Mansfield Center Asian Leadership Forum

David Steinberg and Abraham Kim during an Asian Leadership Forum lectureU.S.-Asian relations will impact the future of the United States and the world. This dynamic and growing region has already left its mark on the world's economy, environment and politics. Long-time allies and critical trading partners rub shoulders with each other and with nations vital to the question of the area's future stability and security, like North Korea. Understanding this region and its complex histories and current realities is a necessary part of moving forward in a global world.

The Mansfield Center Asian Leadership Forum invites national experts on the region to speak to the Missoula community and to open a dialogue on questions critical to Missoula, Montana and the United States. All Asian Leadership Forum lectures are free and open to the public.

Fall 2016 

north korean leader speaking to pressNorth Korea and Northeast Asia: Is Peace Possible?

Date: Monday, September 26 at 6 PM
Location: Dell Brown Room of Turner Hall, University of Montana
Speakers: U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim, The U.S. Department of State's Special Representative for North Korea Policy and Dr. Stephen Noerper, Korea Society senior director for policy 

Just six months after the United Nations Security Council passed stricter sanctions against North Korea, North Korea conducted its fifth nuclear weapon test earlier this month. This year's earlier sanctions, which had been supported even by North Korea's long-time ally China, came after North Korea claimed it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb and conducted numerous ballistic missile tests. As North Korea continues to defy international pressure to end its nuclear tests and finds even its allies starting to question it, questions about the future security and stability of the region once again come to the forefront of U.S.-East Asian relations. Drawing on his extensive diplomatic experience in Northeast Asia, Ambassador Kim will discuss the current situation and the future of the region. 

Ambassador Kim currently serves as the Special Representative for North Korea Policy and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Korea and Japan. Prior to that, from November 2011-October 2014, he was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea. He has also served as the Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks on dismantling North Korea's nuclear program. Outside of Korea, he has also served in a variety of diplomatic positions in Seoul, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, and Hong Kong. Read his full biography.

Dr. Stephen Noerper is Korea Society senior director for policy, Columbia University professor, and fellow at CSIS Pacific Forum and Columbia University's Weatherhead East Asia Institute. He has taught on Korea at New York University, American University and the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies. He was a visiting professor to Waseda University and the National University of Mongolia. The author of more than sixty publications on Korea and Northeast Asia, Professor Noerper appears on the BBC, Bloomberg, CNN, and VOA, among others. Dr. Noerper may be reached at

Please RSVP below to attend.

* indicates a required field

Past Events

Ode to My Father

Image of a man kneeling in front of a boy, both hands on the boy's shoulders, with the words, Date: Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 6:30 pm

Location: University Center Theater, University of Montana

The Mansfield Center hosted this heartwarming film about a boy and his family living through the Korean War to the present day. A story about family commitment and sacrifice through poverty and an era of rapid development. Rated PG-13.

Korea: The Time of Changes

Dr. Sung-Yong Lee of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and Dr. James Person of the Woodrow Wilson International Center of Scholars provided guest commentaries prior to Ode to My Father, providing the historical and cultural context for the movie.

This event was co-sponsored by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center, the Office of International Programs, the Korea Foundation, the Wilson Center, and CJ Entertainment.

Watch the Ode to My Father Trailer

More About Dr. Sung-Yong Lee

More About Dr. James Person

CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections

Date: October 5, 2015 at 5 pm
Location: Todd Building room 203 at the University of Montana

U.S.-China Relations Live National Webcast Speakers:
Robert Rubin, Former Secretary of the Treasury
Sheldon Day, Mayor of Thomasville, Alabama
Daniel Rosen, Founding Partner, Rhodium Group
Moderator: Stephen A. Orlins, President, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

On-Site Guest Speaker:
Frank Jannuzi, President and CEO, Mansfield Foundation

This program is co-sponsored by:

CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections

School of Extended and Lifelong Learning Logo

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center is honored to bring the National Committee on U.S.-China Relation’s ninth annual “CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections” live webcast to Missoula. Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin will lead an expert panel in a live “town hall” meeting broadcast to audiences in more than 70 locations nationwide on what China’s investments in the United States mean for American workers, communities and the economy. Panelists will also answer audience questions from locations around the nation. Questions can be submitted prior to the webcast through the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations website and during the webcast via Twitter by using the hashtag #CTH15.

