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Board of Trustees


Glenn Lau-Kee

Chairman and Trustee (Partner, Kee & Lau-Kee)

Glenn Lau-Kee was elected chairman of the US-Asia Institute in 2017. He had previously served as president before stepping up to the chairmanship. He is a former president of the 74,000 member New York State Bar Association. As the 117th president of NYSBA during 2014-2015, he was the first Asian-American to serve as president. Glenn is a member of the firm of Kee & Lau-Kee, PLLC, located in Manhattan, New York.

Mr. Lau-Kee began his law practice in 1975 in the international law firm of Coudert Brothers as an associate in the Hong Kong and New York offices, concentrating on banking and project financing matters. He joined the firm of Kee & Lau-Kee as a partner in 1977. He concentrates his practice in real estate and business law. He was a member of the Commission on Statewide Attorney Discipline formed by New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman. He also served as the American Bar Association Observer to the United Nations Economic and Social Council in Geneva.

He was a commissioner on the Commission on Human Rights of the City of New York from 1984-1990, serving as vice-chair of the Commission. He served on the New York State Judicial Screening Committee, First Department, from 2007-2010. He has served as vice-chair of the Board of the YMCA of Greater New York, and as a board member of the New York County Bar Association, the Fund for Modern Courts, the New York Bar Foundation, Legal Services for New York City, and the Queens Legal Services Corporation. He served as the president of the Asian American Bar Association of New York from 1997-1999, and was appointed by then Chief Judge Judith Kaye to serve on the Commission to Examine Solo and Small Firm Practice, and the Committee to Promote Public Trust and Confidence in the Legal System.

Mr. Lau-Kee is a David Rockefeller Fellow of the New York City Partnership. He has been awarded the Dean’s Medal from Albany Law School, the Jane M. Bolin Leaders in Law Award from the Judicial Friends Association, and the Honorable George Bundy Smith Pioneer Award from the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of NYSBA. He is also the recipient of the Order of the Red Triangle from the YMCA of Greater New York, its highest honor.

He is a 1971 graduate of Yale University and a 1974 graduate of the Boston University School of Law.


Benjamin Wu

Vice Chairman of the Trustees (Deputy Secretary, Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development)

Ben Wu has held the vice-chairmanship at the US-Asia Institute since January 2011. He concurrently serves as the Deputy Secretary of Business and Economic Development and Senior Adviser for Technology Policy for the State of Maryland. His primary responsibilities include advancing technology-led economic growth within Maryland’s High Technology Corridor focusing on the development of life sciences and emerging technologies. He came to Maryland during former Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.’s Administration and was asked to remain in the Administration of current Governor Martin O’Malley. Mr. Wu serves as the highest-ranking Asian American Administration official in the State of Maryland.

Previously, he was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve in the first and second terms of his Administration. He served as the U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology and as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy. Prior to joining the Bush Administration, Mr. Wu held senior staff positions in the U.S. Congress for 13 years on the House Science Committee’s subcommittee with jurisdiction over the nation’s technology and competitiveness policy, as well as Counsel to Congresswoman Constance A. Morella of Maryland.

He received his B.A. in Politics and Metropolitan Studies from New York University, and holds a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.


Javade Chaudhri

Vice Chairman of the Trustees (Partner, Jones Day Law Firm)

Javade Chaudhri is a partner at Jones Day and has worldwide experience in helping private and public sector companies transact business and undertake projects in a range of industry sectors and geographies.

Mr. Chaudhri advises companies on domestic and international mergers and acquisitions and strategic alliances. He also assists companies with corporate governance, compliance, and internal investigations. He has handled complex international litigation and arbitrations before ICSID and under various major arbitral rules. Javade is head of the Firm’s Africa Practice.

Prior to Jones Day, Mr. Chaudhri served as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Sempra Energy, a Fortune 250 company. He was also General Counsel of Gateway, a $10 billion worldwide computer and technology company, where he also managed government relations, contract administration, and compliance.

He has structured and negotiated infrastructure, technology, and other transactions in numerous countries. He has handled arbitrations under ICSID, ICC, AAA, and UNCITRAL Rules. He also has conducted international investigations relating to anti-bribery laws and other regulatory matters. Mr. Chaudhri serves on a number of nonprofit boards and has been a faculty member at universities and institutions in the United States and around the world.

He holds a J.D. from Georgetown University and received his bachelors and a masters degree from Yale University.


David Lew

Trustee and Treasurer (Senior Vice President, Private Wealth Management, Morgan Stanley)

David C. Lew is a senior vice president in the private wealth management division of Morgan Stanley, responsible for advising large international families and small institutions on their investment portfolios.

