The Mid-Maine Global Forum contributes to the local community’s understanding of issues of global significance by organizing and disseminating informed public presentations and discussion.
OUR NEXT PROGRAM! Wednesday, June 5 11:45 REM Center
Main Street, Waterville
Ambassador Raymond F. Burghardt
“America’s Refocus on Asia: Why, How, and Why it Matters”.
Ambassador Burghardt has for many years been one of the State Department’s leading experts on Asia. He will draw on his extensive experience, including 22 years living in East and Southeast Asia, to explain the importance of the region for America’s strategic and economic interests; the complex mix of rivalry and cooperation between the U.S. and China; and how the Obama Administration, following withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, is shifting Washington’s focus and attention toward the dynamic Asian region.
Mr. Raymond F. Burghardt served as ambassador in Vietnam under President George W. Bush. Ambassador Burghardt has for many years been one of the State Department’s leading experts on Asia. He will draw on his extensive experience, including 22 years living in East and Southeast Asia, to explain the importance of the region for America’s strategic and economic interests; the complex mix of rivalry and cooperation between the U.S. and China; and how the Obama Administration, following withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, is shifting Washington’s focus and attention toward the dynamic Asian region.”
Mr. Burghardt is the the Chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). Before that he was the American Consul General in Shanghai – a position he held from 1997-1999. He previously served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassies in Manila (1993-96) and Seoul (1990-93) and as Political Counselor in Beijing (1987-89).
Secretary of State Rice named him to the AIT chairmanship. The Obama Administration asked him to continue in that position. As Chairman of AIT’s Washington-based headquarters, Burghardt represents the Administration in periodic visits to Taiwan, participates in the U.S. Government’s policy decisions concerning Taiwan, and meets with the high-level Taiwan officials when they visit the United States.
Ambassador Burghardt has a long history of involvement with Taiwan. He was Director of the American Institute in Taiwan from 1999-2001, representing U.S. interests in Taipei during the period of political transition when President Chen Shui-bian was elected and took office. Prior to his arrival in Taipei, Burghardt was Consul General in Shanghai (1997-99), a position in which he served as the U.S. Government’s chief interlocutor with the late Wang Daohan, the People’s Republic of China’s lead negotiator with Taiwan. In the mid-1970’s, Burghardt studied for one year in Taichung at the State Department’s Chinese Language School.
Mr. Burghardt began his Foreign Service career in Vietnam, where he first worked for the Agency for International Development (AID) as refugee affairs officer in Gia Dinh Province (1970-71) and then as a political officer at the American Embassy in Saigon (1971-73). He later was responsible for Vietnamese refugee issues in Hong Kong during his assignment there from 1977-80. Mr. Burghardt was Deputy Director of the State Department’s Office of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia Affairs from 1980-82. In March 1982, he represented the State Department in the first U.S. Government delegation to Hanoi to negotiate resolution of the issue of American servicemen missing in action (MIAs).
Mr. Burghardt’s previous positions have included an assignment on the National Security Council staff as Special Assistant to President Reagan and Senior Director of Latin American Affairs. He also served at the U.S. Embassies in Honduras and Guatemala. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia before joining the Foreign Service.
Mr. Burghardt was born in New York City in 1945 and grew up in the New York metropolitan area. He received a B.A. from Columbia College in 1967 and did graduate study at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. He speaks Vietnamese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish.
Please RSVP, indicating whether or not you are buying lunch ($10, provided by Barrels Market), no later than 1:00 pm, Tuesday, June 4th.
Lunch choice: roast chicken sandwich, humus and vegetarian sandwich, or vegetarian quiche, all served with salad, coffee, tea and cookies.
- To register, contact Bonnie Sammons:
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- or phone: 404-9017
Special Program this Fall
Former Ambassador Lawrence Pope
In conjunction with the the Margaret Chase Smith Library, now part of the University of Maine. This event will be on Friday, October 18, 11:45 at the Library in Skowhegan. More details will be posted in September.