Connecting People & Ideas to Advance Mutual Interests in U.S.-Asia Relations

The Mansfield-Luce Asia Scholars Network was launched in 2020 to identify and connect American scholars and professionals specializing in Asia who demonstrate an interest in and extraordinary potential for becoming policy intellectuals. These scholars include regional specialists with diverse expertise and perspectives who can participate constructively in the policymaking process in the mid- and long-term and contribute to better understanding within U.S.-Asia relations by teaching and inspiring future generations.

Cohort 3 (2023 – )

Biographies coming soon!

  • Dr. Alexsia Chan, Associate Professor, Hamilton College
  • Dr. William Chou, Japan Chair Fellow, Hudson Institute
  • Mr. Benjamin Goldberg, Senior Foreign Affairs Analyst, U.S. Department of State
  • Dr. Adam Liff, Associate Professor, Indiana University
  • Dr. Ivan Rasmussen, Associate Professor, New York University-Shanghai
  • Dr. Kimberley Thomas, Assistant Professor, Temple University
  • Dr. Duy Trinh, Data and Statistical Specialist, Princeton University
  • Dr. Kristin Vekasi, Associate ProfessorUniversity of Maine
  • Dr. Timothy Webster, Professor of Law, Western New England University

Cohort 2 (2022 – 2023)

Emma Chanlett-Avery is Deputy Director of the Asia Society Policy Institute’s Washington, DC office and the Director for Political-Security Affairs. Previous to this post, she served for 20 years as a Specialist in Asian Affairs at the Congressional Research Service, where she focused on U.S. relations with Japan, the Korean Peninsula, Thailand, and Singapore, with an emphasis on security issues and alliances. In 2023, she served as a Congressional Fellow on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, assisting the Chairman with drafting Asia policy legislation and preparing for hearings.. She is Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Association of Japan America Societies, a member of the Mansfield Foundation U.S. – Japan Network for the Future, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Japan America Society of Washington, and the 2016 recipient of the Kato Prize. Ms. Chanlett-Avery received an MA in international security policy from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and a BA in Russian studies from Amherst College.

Rorry Daniels is the Deputy Project Director of the Forum on Asia-Pacific Security (FAPS) at the National Committee on American Foreign Policy. She organizes Track 1.5 and Track 2 conferences and meetings focused on security issues in the Asia Pacific, including U.S. alliance relations, cross-Taiwan Strait relations, and the North Korean nuclear program. She also conducts research on the efficacy of diplomatic strategies to advancing national interests. Her most recent report audited the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue’s outcomes sheets to highlight opportunities and challenges in conducting U.S.-China bilateral diplomacy. She is a member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, the National Committee on North Korea, and a Pacific Forum Young Leader. She earned her MS in International Relations at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs, where she focused her studies on East and South Asia. She speaks Mandarin and holds a BA in Media Studies from Emerson College.

Clara Gillispie is a Senior Advisor to the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) and the official U.S. delegate to the Energy Research Institute Network. Her subject-matter expertise covers topics ranging from energy security to technology policymaking to geopolitical trends in the Asia-Pacific. She is the author of numerous policy essays and reports, including “South Korea’s 5G Ambitions” (2020) and “How Asia’s Auto Boom Shapes Its Energy Security Strategies” (co-authored with Laura Schwartz, 2019). She is regularly called on to directly brief her research and analysis to U.S. and Asian government officials, senior industry representatives, and the media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and NPR’s Marketplace. She was recently a 2021 Visiting International Fellow at the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy and a 2020 International Visiting Fellow at the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy. Ms. Gillispie graduated from the London School of Economics and Peking University with a dual MSc in International Affairs. Prior to her graduate studies, she received a BS from Georgetown University and attended Sophia University in Tokyo for language training.

Lami Kim is an Assistant Professor and Director of Asian Studies Program in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the U.S. Army War College. Her research interests are the intersection between technology and international security, and political and security issues in East Asia. Her work has appeared in The Washington QuarterlyGlobal Governance, War on the Rocks, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairsthe Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the National Bureau of Asian ResearchRoutledge, and The Diplomat, among others. She has served as a research fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center, the Wilson Center, Pacific Forum, and the Stimson Center; as a Nuclear Scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies; as a Visiting Fellow at Seoul National University; and also as a South Korean diplomat.  She has taught at Harvard University, Boston College, and the University of Hong Kong.  Dr. Kim holds a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a Master’s degree from Harvard University.