Prior to joining Morgan Stanley in 2002, Mr. Lew was a senior investment adviser at Barclays Bank. In that capacity, he advised large clients from Latin America, the Caribbean and Canada. From 1985 to 1999, he served as Vice President at Citibank, working with clients in the Asia Pacific, Canada and Mexico.

Mr. Lew holds an MBA in Finance from Fordham University and graduated from New York University with a degree in Biology and Economics.


Mary Sue Bissell

President & Trustee (President, US-Asia Institute)

Mary Sue Bissell came to the US-Asia Institute in 1979 and worked with co-founders Esther G. Kee and Joji Konoshima as Director of Programs and Publications from 1979-84. From 1987-90, she served as USAI’s Executive Director. While at the Institute, Ms. Bissell sought to strengthen relations between the United States and Asia through organizing high-level conferences and policy dialogues, managing government-to-government exchange programs, and coordinating congressional staff trips to various Asian countries.

She has over 30 years of experience in non-profit management, conference planning, volunteer coordination, grant-writing, editing, strategic planning, marketing, education and fundraising. She edited conference proceedings from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th National Leadership Conferences, and a publication on U.S. immigration policy toward Asia. She also provided oversight to the U.S.-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange for 2.5 years. She has received numerous local, state and national awards and recognition for writing, public speaking and community service.

In September 2018, the board voted her in as the President of the US-Asia Institute.

Ms. Bissell is a graduate of the University of South Dakota. She is married with two daughters.


Tom K. Ara

Trustee (Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP)

Tom K. Ara is a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, LLP. and a partner at the DLA Piper. Ara focuses his practice on entertainment and media industry transactions. He represents an array of banks, private equity groups, hedge funds, investors and borrowers in an assortment of financing and strategic industry transactions. In addition, he advises feature film studios, television networks, production companies, Internet and mobile-based content producers and distributors in corporate transactions as well as in the development, production and distribution of motion picture, television and new media content.

Mr. Ara has led multiple large financing and M&A transactions that have involved some of the largest motion picture and television companies and franchises. He has also led debt, equity and gap financing transactions for the production and distribution (including P&A expenditures) of numerous motion picture, television series and new media properties.

Mr. Ara acts as chief outside counsel to multiple motion picture, television, and new media production and distribution companies as well as a business adviser to many such companies in connection with their launch. He handles a multitude of complex entertainment and media transactions spanning the globe, with a particular emphasis on clients located in and transactions that have involved Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Mr. Ara holds a J.D. from Loyola University, where he was the Editor of Loyal Law Review, and received his bachelors degree at San Jose State University.


Julie Chon

Trustee (Global Head Public Investment Strategy, Perry Capital)

Julie Chon serves as Managing Director and Global Head of Public Investment Strategy at Perry Capital.

Prior to joining Perry Capital, Ms. Chon crafted landmark US policy responses to stabilize the financial crisis as senior adviser to US Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd from 2007-2011. She played a central role in the enactment of several laws that re-defined the powers of the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve, housing agencies, and regulators to intervene in the economy. These included the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Helping Families Save Their Homes Act, Dodd-Frank Act, Foreign Investment and National Security Act, and International Monetary Fund authorization. She was also appointed to the Treasury Department team for the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Project and Senate Democratic Policy Committee staff.

Ms. Chon began her career at Chase Securities in New York and Salomon Brothers in London, advising government bond issuers on international capital markets access. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior fellow in Global Business and Economics at the Atlantic Council, where she provides economic commentary for the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, CNBC, and Bloomberg.

Ms. Chon graduated from Cornell University.


Joe Fawkner

Trustee (Chief Strategy Officer, TATE Global, LLC)

Joe Fawkner is a recognized leader in developing international government affairs, business development, and cross-border investment strategies for multinational companies and alternative asset management firms.

In October 2018, Joe began to serve as a Senior Advisor to GovPredict.

Prior to GovPredict, Joe served as the Chief Strategy Officer of TATE Global, a leading enterprise software and consultancy company that empowers clients with actionable strategic information and situational awareness.  In his role, Joe oversaw TATE’s business development, client success, and analytics divisions.

Joe has also served as the Director and Head of Strategic Services at FiscalNote, which is an enterprise regulatory technology company. Before that, he was the President and Co-Founder of Long Bridge Capital where he advised a wide range of clients on their foreign investment strategies throughout the United States. Prior to Long Bridge Capital, Joe worked at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in numerous capacities for nearly a decade. In his most recent position at the Chamber, he was the Senior Director and Head of International Development where he developed and led the Chamber’s International Leadership Program which is recognized as the largest international government affairs practice in the U.S.