In addition to the national webcast, Frank Jannuzi, President and CEO of the Mansfield Foundation, will be on-site to discuss “The Six Dragons Imperiling China’s Rise” and what it will mean for the U.S. should China's internal problems with the environment, energy needs, demographics, inequality, corruption and ethnic unrest hinder China's economic growth.

CHINA Town Hall is a national day of programming on China involving 70 cities throughout the United States.

CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections

Documentary: The Look of Silence

Photo of an an Asian man wearing red goggles.

Dates: September 18 - 24. Visit the Roxy Theater website for daily show times.

Location: The Roxy Theater, 718 S Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT 59801

In 1965 and 1966 the Indonesian Army and its affiliated militias conducted a brutal purge of alleged communists that killed up to a million people, many of whom were ethnic Chinese.  For decades, the  Suharto dictatorship suppressed memories of these horrific events with the tragic result that many Indonesians are either afraid to speak about them or, in the case of the younger generation, are largely ignorant of them.  Intrepid director Josh Oppenheimer follows up on his impressive debut of the Indonesian massacres, The Act of Killing, with a new documentary called Look of Silence, a true story about one man's quest to bring the terrible events of this period to light.  He confronts those men responsible for the death of an older brother he never knew.  The Detroit News aptly describes Look of Silence as 'a terrifying study of mass moral rationalization.'

In keeping with the Mansfield Center’s educational mandate, it is funding free admission for all UM Griz Card and Missoula County Public School ID holders to this documentary.

The Year of Living Dangerously:  A Forgotten GenocidePhoto of Owen Sirrs

Date: September 18 at 7:30 pm

Location: The Roxy Theater, 718 S Higgins Ave, Missoula, MT 59801

Owen Sirrs will provide context in a brief introduction to the documentary Look of Silence and be available for questions immediately following.  Owen is an adjunct professor at the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center's Defense Critical Language and Cultural program where he teaches Indonesian politics, history, and culture to US Army Special Forces.  Previously he served as an intelligence officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, DC.  His publications include Nasser and the Missile Age in the Middle East (2006),  A History of the Egyptian Intelligence Service (2011), and Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence:  Covert Action and Internal Operations (forthcoming). 

Mansfield Center Associate Director Deena Mansour also will provide context from her experience working at the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia. Deena served as a diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 1994 to 1997, with a focus on media, education and cultural affairs. She currently works with Indonesian and other students from Southeast Asia in educational exchange programs.

Past Asian Leadership Forum Events

Global Pandemics and Bioterrorism
Speakers: David Hamon of Banyan Analytics and Alex Philp of GCS

2014 CHINA Town Hall
Speakers: Former President Jimmy Carter (webcast) and Robert A. Kapp

Memories of the Korean War: Stories and Artifacts
Speaker: Dr. Stephen Noerper, Senior Vice President, The Korea Society

Korea and Northeast Asia: Challenges and Opportunities
Speakers: Ambassador Thomas Hubbard, Ambassador Mark Minton, Dr. Stephen Noerper, and Dr. Abraham Kim

Documentary: The Land of Many Palaces
Speaker: Adam James Smith, co-director and co-producer of The Land of Many Palaces

The Life and Legacy of Mike Mansfield
Speakers: Ambassador Thomas Hubbard, Ambassador Mark Minton, Congressman Pat Williams, and Dr. Paul Lauren

U.S. Public Diplomacy and Leadership in East Asia
Speaker: Kathleen Stephens, the first U.S. woman Ambassador to South Korea

Burma: Reforms and Opportunities for the Future in Southeast Asia
Speaker: David Steinberg, Distinguished Professor of Asian Studies at Georgetown University

Asia and Cyber Security
Speaker: David Hamon, Director of Banyan Analytics and former Senior Official with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency