36 episodes

The Pacific Council is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to global engagement. Our episodes feature international affairs experts discussing issues that have a local-to-global connection, including the COVID-19 pandemic, trade, diplomacy, and more. We want to help people who live and work in their local communities understand how their movements, choices, and especially their local policies can have global impact. And likewise, to make international leaders and decision makers understand how global policies affect small communities every day.

Our episodes include recordings of Pacific Council teleconferences as well as a limited, original podcast series by the Council's Director of Programs, Thomas Zimmerman, called "Local Planet," focused on the COVID-19 pandemic. In "Local Planet," Thomas interviews individuals about their pandemic experiences abroad, in their local communities, and gives tips for global pop culture to follow during this time.

Pacific Council on International Policy Pacific Council on International Policy

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The Pacific Council is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization dedicated to global engagement. Our episodes feature international affairs experts discussing issues that have a local-to-global connection, including the COVID-19 pandemic, trade, diplomacy, and more. We want to help people who live and work in their local communities understand how their movements, choices, and especially their local policies can have global impact. And likewise, to make international leaders and decision makers understand how global policies affect small communities every day.

Our episodes include recordings of Pacific Council teleconferences as well as a limited, original podcast series by the Council's Director of Programs, Thomas Zimmerman, called "Local Planet," focused on the COVID-19 pandemic. In "Local Planet," Thomas interviews individuals about their pandemic experiences abroad, in their local communities, and gives tips for global pop culture to follow during this time.

    Edgerton Series | The Need for Balance: Cooperation, Competition, and the U.S.-China Relationship

    Edgerton Series | The Need for Balance: Cooperation, Competition, and the U.S.-China Relationship

    An installment of the Edgerton Series on Responding to a Rising China, on how the United States should balance competition and collaboration with China, the prospects for economic decoupling, and the state of bilateral trade.

    Featuring:

    Dr. Geoffrey Garrett, Dean, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California

    Dr. Garrett is a former president and CEO of the Pacific Council. He is dean of the USC Marshall School of Business and holder of the Robert R. Dockson Dean’s Chair in Business Administration and Professor of Management and Organization. He assumed this role in 2020, after six years as dean of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

    Moderator:

    Jennifer Faust, Executive Director, Pacific Council on International Policy

    Jennifer Faust is a political economist with a broad academic and professional background in the private sector and public service.

    Background:

    The United States and China are deeply bound. They share robust interpersonal ties, influence one another’s cultural development, and occupy the imaginations of their respective publics. Though it is the economic piece of the U.S.-Chinese relationship that is its cornerstone. The last four decades have seen China grow to become both a peer and competitor of the United States in almost every industry. Join us as we host renowned political economist, dean of the USC Marshall School of Business, and former Pacific Council President Geoffrey Garrett to explore how the United States should balance competition and collaboration with China, the prospects for economic decoupling, and the state of bilateral trade.

    The Edgerton Series on Responding to a Rising China aims to provide proactive and forward-looking solutions to some of the most complex local, regional, and global issues facing the United States and China today, through regular engagement in debates and discussions with the foremost experts in Chinese affairs. The Edgerton Series is made possible by generous support from the Edgerton Foundation. We thank Dr. Bradford and Ms. Louise Edgerton for their continued support of and dedication to the Pacific Council.

    • 57 min
    Free and Fair? Challenges to U.S. Election Security

    Free and Fair? Challenges to U.S. Election Security

    A Local-to-Global webcast on lessons and threats from other countries regarding U.S. election security.

    Featuring:

    David Brody, Counsel & Senior Fellow for Privacy and Technology, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

    David Brody leads the Digital Justice Initiative. He is Counsel & Senior Fellow for Privacy and Technology. He focuses on issues related to the intersection of technology and consumer privacy, free speech, hate group activity, government surveillance, and racial discrimination.

    Camille François, Chief Innovation Officer, Graphika

    Camille François works on cyber conflict and digital rights online. She is the Chief Innovation Officer at Graphika, where she leads the company’s work to detect and mitigate disinformation, media manipulation and harassment. Camille was previously the Principal Researcher at Jigsaw, an innovation unit at Google that builds technology to address global security challenges and protect vulnerable users.

