Past Events


On September 12, 2016, the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, and Perth USAsia Centre hosted the Washington launch of The Asian Research Network: Survey on America’s Role in the Asia-Pacific. The launch featured a panel discussion of Asia experts and keynote speech by Cara Abercrombie, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia.

This report highlights a number of provocative revelations about public opinion on trade, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the US-China relationship, the likelihood of conflict in the region and how South Korea, Australia, China, Indonesia, and Japan view their neighbors.

To view The Asian Research Network online:

Date / Time: Monday, September 12, 2016 / 10:30am-1:30pm
Venue: Dirksen Senate Office Building



Cara Abercrombie is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs. Ms. Abercrombie serves as the principal advisor to senior Department leadership for all policy matters pertaining to development and implementation of defense strategies and plans for the region. She is responsible for managing the bilateral security relationships with nations of this region and guiding DoD engagement with regional multilateral institutions. Ms. Abercrombie is a career member of the Senior Executive Service with more than a decade of service in the Office of Secretary of Defense. Previously, Ms. Abercrombie was the Principal Director for East Asia Policy, from July 2014-June 2016. In that role she advised senior Department leadership in the formulation and implementation of defense policy for China, Japan, Mongolia, North and South Korea, and Taiwan. From 2013-2014, she served as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Defense. Other prior positions include Director for South Asia, Human Capital Strategy Advisor to the Under Secretary for Policy, Defense Institution Building Coordinator, and Senior Country Director for India. She joined the Department as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2003. Prior to entering government, Ms. Abercrombie was a Program Officer for Eurasia with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs. Ms. Abercrombie has a Master’s degree in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and a BA from Dartmouth College. She is a recipient of the Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award (twice) and Department of State Meritorious Honor Award.

Simon Jackman is Chief Executive Officer of the US Studies Centre. He is also a Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. Dr. Jackman comes to the Centre from Stanford University, where he has been a professor since 2007. Dr. Jackman is a distinguished political scientist with a nearly two decade long career at Stanford. His teaching and research centers on issues in democratic politics with particular emphasis on American and Australian politics, including public opinion, political parties, election campaigns, and political participation. Since 2009, Dr. Jackman has served as one of the principal investigators of the American National Election Studies (ANES), the world’s longest running and most authoritative survey of political behavior and attitudes. Prior to his stewardship of ANES, Dr. Jackman directed a number of other large, online survey projects in the 2008 US presidential election cycle. Australian-born, Dr. Jackman completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Queensland before completing his PhD in political science at the University of Rochester, New York.

L. Gordon Flake is the founding CEO of the Perth USAsia Centre, a position he assumed in 2014. He came to Australia after more than 20 years in Washington, DC in positions including Executive Director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, Senior Fellow at The Atlantic Council of the United States, and Director for Research at the Korea Economic Institute of America. He is the author of several edited volumes and numerous articles and book chapters on Asia. Mr. Flake received his BA degree in Korean with a minor in international relations from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He completed his MA at the David M. Kennedy Center for International and Area Studies, also at BYU. He speaks both fluent Korean and Laotian.

J. James Kim is a Research Fellow in the American Politics and Policy Program in the Center for Regional Studies at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies. Dr. Kim is also a lecturer in the Executive Master of Public Administration program at Columbia University. Previously, he was an assistant professor of political science at the California State Polytechnic University (Pomona). He also served as a summer research associate at the RAND Corporation and as a statistical consultant for the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Planning at the School of International and Public Affairs in Columbia University. His primary research interests include political economy, energy, security, public opinion, democracy, methodology, and media. Dr. Kim received a BS and MS in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University and an MPhil and PhD in political science from Columbia University.

Yuki Tatsumi was appointed Senior Associate of the East Asia program at the Stimson Center in September 2008 after serving as a research fellow since 2004. Before joining Stimson, Ms. Tatsumi worked as a research associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and as the special assistant for political affairs at the Embassy of Japan in Washington. Ms. Tatsumi is a co-author of Global Security Watch: Japan (Praeger, 2010), an author of Japan’s National Security Policy Infrastructure: Can Tokyo Meet Washington’s Expectations? (Stimson Center, 2008), and an editor/contributing author of The New Nuclear Agenda: Prospects for US-Japan Cooperation (Stimson Center, 2012), North Korea: Challenge for the US-Japan Alliance (Stimson Center, 2010), Strategic Yet Strained: US force realignment in Japan and its impact of Okinawa (Stimson Center, 2008), and Japan’s New Defense Establishment: Institutions, Capabilities and Implications (Stimson Center, 2007). In September 2006 Ms. Tatsumi testified before the House Committee on International Relations. She is a recipient of the 2009 Yasuhiro Nakasone Incentive Award. In 2012 she was awarded the Letter of Appreciation from the Ministry of National Policy of Japan for her contribution in advancing mutual understanding between the United States and Japan. A native of Tokyo, Ms. Tatsumi holds a BA in liberal arts from the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan and an MA in international economics and Asian studies from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University in Washington.

Yun Sun is a Senior Associate with the East Asia Program at the Stimson Center. Her expertise is in Chinese foreign policy, US-China relations and China’s relations with neighboring countries and authoritarian regimes. From 2011 to early 2014, she was a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, jointly appointed by the Foreign Policy Program and the Global Development Program, where she focused on Chinese national security decision-making processes and China-Africa relations. From 2008 to 2011, Ms. Yun was the China Analyst for the International Crisis Group based in Beijing, specializing on China’s foreign policy towards conflict countries and the developing world. Prior to ICG, she worked on US-Asia relations in Washington, DC for five years. Ms. Yun earned her master’s degree in international policy and practice from George Washington University, as well as an MA in Asia Pacific studies and a BA in international relations from Foreign Affairs College in Beijing.