Reflecting on Shorenstein APARC's successful past and bright future

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Galvez House, Shorenstein APARC's first home, in the 1980s.

Thirty years ago, I crossed the Pacific for the first time, traveling from Seoul to attend graduate school in Seattle. Meanwhile, down the coast at Stanford, a visionary group of faculty was laying the bedrock of a unique organization committed to promoting strong U.S.-Asia relations through research on timely, policy-relevant issues.

Early research initiatives looked at themes like Northeast Asia regional security and the development of the high-tech industry in Asia and the United States. From the very beginning of Asia’s transformation and through the twilight of the Cold War era, such projects brought together leading scholars from Asia and Stanford, and high-level U.S. and Asian policymakers, for fruitful collaboration and dialogue.

Twenty years later, in September 2005, I became director of the newly endowed Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC), a thriving organization poised for even greater growth. I gratefully acknowledge the support of Mr. Shorenstein and our many generous donors, as well as the three decades of work by dedicated faculty, researchers, staff, and, not least of all, the five visionary directors who served before me.

Asia has grown over the past three decades into a key global region, and at no other time in history have there been such significant ties between the United States and Asia. Although we have expanded the scope of our regional expertise and research, we stay true to our Center’s original mission.

Today, Shorenstein APARC boasts five flourishing research programs: the Asia Health Policy Program, Japan Studies Program, Korean Studies Program, Southeast Asia Forum, and Stanford China Program. We have brought hundreds of visiting scholars, practitioners, and fellows to the Center over the years, and have established a strong and ever-growing alumni network in Asia through our Corporate Affiliates Program. I remain grateful and honored to serve this wonderful research institution.

As we celebrate our thirtieth anniversary this May, we honor a vision turned into successful reality, and head toward a bright future of possibilities for continuing our work to foster lasting, cooperative relations with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

Gi-Wook Shin
Director, Shorenstein APARC