    Moderator:

    Thomas Zimmerman, Director of Programs, Pacific Council on International Policy

    Thomas Zimmerman oversees programing for Council members and the general public. After working on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, Thomas joined the Pakistan Desk at the Department of Defense before moving to the White House to serve as Special Assistant to the National Security Advisor. In 2012, he managed the national security and foreign policy research portfolio for President Obama’s reelection campaign.

    Background:

    As U.S. states brace for the upcoming November election, the threat of a pandemic, voter suppression, and foreign interference looms large. These challenges are not unique to the United States, but the country already struggles amongst its peers in voter turnout and ease of voting.

    With less than 40 days to go until election day (as of the date of this event), what is the outlook for U.S. election security? How have cyber warfare tactics from actors like Russia, China, and Iran progressed and tested U.S. voting systems? What lessons can the U.S. follow from other developed countries to prepare its election security for the future?

    • 50 min
    Changing Course: U.S. Policy in the South China Sea

    Changing Course: U.S. Policy in the South China Sea

    The sixth installment of the Edgerton Series on Responding to a Rising China, on the impact shifting U.S. policy will have on the South China Sea. Featuring Rear Admiral Stephen Koehler of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the second-highest-ranking U.S. military official in the Pacific.

    No longer is the United States officially neutral on the issue of the South China Sea. July saw a raft of statements from the United States rejecting China’s “historical rights” claim to the region and reaffirming The Hague’s 2016 tribunal ruling in favor of the Philippines. Southeast Asian nations, many of which similarly stake dubious claims to the region, have quietly welcomed the official change in policy. Though they also worry about the instability threatened by an increasingly tense U.S.-China relationship. This discussion explores the impact shifting U.S. policy will have on South China Sea claimant nations as well as China’s approach to the resource-rich region.

    The Edgerton Series on Responding to a Rising China aims to provide proactive and forward-looking solutions to some of the most complex local, regional, and global issues facing the United States and China today, through regular engagement in debates and discussions with the foremost experts in Chinese affairs. The Edgerton Series is made possible by generous support from the Edgerton Foundation. We thank Dr. Bradford and Ms. Louise Edgerton for their continued support of and dedication to the Pacific Council.

    Featuring:

    Rear Admiral Stephen Koehler, Director of Operations, J3, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command/ Deputy Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet (In Transit)

    Rear Admiral Koehler commanded the Pukin’ Dogs of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 143, USS Bataan (LHD 5), USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), and Carrier Strike Group Nine. His additional assignments at sea include tours in Fighter Squadron (VF) 211, VF-41, executive officer aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). During his operational tours, he supported Operations Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, Inherent Resolve, and Freedom’s Sentinel in support of contingency operations in the Middle East, Operation Deliberate Guard in support of stabilization efforts in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Operation Unified Protector in support of contingency operations Libya, and Operation Unified Response which provided emergency disaster relief to Haiti.

    Bonnie S. Glaser, Senior Adviser for Asia; Director, China Power Project, CSIS

    Bonnie S. Glaser is a senior adviser for Asia and the director of the China Power Project as CSIS, where she works on issues related to Asia-Pacific security with a focus on Chinese foreign and security policy. She is concomitantly a nonresident fellow with the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, and a senior associate with the Pacific Forum.

    Moderator:

    Alexandre Moore, Senior Programs Officer, Pacific Council on International Policy

    Alexandre Moore researches and monitors shifts in foreign policy, oversees the logistical and operational elements of events and recruits U.S. and foreign diplomats, military officials, and experts to meet with the Council.

    • 58 min
    Leading the Fight: How Cities are Acting on Global Issues

    Leading the Fight: How Cities are Acting on Global Issues

    A Local-to-Global webcast on preparing for future challenges through subnational diplomacy and global engagement.

    Like few events before it, the global pandemic has highlighted how global events can have major impacts at the local level. At the same time, cites are increasingly becoming front line actors in responding to the major global challenges of the day, from climate change to public health to human rights. This discussion explores the growing role of cities in subnational diplomacy and to discuss how local governments can prepare for the greatest challenges of the future through greater global engagement.

