CHINA Town Hall at HWS – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

CHINA Town Hall at HWS

Partnering with the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, HWS will host the sixth annual CHINA Town Hall:  Local Connections, National Reflections on Monday, Oct. 29 from 6:30 – 9 p.m. in Demarest 14. The national day of programming is designed to provide Americans across the United States and beyond the opportunity to discuss the impact of China’s rapid development and Sino-American relations with leading experts.

The program is free and open to the public, and begins at 6:30 p.m. with a talk by Damien Ma, an analyst in the Asia practice of the Eurasia Group, on strategic considerations of China’s environmental and energy policies. That discussion will be followed at 8 p.m. by a live nationwide webcast featuring Gary Locke, U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. Stephen A. Orlins, president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations will then moderate a question and answer session with Locke.  

HWS Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Darrin Magee, also a China specialist, helped arrange the event. “The Colleges have long prioritized the interdisciplinary study of Asia, and I am excited that we can be one of a few dozen sites around the country to host this China Town Hall event. At a time when important decisions about national leadership in both countries are being made, hearing Ambassador Locke’s perspective on the current state and future outlook of U.S.-China relations is especially relevant and timely,” says Magee.

Prior to his appointment as ambassador to China, Locke served as the secretary of commerce and co-chaired two sessions of the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade. Before his appointment as secretary, he served two terms as governor of Washington State. As a partner in the Seattle office of the international law firm, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, he co-chaired the firm’s China practice.

Locke is the first Chinese-American to serve as ambassador to China, as secretary of commerce and as governor. His grandfather emigrated from China to Washington State, initially finding employment as a servant, working in exchange for English lessons. His father, also born in China, was a small business owner, operating a grocery store where Ambassador Locke worked while receiving his education in Seattle public schools. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science from Yale University and a law degree from Boston University.

Magee is also excited about Mr. Ma’s visit, whose work complements the Colleges’ focus since 2006 on Asian environmental studies. Ma is an analyst in the Asia practice at Eurasia Group. He studies and analyzes the intersection between Chinese politics and markets, with a particular focus on energy policies, climate change, commodities, elite politics, industrial policy, U.S.-China trade and social/Internet policies. In addition to his analytical work, Ma writes a regular China column for the Atlantic Monthly‘s website. He has published widely, including in Foreign Affairs, Slate, The New Republic, BusinessWeek, Forbes and the China Economic Review. He has appeared in a range of U.S. and Chinese media, including the Charlie Rose Show, Bloomberg TV, CNBC Asia, Time, the Wall Street Journal, and Caijing.

Prior to joining Eurasia Group, Ma was a manager of publications at the U.S.-China Business Council in Washington, D.C. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and both B.A. and B.S. from Boston University. He earned an advanced international student certificate from People’s University in Beijing. He has lived, worked and studied in Beijing and Shanghai, China, as well as in Oxford, England. Ma speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese and some Shanghainese dialect.

Since its founding in 1966, the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations has been at the forefront of the dynamic and expanding Sino-American relationship, helping to shape American foreign policy toward China. More than 50 organizations are expected to participate in CHINA Town Hall:  Local Connections, National Reflections. 

The top photo features Gary Locke, U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, the second photo is Damien Ma, an analyst in the Asia practice of the Eurasia Group.