Imperfect Partners: The United States and Southeast Asia



Scot Marciel, Visiting Scholar and Practitioner Fellow, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University
Catherin Dalpino, Professor Emeritus, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Donald K. Emmerson, Donald K. Emmerson, Director, Southeast Asia Program, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University

Date and Time

February 17, 2021 4:00 PM - 5:15 PM


RSVP Required.


Via Zoom Webinar

Few American diplomats can match the years of experience in multiple Southeast Asian countries that Ambassador Scot Marciel has accumulated during his career in the US Foreign Service. The book he is writing at Stanford will interpret the region and its relations with the United States historically and now. Policy questions from the manuscript that the webinar will address include: Can America’s relations with Thailand be reinvigorated, and if so, how? Why have US-Vietnam relations prospered, and with what prospects going forward? Realistically, what can be expected from relations between the US and Indonesia? How should the recent coup in Myanmar be understood and how does it challenge US foreign policy? More broadly, in the near term, what priority ends and means should inform US engagement with Southeast Asia? In exploring answers to these and other questions, Amb. Marciel will interact with a second distinguished speaker, Catharin Dalpino, who is uniquely well qualified to discuss these matters based on her extensive experience in US policymaking positions, academic institutions, and nongovernmental organizations related to Southeast Asia.

Scott MarcielScot Marciel is a career US Foreign Service Officer. He served as America’s Ambassador to Myanmar in 2016-2020 when thousands of ethnic Rohingya were killed, expelled, or emigrated from the country—a challenging time for its democratic transition and for US-Myanmar relations. Earlier assignments included tours as Ambassador to Indonesia, Ambassador for ASEAN Affairs, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, he worked as an editor of publications at the National Center for Export-Import Studies at Georgetown University. Ambassador Marciel’s more than 35 years of experience as a diplomat in Asia and around the world have also included assignments in Vietnam, the Philippines, and Hong Kong. His degrees are an MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a BA in International Relations from the University of California, Davis.

catharin dalphinoCatharin Dalpino’s remarkable career has encompassed academe, government, and NGOs. At Georgetown University she taught Southeast Asian Studies and launched and led the university’s Thai Studies Program. Other institutions in which she has lectured, researched, administered, or advised include The Asia Foundation, the Aspen Institute, the Atlantic Council, the Brookings Institution, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, George Washington University, and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy in the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor and has held positions at the World Bank and the United Nations in Geneva. The author of many articles and three books on US-Asian relations, she has testified on that topic before the Senate and the House of Representatives more than a dozen times. Her degrees are an MA from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA from Barnard College.

Donald K. EmmersonDonald K. Emmerson, in addition to heading the Southeast Asia Program, is affiliated with Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law and its Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies. Recent writings relevant to US-Southeast Asia relations include articles in December 2020 in The Diplomat and East Asia Forum and an edited volume, The Deer and the Dragon: Southeast Asia and China in the 21st Century (2020). Before moving to Stanford in 1999, he taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he headed its Center for Southeast Asian Studies.  He has held visiting positions at the Institute for Advanced Studies and the Australian National University, among other institutions. His degrees are from Yale (PhD) and Princeton (BA).