The Mansfield Conference is an annual event that focuses on important themes of broad interest in the relations between the United States and Asia. It is rooted in the tradition of public education and service embodied in the career of Senator Mike Mansfield (1903-2001). As a university professor, Congressman, Senator, and Ambassador, U.S.-Asia relations were at the center of Mike Mansfield’s life work. The Retreat, is an opportunity for Conference participants to engage in candid, “off the record” discussions and explore ways of enhancing multilateral cooperation to address issues related to the global environment. Participants in past conferences have found these frank and friendly discussions at the Retreat particularly invaluable.
The Mansfield Foundation, in coordination with the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center at The University of Montana, co-sponsored the 26th Annual Mansfield Conference, “Vietnam and Regional Architecture in Southeast Asia.” The conference took place at The University of Montana on April 13, 2011 and featured presentations from: Joseph Yun, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, U.S. Department of State; Raymond Burghardt, East-West Center and former U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam; Nguyen Duc Hung, Senior Advisor for Strategic Studies, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam and former Vietnamese Ambassador to Canada and Singapore, Tom Byrne, Senior VP Sovereign Regional Credit Officer for Asia and the Middle East at Moody’s Singapore and Desaix Anderson, former U.S. Chargé d’Affaires in Hanoi.
The conference was preceded by a day-and-half strategy session among conference participants and other experts. The strategy session convened a select group of current and former government officials, policymakers, academics and others from Vietnam and the U.S. for a closed-door work session and in-depth discussion on U.S.-Vietnam relations and broader issues of strategy in Southeast Asia. Participants engaged in dialogues and debates about political, economic and social reforms, corruption, human rights issues, investment and trade policies, overseas Vietnamese communities and other issues related to the fast-developing U.S.-Vietnam relationship. Participants engaged in frank dialogue and addressed both the recent successes and remaining challenges in developing a stronger U.S.-Vietnam bilateral relationship.
These activities were made possible in part thanks to the generous support of the Mai Linh Group and the University of Montana Foundation.
The program was the latest in a series of Mansfield Foundation activities focused on Vietnam and the U.S.-Vietnam relationship. The Mansfield Foundation looks forward to developing a host of programs that will examine and inform relations between the United States and Vietnam.