the Centre for Political and Regional Studies, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (PPW-LIPI), Jakarta.
Endy M. Bayuni took up the job of chief editor of The Jakarta Post, Indonesia's independent and leading English language newspaper, in August 2004 shortly after he returned from a one-year Nieman Fellowship at the Harvard University.
Bayuni has been with the newspaper since 1991, working his way up from Production Manager (Night Editor), to National Editor, Managing Editor, and Deputy Chief Editor.
He previously worked as the Indonesian correspondent for Reuters and Agence France-Presse between 1984 and 1991, and began his journalistic career with The Jakarta Post in 1983. Bayuni completed his Bachelors of Arts degree in economics from Kingston University in Surrey, England, in 1981.
Vishakha N. Desai
Vishakha Desai is president and CEO of Asia Society, a leading global organization committed to strengthening partnerships among the people, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the US. Desai sets the direction for the society’s diverse sets of programs, ranging from major US–Asia policy initiatives and national educational partnerships for global learning to groundbreaking art exhibitions and innovative Asian American performances. She has an international reputation for introducing contemporary Asian art in the US through critically acclaimed exhibitions and scholarly catalogues. Under her leadership, Asia Society has expanded the scope and scale of its activities, including opening new offices in India and Korea, the inauguration of a new center on US-China relations, and the development of new initiatives focusing on the environment, on Asian women leaders, and on partnerships among the next generation of exceptional leaders in Asia and the US.
Gareth Evans co-chaired the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (2000-2001), is the author of The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and For All (Brookings Institution Press, 2008, 2009), and is Co-Chair of the International Advisory Board of the New York-based Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. Now Chancellor of the Australian National University and a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, he was formerly Australia's Foreign Minister (1988-96) and President of the International Crisis Group (2000-09). A participant in many international commissions and panels, he has written or edited nine books, and many other chapters, journal articles, and opinion pieces.
Pan Guang is the Director of and Professor at the Shanghai Center for International Studies and Institute of European & Asian Studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.
He also is the Director of SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) Studies Center in Shanghai, Dean of Center of Jewish Studies Shanghai (CJSS) and Vice Chairman of the Chinese Society of Middle East Studies.
Carolina G. Hernandez is currently Professor of Political Science at the University of the Philippines and the holder of its Carlos P. Romulo Professorial Chair in International Relations.
She is founder and President of the Institute for Strategic and Development Studies, an independent, non-profit think tank on foreign policy, domestic politics, and security concerns and development issues.
James F. Hoge Jr.
James Hoge spent three decades in newspaper journalism, serving as a Washington correspondent, editor in chief and publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, and then publisher and president of the New York Daily News.
Under his leadership, the Chicago Sun-Times won six Pulitzer Prizes for journalistic excellence and the New York Daily News won one. He became editor of Foreign Affairs in 1992.
Jamie Metzl is Executive Vice President of Asia Society. He is responsible for overseeing the institution's strategic directions and overall program activities globally.
An expert on Southeast Asian history and politics, Dr. Metzl has extensive government experience including service in the White House, the Department of State, and the U.S. Senate.
Kunihiko Miyake is the President of AOI Foreign Policy Institute.
He also is the former deputy director general of the Middle East Bureau of the Foreign Ministry.
Dr C Raja Mohan is an analyst of Indian foreign policy and international security affairs and an advocate of India's strategical alignment with America.
He has served on India's National Security Advisory Board during 1998-2000. He is currently a professor at the Nanyang Technical University in Singapore.
Norman J. Ornstein
Norman J. Ornstein is a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. An election analyst for CBS News, he writes a weekly column called "Congress Inside Out" for Roll Call.
His work has also appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Affairs, and he appears regularly on television programs like The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, Nightline, and Charlie Rose.
He serves on the board of the Public Broadcasting Service and several other nonprofit groups. Like Mann, he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Rizal Sukma is currently Deputy Executive at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS),Jakarta, Indonesia.
He is also the Chairman of International Relations Division, Central Executive Board of Muhammadiyah (second largest Islamic organisation in Indonesia with approximately 25 million members); member of the board at Syafii Maarif Institute for Culture and Humanity; a visiting lecturer at Department of International Relations at Muhammadiyah University - Malang; and a member of the National Committee on Strategic Defense Review, Indonesia's Ministry of Defence.
Mr. Simon Tay teaches international and public law at the National University of Singapore.
Between 2002-2007, he was the Chairman of the National Environment Agency. In fall 2003, he was a visiting professor at the Harvard Law School and Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy.
He was selected for three terms as a Nominated Member of Parliament (1997-2001) and has led public consultations concerning Singapore on several panels.