Earlier in his career, Joe was the Director for Congressional Relations at the US-Asia Institute.  He also worked in China for nearly five years as a sales and marketing professional developing golf courses and logistics centers in Beijing.

He conducted his graduate studies in Modern Chinese Studies (M.Phil) at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford and his undergraduate work (B.A.) in International Relations at Boston College.  He is married with one daughter.


Chris Fenton

Trustee (President, DMG Entertainment Motion Picture Group; GM, DMG North America)

Chris Fenton is the President of DMG Entertainment Motion Picture Group & General Manager of
DMG North America, orchestrating the international creative and business activities of DMG — a
multi-billion dollar global media company based in Beverly Hills with a China component publicly
traded on the Shenzhen Exchange. Fenton supervises the development, financing, production,
marketing, and distribution of DMG’s globally-focused entertainment content in addition to
managing DMG’s vast libarary of I.P. and overseeing the M&A and strategic investment usage of
DMG’s capital resources. Fenton has produced or supervised as a credited production executive
twenty films ranging from big budget franchises — IRON MAN 3, POINT BREAK, and 47 RONIN, to
more niche-oriented films — LOOPER, WAITING, and THE VATICAN TAPES. In 2017 alone, Fenton
produced Universal’s THE PACT, Open Road’s COLLIDE, WB’s BASTARDS, and Apex’s
CHAPPAQUIDDICK. Fenton currently serves on the Boards of the US-Asia Institute, serving as
chairman of the public relations committee; Valiant Entertainment; and Arcturus VR and is an
active member of the ATAS and the PGA.

Mr. Fenton graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Engineering.


Lisabeth Sugahara

Trustee (Senior Vice President, Strategy Communications, Fairfield, Maxwell, LTD)

Lisabeth Sugahara is Vice President of Communications at Fairfield-Maxwell, Ltd. (FML), an international shipping and oil services company based in New York, NY. The company has offices in Japan and Vietnam, and does significant trade in East and Southeast Asia.

Prior to joining FML, she was a communications consultant at insurance brokerage firm Marsh working with Fortune 100 clients. Ms. Sugahara has a long interest in Asian economies. Her MBA studies focused on Asian business environments and global development; she is also a student of Mandarin Chinese. The Sugahara family has been associated with the US-Asia Institute almost since its inception.

Ms. Sugahara graduated from Smith College and received her MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management.


Liza Walsh

Trustee (Founding Partner, Walsh Pizzi O’Reilly Falanga LLP)

Liza Walsh is a founding partner at Walsh Pizzi O’Reilly Falanga LLP. She has practiced commercial litigation and class action defense for more than 30 years, representing some of the country’s largest and most prestigious companies. She has defended major pharmaceutical companies in high-profile patent litigation and has acted as liaison counsel to defendants in multi-district litigation.

Ms. Walsh has been named to “Best Lawyers in America” for Commercial Litigation, Patent Law and ERISA Litigation in 2016, following similar recognition for nine prior consecutive years. Most recently, she was honored by the Executive Women of New Jersey as one of the 2016 “Women of Achievement.” NJBIZ also selected Ms. Walsh as “Top 25 Leading Women Entrepreneurs of New Jersey” and “New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business.” She led the team named “Intellectual Property Litigation Group of the Year” by the New Jersey Law Journal in 2014. Other honors and credits include “New Jersey Super Lawyers” for eight years, “New York’s Best Lawyers” and “New York’s Women Leaders in the Law” by New York Magazine.

A graduate of Seton Hall University School of Law, Ms. Walsh received the school’s Distinguished Graduate Award in 2012. She is also a Fellow of the American Bar Association and an active community advocate, serving on the Board of Trustees for New Jersey Ballet, District Court Historical Society and as Finance Committee member for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.

She holds a J.D. at Seton Hall University School of Law and is a graduate of Manhattan College.


Trustee Emeritus

Mr. Chan Tom (1931-1980)
Mr. Kay Sugahara (1909-1988)
Mr. Norman Lau Kee (1927-2017)


Kaytaro G. Sugahara

Chairman/Trustee Emeritus President & CEO, Fairfield Maxwell Ltd.

Kaytaro G. Sugahara (K.G.) is President and CEO of Fairfield Maxwell Ltd. Prior to joining Fairfield-Maxwell Ltd as Vice President of the company’s Marine Division, he worked for the Douglas Aircraft Corporation in their Missiles and Space System Division.

