General Meetings

The Asian American Forum invites distinguished guests to speak at the Forum’s monthly general meetings. The Guest Speaker Program Committee aims to bring before the membership individuals with deep experience and expertise, to address political and economic topics (international and domestic) as well as religion, literature and the arts.

Members and guests meet for coffee at 9:30 a.m.  The program begins at 10 a.m. and runs roughly one hour.  Toward the end of each talk, members write out questions, which fuel at least thirty minutes of active Q&A.

Some recent speakers:

Japan Re-armed. Sheila Smith, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations (September 2019)

Dealing with Iran. Paul Pillar, Nonresident Senior Fellow of the Center for Security Studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and an Associate Fellow of the Geneva Center for Security Policy (April 2019)

Empresses of the Qing Dynasty Pulled Out of the Shadows. Jan Stuart, Melvin R. Seiden Curator of Chinese Art, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (February 2019)

Sri Lanka: Promises and Disappointments.  Ambassador Teresita Schaffer, U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka 1992-1995 (September 2018)

The Cultural Tastes of Indian Food. Vikram Sunderam, James Beard Award-winner, Chef and founder of Indian Rasika, Rasika west End, and Bindass restaurants (May 2018)

When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics. Milan Vaishnav, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (March 2018)

Jade: China’s Immortal Stone. Jenny So, professor emerita in the Department of Fine Arts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and former senior curator of ancient Chinese art at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution (January 2018)

The Porcelain Dragon: China’s Strength and Fragility Under Xi Jinping. Robert Daly, Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson Center (October 2017)

U.S. Engagement with East Asia: The View from Singapore.  His Excellency Ashok Mirpuri, Singapore’s ambassador to the United States (February 2016)

Being Xi Jinping: China’s Constricted Policy Space.  David Finkelstein, Director, China Studies Division, Center for Naval Analysis (November 2015)

Magnificent Delusions: US-Pakistan Relations.  Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, 2008-2011 (September 2015)

An Open Door: Jewish Rescue in the Philippines.  Noel Izon, documentary filmmaker (September 2014)

Intimate Rivals: Japanese Domestic Politics and a Rising China. Sheila Smith, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations (April 2014)

Linkages Across Asian and Middle Eastern Art.  Carol Huh, Contemporary Asian Art Curator, Freer/Sackler Galleries (January 2013)

India’s Troubled Democracy.  Sadanand Dhune, South Asia columnist, Wall Street Journal (September 2012)