2021 – China, Strategic Challenges Old and New
On December 8, 2021, the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan and the American Academy of Diplomacy co-hosted a discussion panel to enhance public understanding of critical foreign policy areas. This in-person panel focused on China and the challenges for a future U.S.-China relationship featuring panelists Ambassadors Sylvia Stanfield, Craig Allen, David Shear, and moderator Ambassador Gerald Feierstein.
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Ambassador (retired) Sylvia Gaye Stanfield was the U.S. Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam from 1999-2002 and a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service.
Asia was the focus of much of her 30 plus years with the Foreign Service. Her first overseas assignment was with the then American Embassy in Taipei, Taiwan. As a political track Chinese language officer, she had postings with the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and the American Institute in Taiwan in Taipei. She served on the State Department’s “China desk” at the time of the normalization of U.S. relations with the People’s Republic of China and later headed the Office of Taiwan Coordination Affairs. She was Director of Australian and New Zealand Affairs prior to serving as Charge d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand. Her wide-ranging Washington assignments included those with the Bureau of African Affairs, the Bureau of International Organizations Affairs, the Office of the Inspector General, the Board of Examiners, and the Senior Seminar. She was Diplomat-in-Residence at Florida A&M University and at Spelman College before serving as Senior Advisor for Mentoring Coordination at the Department of State.
Along with continuing involvement in mentoring activities, she is a President of Black Professionals in International Affairs (BPIA) – an organization founded in the late 1980’s to increase African-Americans’ interest and involvement in international affairs, and a member of the Association of Black American Ambassadors executive committee. She also is a Director of the Miami University (Ohio) Foundation Board, and a past president and current member of the Western College Alumnae Association Board of Trustees.
A native Texan, she earned a B.A. degree in intercultural studies from Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio. While an East West Center grantee, she received a M.A. degree in Asian Studies from the University of Hawaii and continued her studies at the University of Hong Kong School of Oriental Studies and Linguistics. After joining the Foreign Service, she did further study in Mandarin and Cantonese at the State Department’s School of Advanced Chinese Language and Area Studies in Taiwan.
On July 26, 2018, Craig Allen began his tenure in Washington, DC, as the sixth President of the United States-China Business Council (USCBC), a private, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing over 200 American companies doing business with China. Prior to joining USCBC, Craig had a long, distinguished career in US public service.
Craig began his government career in 1985 at the Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration (ITA). He entered government as a Presidential Management Intern, rotating through the four branches of ITA. From 1986 to 1988, he was an international economist in ITA’s China Office.
In 1988, Craig transferred to the American Institute in Taiwan, where he served as Director of the American Trade Center in Taipei. He held this position until 1992, when he returned to the Department of Commerce for a three-year posting at the US Embassy in Beijing as Commercial Attaché.
In 1995, Craig was assigned to the US Embassy in Tokyo, where he served as a Commercial Attaché. In 1998, he was promoted to Deputy Senior Commercial Officer. In 1999, Craig became a member of the Senior Foreign Service.
From 2000, Craig served a two-year tour at the National Center for APEC in Seattle. While there, he worked on the APEC Summits in Brunei, China, and Mexico. In 2002, it was back to Beijing, where Craig served as the Senior Commercial Officer. In Beijing, Craig was promoted to the Minister Counselor rank of the Senior Foreign Service.
After a four-year tour in South Africa, Craig became Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia at the US Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. He later became Deputy Assistant Secretary for China. Craig was sworn in as the United States ambassador to Brunei Darussalam on December 19, 2014. He served there until July 2018, when he transitioned to President of the US-China Business Council.
Craig received a B.A. from the University of Michigan in Political Science and Asian Studies in 1979. He received a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in 1985.
Ambassador David B. Shear is an Adjunct Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He performed the duties of Principle Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from June 2016 to January 2017. He was the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs from September 2014 to June 2016. Prior to 2014, Mr. Shear served for 32 years in the American Foreign Service, most recently as the United States Ambassador to Vietnam. He has also served in Sapporo, Beijing, Tokyo, and Kuala Lumpur. In Washington, he has served in the Offices of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean Affairs and as the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. He was Director of the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs in 2008-2009 and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs in 2009-2011. Ambassador Shear was a Rusk Fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy 1998-99. He is a graduate of Earlham College and SAIS and has attended Waseda University, Taiwan National University, and Nanjing University. Ambassador Shear is the recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award and the Defense Department’s Civilian Meritorious Service Award. He has a first degree rank in kendo, the Japanese art of swordsmanship.
Jerry Feierstein retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in May 2016 after a 41-year career. At the time of his retirement, Feierstein held the personal rank of Career Minister. Feierstein currently serves as the Senior Vice President of the Middle East Institute. Over the course of his career, he served in nine overseas postings, including three tours of duty in Pakistan, as well as tours in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, Jerusalem, and Tunisia. In 2010, President Obama appointed Feierstein U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, where he served until 2013. From 2013 until his retirement, Feierstein was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs.
In addition to his career-long focus on the Near East and South Asia, Feierstein also played a prominent role in developing and implementing State Department policies and programs to counter violent extremism. As Deputy Coordinator and Principal Deputy Coordinator in the State Department’s Counter-Terrorism bureau, Feierstein led the development of initiatives to build regional networks to confront extremist groups as well as to counter terrorist financing and promote counter-terrorism messaging. He continued to focus on defeating terrorist groups through his subsequent tours as Deputy Chief of Mission in Pakistan and as Ambassador to Yemen.
Feierstein joined the Middle East Institute in October 2016 as a Senior Fellow and the Director of a new Center for Gulf Affairs.