At Fairfield Maxwell, Mr. Sugahara was promoted to Senior Vice president in 1970, to Executive Vice President in 1975, and became President in June of 1979.

During the time Mr. Sugahara has been with the company, Fairfield-Maxwell, which celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2007, expanded its worldwide presence in both the shipping and geophysical industries. Fairfield’s shipping business started with crude oil tankers, its crude fleet expanding to over two million tons deadweight. Through its subsidiaries, Fairfield has been in the refrigerated and bulk cargo businesses and currently is a major player in the chemical tanker business as well as a long-term carrier for Toyota Motors.

He also sits on the Board of Fairfield industries, the largest and oldest wholly American owned company in the geophysical industry. Fairfield Industries gathers seismic data using its self-designed and manufactured equipment, processes this data in its advanced computer facility and now dominates the shallow water Gulf of Maxico market.

Mr. Sugahara is a member of the State Department Far Eastern Advisory Committee and a member of the President’s Council of the California Institute of Technology. He is also Chairman of the Board of Hexagon Curling International which was the sponsor of the World Curling Championships.

Mr. Sugahara is also the oldest member of the Sugahara Clan started by his father, Kay Sugahara. Kay Sugahara was an early supporter of the US-Asia Institute and Chairman of the Institute’s Board of Trustees from 1981 until 1988. Kay Sugahara led the Institute’s first trade mission to the People’s Republic of China in September of 1981 and put into place many innovative programs that increased understanding between the U.S. and Asia. Kay Sugahara’s son, Kaytaro G. Sugara, and granddaughter, Lisabeth Sugahara, continue the family tradition into the third generation as trustees at the US-Asia Institute.

K.G. graduated from California Institute of Technology in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering.


Esther G. Kee

Trustee Emeritus

Esther G. Kee is a co-founder, trustee, and president emeritus of the US-Asia Institute. She has a long history of community, political and international service and leadership. With the late Joji Konoshima, Mrs. Kee participated in the official White House ceremonies welcoming Deng Xiao Ping on his historic visit to the United States. Additionally, she coordinated his trip throughout the United States, and accompanied the delegation to various U.S. cities. More recently, she was a guest at the White House welcoming ceremony and luncheon honoring Chinese President Hu Jintao on his visit to the United States.

In 1979, Mrs. Kee and Mr. Konoshima founded the US-Asia Institute to work more closely with Asian nations and to open an informal dialogue between government and private sector leaders within these countries, especially China. In the mid-1980s, Mrs. Kee worked with the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs to establish the Congressional staff delegations to the People’s Republic of China. To date, 106 of these trips have been organized to China, 11 to Japan and 10 to ASEAN.

Mrs. Kee has been active in a variety of community activities in New York City including the Chinatown Planning Council, the Chinatown YMCA, the YMCA Camp Council of Greater New York and other civic organizations. She served on the Presidential Ambassadorial Selection Board, the Selection Board of the State Department, the Advisory Board for Channel 13, the Board of Directors of the Community Service Society of New York and the Executive Committee for the Democratic National Committee. She has raised millions of dollars for local, state and national organizations, candidates and causes. She also organized the Asian/Pacific American Women’s delegation to the International Women’s Year conference in Houston, Texas and is active in numerous Asian American and women’s groups.


Sumiye Konoshima

Trustee Emeritus (Retired, East West Center )

Sumiye Konoshima is a sister of the Institute’s co-founder, the late Joji Konoshima. Ms. Konoshima retired from the East-West Center as Head of Research Information Service after 35 years.

While at the East-West Center, she planned, organized and conducted workshops, training programs, conferences and projects on documentation, information dissemination/use with domestic and international organizations in Asia and the U.S. Program. Project subject areas included mass media, communication, telecommunication, information technology, rural/community economic development, population, education.


Kent Lucken

Chairman/Trustee Emeritus (Managing Director, Citi Private Bank)

Kent Lucken joined the Board as a Trustee of the US-Asia Institute in 2004 and was elected President of the Institute in 2011. He became the Chairman of the Board in January 2015. Mr. Lucken is a Managing Director of Citi Private Bank in Boston, responsible for providing global wealth management services to international entrepreneurs and large privately owned companies. He also oversees Citi Private Bank’s North American Financial Sponsor practice, which encompasses the firm’s relationships with leading private equity firms and their principals. Prior to joining Citi, he worked at Robertson Stephens Investment Bank.

