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, she 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.
Ms. Bissell has over 30 years of experience in nonprofit 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.
Ms. Bissell is a graduate of the University of South Dakota. She is married with two daughters.
Robert F. Jordan started a 36-year diplomatic career with the U.S. Information Agency in 1956. He served as the Public Affairs Officer and director of the United States Information Service in 11 countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America with responsibility for all U.S. government press and cultural exchange programs.
Mr. Jordan was president of the Fulbright Commission in several countries and was also president of the Government of Ireland’s scholarship board. While on a Washington tour he was assigned to USIA’s inspection corps and conducted policy and public diplomacy inspections of American embassies in some 40 countries worldwide.
Mr. Jordan is the recipient of several meritorious and superior honor awards and performance pay awards from USIA, the Department of Defense and the Department of State. He also received the Order of Merit from the Government of Portugal. He was frequently selected to organize press facilities for the White House Press Corps for overseas visits of U.S. presidents. Following retirement in 1992 he was called back by both USIA and the Department of State to conduct policy inspections of some 20 embassies worldwide. From 1995 to 2001, he worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency handling the Spanish-speaking media on disasters around the country.
Mr. Jordan served overseas in the U.S. Army from 1945 to 1947 and then attended the University of Massachusetts, graduating in 1951. He also attended Boston College Graduate School and the University of Mexico in Mexico City.
Madeline Clough first became involved at the US-Asia Institute during the summer of 2015 as a Political Affairs intern. She has deep ties to the Institute as the niece of Trustee Lisabeth Sugahara, granddaughter of Chairman KG Sugahara, and great-granddaughter of Chairman Kaytaro Sugahara.
She is a recent graduate at Colgate University, where she studied International Relations and Asian Studies, and graduated Magna Cum Laude. In 2016, she spent five months in Geneva, Switzerland, taking courses, interning with the NGO Franciscan’s International and participating in the Human Rights Council. Since then, she interned with the Campaigns and Advocacy department at Planned Parenthood Federation of America and consulted the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP), on youth engagement.
Yvette Jiang holds a master’s degree in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Fudan University. She is from Shanghai, China, and she has taken courses in Austria, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, the U.K., and the U.S.
Prior to joining the US-Asia Institute, she was a Communications and Policy Dual Intern at the Center for Global Policy in Washington, DC, where she focused on enhancing U.S. security and global stability through foreign policy recommendations. She has also worked with The Asia Institute on educational programs, Me to We China on youth engagement, Knudsen&Co on trade barriers, and the China Energy Fund Committee International Center on geopolitical analysis.
Seul-bee Jung recently received her master’s degree from the American University School of International Service, where she majored in International Affairs with a concentration in global governance and great power politics. Outside of SIS, she studied the role of international organizations in addressing transnational environmental issues as a United Nations Association-National Capital Area Graduate Fellow. Seul-bee also brings relevant experience in policy research and congressional relations from her time working at the South Korean Embassy in Washington. With a strong ability to interpret the complex geopolitical climate of Asia, Seul-bee hopes to advance global cooperation on the world’s most pressing security issues by supporting U.S. relations in Asia.
Emily Lim just received her bachelor’s degree from Emory University, where she studied International Studies and History with a focus on Asia, law, and human rights. She was raised in Hong Kong by Singaporean parents, and her unique experiences in Southeast and East Asia, along with the United States, have inspired her to improve understanding between the different cultures. She has interned with The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, where she worked to enhance the community network of Carter Center alumni. She also has experience interning in Hong Kong, where she worked on a project with nonprofit The Zubin Foundation to improve the representation of ethnic minorities within Hong Kong’s government. She hopes to continue working to strengthen U.S.-Asia relationships through conferences, dialogues, writing and research in Washington, D.C.
Maofeng Lin is a second-year graduate student at University of Pennsylvania where he is pursuing majors in Social Policy and Data Analytics. He is from Shenzhen, China but has been educated in Beijing, London and the US. His interests include economic policy and emerging market development, especially in infrastructure and public-private partnership. Upon graduation, Maofeng aspires to pursue a career as an analyst or a consultant in international organizations in DC.
Sae Kobayashi is a junior undergraduate exchange student at University of California Berkeley from Keio University in Japan. She is interested in economic laws such as Antitrust law and international economic trade policies especially between US and Japan, and now participating in the UC Washington Program by UC Berkeley which is a program focuses on politics, diplomacy and international relations. Sae has interned with the US Embassy of Japan in DC and America-Japan Society in Tokyo and served a project on US-Japan market policies as a research assistant in UC Berkeley. She is pursuing her career to devote herself to enhancing US-Asia economic relationships.