Ann Marie Murphy is Professor at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University, where she directs the Center for Foreign Policy Studies. She is also adjunct Senior Research Scholar at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University, and was a 2019-2020 ASEAN Research Program Fulbright Scholar. Dr. Murphy’s research interests include international relations and comparative politics in Southeast Asia, U.S. foreign policy toward Asia, and governance of non-traditional security issues.  She is co-author (with Amy Freedman) of Non-Traditional Security Issues in Southeast Asia: the Transnational Dimension, (2018) and co-editor (with Bridget Welsh) of Legacies of Engagement in Southeast Asia (2008). Dr. Murphy’s articles have appeared in journals such as Asian Security, Contemporary Southeast Asia, Orbis, Asia Policy, World Politics Review and PS: Political Science & Politics.  Dr. Murphy is a founding partner of the New York Southeast Asia Network and is currently completing a book on the impact of democratic change on Indonesian foreign policy with the generous support of the Smith Richardson Foundation.  She earned her Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.

Carolyn Nash is the Asia Advocacy Director for Amnesty International USA. Prior to joining Amnesty’s DC office, she lived for six years in Myanmar, where she managed human rights and governance programs for Trocaire and authored #YouthWagaingPeace, a guide to youth-led prevention of violent extremism published by UNESCO. She has lived and worked in Indonesia, East Timor, Kenya, and Uganda.  She was a 2017 Pacific Delegate with the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and the 2018 Southeast Asia Fellow for Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. Currently she is a Penn Kemble Fellow with The National Endowment for Democracy. Ms. Nash received her M.A. in International Relations and Economics with a focus on Politics and Governance from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and her BA in English literature from Columbia University.

Alexandre Pelletier is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Laval University. His research examines ethnoreligious conflict, civil war, and peace in Southeast Asia, with a focus on Indonesia and Myanmar, where he has conducted extensive fieldwork. Dr. Pelletier is currently finishing a book manuscript about Islamist mobilization and violence in Indonesia. In parallel to his work on Indonesia, he is co-investigator on a five-year project about war to peace transitions in Southeast Asia. He is the co-author of Winning by Process: The State and Neutralization of Ethnic Minorities in Myanmar, forthcoming at Cornell University Press (with Jacques Bertrand and Ardeth Maung Thawnghmung). His scholarly work has been published in Asian Policy & Politics, Comparative Politics, Asian Security, Nationalism & Ethnic Politics, South East Asia Research, and Development & Change. He is also a member of the international Principle for Peace Commission’s Security and Stabilization team. Before joining Laval, he was Managing Director and Senior Researcher at the University of Toronto’s POSTCOR Lab and an SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University. Dr. Pelletier completed his Ph.D. in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto.

Tom Phuong Le is an Associate Professor of Politics at Pomona College. His book, Japan’s Aging Peace: Pacifism and Militarism in the Twenty-First Century (Columbia University Press, 2021) examines how demographics, technology, politics, and norms shape Japanese security policy. Le’s research on war memory and reconciliation, military technology, and nuclear non-proliferation has been published by The Journal of Asian Studies and The Journal of Asian Security and International Affairs, as well as in popular media outlets such as Foreign Affairs, The Washington Post: Monkey Cage, and The Hill. He is research associate at the PRIME Institute at Meiji Gakuin University and Pacific Forum. He was a Fulbright fellow in Hiroshima, Japan, a CSIS U.S.-ROK NextGen fellow, AFIHJ Next Generation fellow, and Sasakawa Peace Foundation fellow. Dr. Le holds an MA and Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Irvine, and BAs in political science and history from the University of California, Davis.

Nhu Quynh-Thuy Truong is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Affairs at Denison University. Her research is concerned with the repressive-responsiveness of autocracies and democracies, social contention, state formation, and political legitimation in Northeast and Southeast Asia, particularly China, Vietnam, and Cambodia. She is currently completing a book manuscript on the reactive and institutionalized responsiveness of the Chinese and Vietnamese communist regimes to land-related social unrest. Her research has appeared in the Journal of East Asian Studies, Problems of Post-Communism, edited books, and policy studies. Previously, she was a Postdoctoral Associate in the Council on Southeast Asian Studies at Yale University, a Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellow on Contemporary Asia at Stanford University, a Young Southeast Asia Fellow selected by the Southeast Asia Research Group, and a New Faces in China Studies Conference Fellow held at Duke University. She formerly conducted policy research and international development work with the EastWest Institute, the Asia Foundation, and the Environmental Development Action in the Third World. Dr. Truong received her PhD in Political Science from McGill University, her MPA in International Development Policy & Management from New York University’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, her MA in Asian Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and her BA in from Kenyon College.

Meredith L. Weiss is Professor of Political Science in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at the University at Albany, SUNY. She has published widely on social mobilization and civil society, the politics of identity and development, electoral politics and parties, institutional reform, and subnational governance in Southeast Asia. Her most recent books, The Roots of Resilience: Political Machines and Grassroots Politics in Southeast Asia (Cornell, 2020), and the forthcoming co-authored Money & Machines: Mobilizing for Elections in Southeast Asia (Cambridge) draw on extensive fieldwork in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore. She is also the author of two earlier books as well as several dozen academic journal articles and book chapters, and editor or co-editor of eleven volumes. Current projects include collaborative studies of Southeast Asian local government and public-goods delivery and of governance amid Covid-19, and a monograph on Malaysian sociopolitical development. She co-edits the Cambridge University Press Elements series on Southeast Asian Politics & Society and is associate editor of the Journal of Asian Studies. Dr. Weiss received her MA and Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University and a BA in Political Science, Policy Studies, and English from Rice University.