A fourteen-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, Mr. Lucken completed diplomatic assignments at the U.S. Embassies in Italy, Russia, Georgia, Bosnia, Croatia and Slovenia. He has represented the U.S. as an international election observer at the national elections in the Republic of Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.

Mr. Lucken is an Overseer at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art and serves on boards at Harvard Kennedy School’s Deans Alumni Leadership Council, Iowa State University’s Liberal Arts and Sciences College, and Tufts University’s Institute for Global Leadership. He has lectured on international affairs at Harvard University and has commented on National Public Radio, the New York Times, and the Boston Globe.

He holds a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science at Iowa State University.


Nancy Tom

Trustee Emeritus (Retired, Founder and Executive Director, Center for Asian Arts & Media, Columbia College)

Nancy Tom served as a director and advisory committee member of the US-Asia Institute and organized the first National Asian-American Conference Gala in Washington D.C in the 1980’s when then-President Jimmy Carter served as keynote speaker.

Ms. Tom has dedicated her life to promoting awareness of Asian-American issues, art and cultures. In 1997, she founded the Center for Asian Arts and Media at Columbia College in Chicago in order to highlight the contributions of Asian-Americans to this country’s culture and history. She is also committed to philanthropic activities and supporting other Asians in the arts. After the death of her husband in the early 80s, she founded the Chan Tom Memorial Fund Foundation. In 2001, she established the Helen Fong Dare Scholarship, for Columbia College students, in honor of her mother.

She is an independent curator and has handled special arts events for the City of Chicago and various Asian-American organizations. At the age of 71, Ms. Tom has found a new passion for film/video, producing and directing her first documentary, “Number One: The Helen Fong Dare Story” and producing many short videos. Recently Nancy created The Other Side: Chinese and Mexican Immigration to America, an arts exhibition examining the Chinese Exclusion Act through visual arts and frank discussion on a historical topic with ongoing implications. It opened in Pasadena, California at the USC Pacific Arts Museum in February 2014 and was named one of the Top 10 exhibits in Los Angeles in 2014. It opened to a record crowd of more than 3,000 guests at Houston’s Asia Society in March 2015.

Ms. Tom is a trustee of Columbia College Chicago, a board member of the Illinois Humanities Council, a member of four Cultural Committees of the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs: Public Art, International Sister Cities, Multicultural Voices, and the International Program. In addition, she has served as a member of the Asian Advisory Council to former Governor George Ryan, the Council on Foreign Relations, Asia Society Committee, the Art Institute of Chicago’s Education Department and on the advisory board of many nonprofit Asian organizations.

Ms. Tom has spoken at numerous conferences, symposiums and panel discussions. Most recently, she was the Keynote Speaker at the Working Mother Media’s annual women of color conference and a selection panelist for the 2005 Thomas Jefferson Awards.

She has received numerous awards and honors for her community work in Chicago. In 1997, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Organization of Chinese Americans-Chicago. The OCA once again honored her in 2004 with the Woman Risk Taker and Enabler Award. In 1998, she was selected by Today’s Chicago Woman as one of the “100 Women Making a Difference.” In 2003, she received a milestone award from the Asian American Institute. In 2013, Ms. Tom was named a White House Champion of Change for doing extraordinary work in the arts to create a more safe, equal, and prosperous future for their communities and the country.


Marlon Young

Chairman/Trustee Emeritus (Chief Executive for the Americas, HSBC Private Bank)

Marlon Young is Chief Executive Officer for HSBC Private Bank, Americas. In this role, he is responsible for management growth of the Private Bank’s businesses in the United States, Mexico, Central and South America.

Mr. Young began his career with HSBC in 2006 as head of the company’s U.S. private banking operation and was appointed to his present role in September of the same year. He is a member of the HSBC Bank USA Executive Committee, and the HSBC Global Private Bank Management Committee. He joined HSBC after 27 years at Citigroup where he was Head of Private Client Lending at its Smith Barney division. While there, he held various leadership roles including Head of the Northeast Region for Citigroup Private Bank, Head of Investment Finance and Senior Credit Officer for the U.S. Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. His international banking experience encompasses assignments in the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, and  Thailand. He also has extensive corporate banking experience covering the commercial real estate, automotive and energy industries.

Mr. Young has received numerous awards due to his dedication and volunteer work including the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award. He is an active volunteer in Junior Achievement and the Doe Fund. He is frequently invited to speak on diversity and leadership by not-for-profit institutions; including, the Asia Society, the International Leadership Foundation (ILF) and Ascend.

Mr. Young holds a master’s degree in business management from the Asian Institute of Management in Manila, Philippines, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Dakota.