Mansfield Center Past Directors

Paul Gordon Lauren, Founder (1985-1991)

Paul LaurenPh.D., Stanford University

Dr. Paul Gordon Lauren is Regents Professor of History at the University of Montana. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. Joining the University of Montana in 1974, he served as the founding director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center and as the Mansfield Professor of Ethics and Public Affairs.

Professor Lauren is the author of several award-winning books, including The Evolution of International Human Rights: Visions Seen, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He has advised human rights nongovernmental organizations, consulted with governments and the United Nations on human rights issues, and delivered many invited addresses. The United Nations described him as the leading authority on the history of the rights of man.

Among Professor Lauren's many teaching accolades are the Most Inspirational Teacher Award, the Montana Professor of the Year Award from the Carnegie Foundation and the U.S. Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, and the Distinguished Service to International Education Award. For his scholarship, he was named a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow, a National Peace Fellow, and a Distinguished Fulbright Lecturer. In 2001, Professor Lauren received the Montana Governor's Humanities Award.

Philip West (1991 - 2001)

Philip WestPhilip West discovered his love of Asia during a visit to Japan while studying pre-med and peace studies at Manchester University. By 1971 he had earned his doctorate from Harvard University in modern Chinese history and East Asian languages.

Before coming to the University of Montana, Dr. West taught at Indiana University for 18 years, where he was also the Director of the East Asian Studies Center and established the Summer Language Institute for intensive training in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. In 1988, he and his wife Young-ee Cho moved to Missoula where Dr. West became the Mansfield Professor of Modern Asian Affairs, a position he continued to serve in until his death, and then the Director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center.

During his 24 years at the University of Montana, he worked abroad serving as the co-director for the Center for Chinese and American Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Nanjing, China. He also spent a semester as a Fulbright professor at the International Christian University in Tokyo in 2007. In 2011, he received an Alumni Honor Award from Manchester College for his scholarly achievements, his commitment to exposing the realities of war, and for illuminating paths to peace.

His book, Yenching University and Sino-Western Relations, 1916-1952, Harvard University Press, 1976, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and was recently translated into Chinese. Other scholarly contributions include numerous articles, anthologies, conference presentations, and grants, including the creation of a digital teaching library.

Philip West passed away in June of 2012.

Terry Weidner (2003 - 2012)

Terry WeidnerPh.D. in Chinese History from the University of California, Davis
M.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
B.A. from St. Lawrence University

Dr. Weidner is currently the Mansfield Senior Fellow in Asian Affairs and a professor of Chinese Politics. He has returned to his roots as a professor following seven years work in government (political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and as a Chinese political and economic analyst for the Foreign Broadcast Information Service in Washington, DC) and stints as the Associate Director of International Programs at the University of Kansas (1993-98), Director of the Asian Affairs Center at the University of Missouri (1998-2003) and Director of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at UM (2003-2012). His academic interests include Chinese political economy, Chinese foreign policy, and U.S.-China relations.