NEW YORK, September 25, 2013 - Asia Society's Josette Sheeran moderates a discussion among Carolyn Brehm, Judith Cekfin, Tom Freston, U Wunna Maung Lwin and Zaw Oo on challenges and opportunities in Myanmar's reform and ways forward for development through responsible investment. Closing remarks by Rajiv Shah of USAID. (1 hr., 18 min.)
Carolyn Brehm is Vice President of Global Government Relations and Public Policy at Procter & Gamble, where she leads P&G's government relations team. Prior to that, Ms. Brehm was the Director of Legislation for The Business Roundtable; spent 13 years with the General Motors Corporation in several Washington and overseas assignments; and served as Vice President of Asia for ORBIS International, a global humanitarian organization.
Judith Cekfin is Senior Advisor on Burma at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to this, she served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. During her Foreign Service career, she has served as Vice Consul in Mexico City, Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, and Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Manila. She also served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Tom Freston is a Principal of Firefly3, an investment and consultancy firm focusing on the media and entertainment industries. He is the former Chief Executive Officer of Viacom Inc., where he also served as Chief Operating Officer. For seventeen years, Mr. Freston was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MTV Networks, MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, Comedy Central, and other networks.
Prior to that, Mr. Freston ran a textile business in Afghanistan and India. Currently, he is Board Chairman of the ONE Campaign, an advocacy organization to fight extreme poverty and serves on the boards of DreamWorks Animation, Moby Media in Afghanistan, Vice Media in New York and is also a Trustee of The Asia Society. He was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 2010. In 2005 Mr. Freston was cited in the TIME magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World" issue. He has received many industry honors and awards. Mr. Freston writes a monthly travel column "On the Road" for Vanity Fair.
U Wunna Maung Lwin
U Wunna Maung Lwin is Myanmar's Minister of Foreign Affairs. Prior to his appointment in March 2011, he served as Myanmar's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva. He has held a number of diplomatic positions, including as Myanmar's Ambassador to Israel and France.
Zaw Oo is Senior Research Fellow and Director of Research Programs at the Centre for Economic and Social Development of the Myanmar Development Resource Institute (MDRI). He is also a member of President Thein Sein's National Economic and Social Advisory Council.
Josette Sheeran is the seventh president and CEO of Asia Society. In the position, which she assumed in June 2013, she is responsible for leading and advancing the organization's work throughout the U.S. and Asia, and across its disciplines of arts and culture, policy and business, and education.
Sheeran is former Vice Chair of the World Economic Forum, which hosts the annual Davos and Davos in China gathering of world leaders. In this position, she helped advance global initiatives and global, regional and industry agendas such as Grow Africa, which has attracted $4 billion in investment commitments to end hunger and malnutrition in Africa. She recently served at the Harvard Kennedy School as a Fisher Fellow in the Future of Diplomacy.
Prior to her tenure at the World Economic Forum, Sheeran was executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), appointed by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2006. There she was responsible for managing the world's largest humanitarian organization, leading a team of 13,000 people in more than 70 countries, and managing an annual budget of more than $3 billion - including $1 billion in Asia.