Benjamin Zawacki is a Senior Program Specialist at the Asia Foundation in Bangkok focused on security and cooperation in Southeast Asia.  He is the author of Thailand: Shifting Ground Between the US and a Rising China, whose second edition appeared in November 2021 and which was translated into Chinese in 2019.  He was a Term Member on the Council on Foreign Relations through 2016 and a Visiting Fellow in the Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School in 2014-2015.  He served as a Policy Advisor to President Jimmy Carter and two other “Elders” in Myanmar in 2013 and was Amnesty International’s Southeast Asia Researcher for five years through 2012.  He has also worked for several UN agencies and the International Commission of Jurists.  A regular contributor to the media, he has published over 50 articles, reports, and opinion editorials in Foreign Policy, the Asia Times, Al-Jazeera, and elsewhere.  Mr. Zawacki is a member of the New York State Bar and a graduate of the George Washington University Law School and the College of the Holy Cross. He has lived in Thailand for 19 years.

Cohort 1 (2020 – 2022)

Darcie DeAngelo is an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma and Wilson China Fellow. Previously, she conducted sensory ethnographic research in Cambodian minefields and has produced several films. Her projects explore postwar ecologies, human-nonhuman relations, science and technology studies, and disarmament. She has published in journals like Southeast of Now, a contemporary art journal and in Culture and Organizations, an anthropology journal. Her book project, Beloved Technologies, explores the implementation of landmine detection rats in Cambodia and is part of the UC Press’s 2019 selection for its Atelier: Ethnographic Inquiry in the Twenty-first Century series workshop. Some of her filmed work can be seen online at After graduating from Harvard she obtained a Master of Philosophy in Visual Cultural Studies from the University of Tromsø in Norway. In 2018, she was awarded a doctorate in Anthropology from McGill University.

Iza Ding is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh with a secondary appointment in public policy at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. She studies the politics of democracy and authoritarianism, with regional interests in Asia and Eastern Europe. Currently, Dr. Ding is completing a book manuscript on the environmental bureaucracy in China. Dr. Ding received her PhD in Government from Harvard University and her BA from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, earning a dual degree in Political Science and Russian and Eastern European Studies.

Mark Manyin is a Specialist in Asian Affairs at the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS), a non-partisan agency that provides information and analysis to Members of the U.S. Congress and their staff. At CRS, Dr. Manyin’s area of expertise is U.S. foreign policy toward East Asia, particularly Japan, the two Koreas, and Vietnam. From 2006-2008 and again in 2013, Dr. Manyin served as the head of the CRS’ 10-person Asia Section, overseeing the Service’s research on East, Southeast, and South Asia as well as Australasia and the Pacific Islands. From 2005-2010, Dr. Manyin was a Term Member with the Council on Foreign Relations. He also was a 2010-11 Council on Foreign Relations Hitachi Fellow and in 2010 was selected to participate in the Mansfield Foundation’s inaugural U.S.-Japan Network for the Future program. Dr. Manyin completed his PhD in Japanese trade policy and negotiating behavior at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Andrew L. Oros is Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. His latest research project examines how demographic change – such as shrinking populations, aging societies, and gender imbalances – will affect the security environment in the Indo-Pacific region and, in particular, the network of US alliances and partnerships in the region.  He conducted research for his last book, Japan’s Security Renaissance (Columbia University Press, 2017), as an invited research fellow at Japan’s National Institute of Defense Studies and as a Japan Foundation Abe fellow at Keio University in Tokyo and Peking University in Beijing. He also is the author of two other books and numerous articles and books chapters on issues related to East Asian security and Japanese politics.  He serves as an executive editor of the scholarly journal Asian Security, and is a member of the U.S.-Japan Network for the Future (Cohort 2). He earned his PhD in political science at Columbia University.

Renard Sexton is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Emory University. He is a political scientist who studies conflict and development using detailed fieldwork and statistical methods. He has regional expertise in Southeast Asia, Afghanistan and Latin America. His scholarly work has been published in top journals, including the American Political Science ReviewAmerican Journal of Political Science and World Politics. His policy research and commentary have appeared in the Washington PostNew York TimesFiveThirtyEight, the Guardian, and Foreign Policy. Alongside his research, he has consulted on peace and security issues for a range of policy actors, including the UN, the International Crisis Group and agencies of the US, Philippines and German governments. Before joining Emory, he served as the Economics of Conflict fellow at the International Crisis Group and Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University. He completed his PhD in the Department of Politics at New York University.

Apichai W. Shipper is the Asia Regional Chair at the Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. Department of State and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Asian Studies Program at Georgetown University. His expertise is in area studies and foreign policy of East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region, migration and citizenship, and civil society and democratization. He is the author of Fighting for Foreigners: Immigration and Its Impact on Japanese Democracy (Cornell University Press, 2008; paperback 2016) and numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals. He currently serves as an Associate Editor of Pacific Affairs and an Editorial Board Member of Critical Asian Studies. Prior to entering public service, he taught political science and international relations at the University of Southern California, where he received the Department of Political Science “Outstanding Teaching” award. He received AB degrees in Government & Asian Studies from Cornell University and a PhD in Political Science from MIT.

Pon Souvannaseng is Assistant Professor of Global Studies at Bentley University. She researches state and business behavior in global infrastructure competition and its social, environmental and fiscal implications. Her work examines the political economy of energy and infrastructure financing in the developing world and has expertise in issues of environmental governance and development finance with extensive experience in Southeast Asia and Africa. She is particularly interested in state-capital market interactions in the financialization of infrastructure and South-South asymmetric dependency. She was formerly a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Manchester’s Centre for Crisis Studies & Mitigation and led research on ‘Mapping Infrastructure Finance in Myanmar and Ghana’ as part of a UKRI-funded research consortia connecting biophysical and social science research on water-energy issues. She has been a Fulbright Research Scholar in Southeast Asia, a CODESRIA-CLACO-APISA South-South Laureate Award holder and APSA Asia Fellow. She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics & Political Science and has previously served as a researcher at the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, ASEAN Labour Secretariat and as a Fellow in Political Economy & International Development at University College London.

Meredith Shaw is the managing editor of Social Science Japan Journal and an associate professor at the University of Tokyo. Her research focuses on the cultural politics of Northeast Asia, particularly the Koreas, Japan and Mongolia. She has published articles in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Global Asia, and The National Interest. She received a 2016 Fulbright grant to do fieldwork in South Korea and was a participant in the US-Korea NextGen Scholars Program (2018-19). She also manages the “North Korean Literature in English” blog. Previously she worked for several years as a research associate and translator at the Korean Institute for National Unification in Seoul. She has bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and East Asian Studies from Brown University, an MA in International Relations from Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, and a PhD in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Southern California.

Cecilia Han Springer is a senior researcher with the Global China Initiative at the Global Development Policy Center. Her interdisciplinary research focuses on the environmental impacts of China’s overseas investment, energy policy analysis, and industrial decarbonization. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, a Fulbright fellow in Tianjin, China, and a visiting researcher at Tsinghua University. She earned a M.S. and Ph.D. from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. in environmental science from Brown University.

Matt Wheeler is Senior Analyst, South East Asia, at the International Crisis Group, which he joined in 2012. His work focuses on conflict and politics, particularly the insurgencies in southernmost Thailand and Mindanao in the Philippines. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, he has lived in Thailand for more than twenty years. He researched terrorism and Asian security issues at the RAND Corporation and as Visiting Researcher at the Institute of Security and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. From 2002-2004, he was a Thailand-based Fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, writing about political and social issues in mainland Southeast Asia. He has published commentaries in The New York Times and Foreign Affairs, among other outlets, and held fellowships from the Blakemore Foundation and the Smith Richardson Foundation. He holds an MA in Asian Studies from Harvard University.

Andrew Yeo is Associate Professor of Politics and Director of Asian Studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He is the author of Asia’s Regional Architecture: Alliances and Institutions in the Pacific Century (Stanford University Press 2019) and author or co-editor of three other books. His research and teaching interests include international relations theory, Asian security, narratives and discourse, the formation of beliefs, ideas, and worldviews, civil society, social and transnational movements, U.S. grand strategy and global force posture, Korean politics, and North Korea. Dr. Yeo’s scholarly publications have appeared in International Studies Quarterly, European Journal of International Relations, Perspectives on Politics, Comparative Politics, Journal of East Asian Studies, and International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, among others. He is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the National Committee on North Korea. He received his PhD in Government from Cornell University, and BA in Psychology and International Studies magna cum laude from Northwestern University.

Jiakun Jack Zhang is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Kansas (KU). In 2018-2019, he was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University. His research explores the political economy of trade and conflict in East Asia with a focus on explaining when and why economically interdependent countries use military versus economic coercion in foreign policy disputes. His research has been supported by various fellowships and awards, including a Fulbright U.S. Student Grant to Peking University, the Smith Richardson Foundation World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship, and the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation Herb York Dissertation Fellowship. Dr. Zhang has consulted for the Eurasia Group and the Economist Intelligence Unit. He received his PhD from the Department of Political Science at UC San Diego and his BA from Duke University.