    Featuring:

    Vanessa Ibarra, Director, Office of International Affairs, City of Atlanta

    As Director of the Mayor's Office of International Affairs, Ms. Ibarra plans, develops, and implements the international activities of Mayor Bottoms’ Office. She assists in facilitating trade, economic development, tourism and cultural initiatives of the City of Atlanta through liaison with local, national, and international agencies.

    Ambassador Nina Hachigian, Deputy Mayor for International Affairs, City of Los Angeles

    Ambassador Hachigian is a Pacific Council Director and served as U.S. Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) from 2014-2017. In 2017, Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Ambassador Hachigian to be the first Deputy Mayor of International Affairs.

    Moderator:

    Anka Lee, Fellow, Truman National Security Project

    Anka Lee is a Pacific Council member and, previously, he advised the California State Assembly Speaker on international affairs, where he created new bilateral initiatives for legislators to address shared policy challenges with foreign counterparts and positioned California to lead on key issues of local and global significance.

    • 1 hr
    The Militarization of Law Enforcement

    The Militarization of Law Enforcement

    A discussion on the national debate around law enforcement.

    For decades, the United States has advocated for other countries to demilitarize its civilian police forces and made the case that it was an important step toward promoting safe and stable communities abroad. At the same time, here at home, American police forces grew the size and budgets of their paramilitary units (or SWAT teams). The lethality of these forces was augmented by the Department of Defense, which provided local law enforcement agencies with a dizzying array of military-grade hardware. As it stands, over $6 billion in military equipment has been distributed to local police departments, including MRAPS, Humvees, aircraft, night vision, and high powered rifles. What’s more, the adoption of military-style tactics and training by some police forces has further blurred the line between law enforcement and defense.

    What impact has the increasing militarization of American policing had on public safety and public trust? What has driven this trend? How does it fit into our current national debate around law enforcement? And what can we learn from our own experiences abroad?

    Featuring:

    Mandy Smithberger, Director, Center for Defense Information, Project On Government Oversight

    Mandy Smithberger rejoined POGO as the director of the Center for Defense Information in December 2014. Previously she was a national security policy adviser to U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) There, she worked on passing key provisions of the Military Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act into law.

    David Alan Sklansky, Stanley Morrison Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Director, Criminal Justice Center, Stanford University

    David Alan Sklansky teaches and writes about criminal law, criminal procedure, and evidence. Before joining the faculty of Stanford Law School in 2014, Sklansky taught at UC Berkeley and UCLA and served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles.

    Moderator:

    The Honorable Gabriel P. Sanchez, Associate Justice, First District Court of Appeal, Division One

    Associate Justice Sanchez, who is joining the discussion in his personal capacity only, was appointed to the First District Court of Appeal in October 2018 by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., and serves as an Associate Justice in Division One.

    • 48 min
    Edgerton Series: Roadblocks: U.S.-E.U. Cooperation On China

    Edgerton Series: Roadblocks: U.S.-E.U. Cooperation On China

    The fifth installment of the Edgerton Series on Responding to a Rising China, on what a joint U.S.-E.U. strategy on China might look like.

    The United States and the European Union need a shared understanding of China to resist it. That was the message from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his June 2020 visit to the continent. While the United States and E.U. have adopted a tougher stance on China in recent years, they remain split on how best to respond to Beijing’s growing clout. Foreign policy consensus building among the E.U.’s 27 members is a difficult task and is in part to blame for the difference in the E.U.’s approach. Though in the wake of China’s post-pandemic assertiveness, the bloc has shown a willingness to reexamine its China policy.

    What obstacles stand in the way of greater U.S.-E.U. cooperation on China? How tough is the E.U. willing to get? What might a U.S.-E.U. strategy look like and what could it accomplish? Join us as we explore these questions and more in the fifth installment of the Edgerton Series on Responding to a Rising China.

    The Edgerton Series on Responding to a Rising China aims to provide proactive and forward-looking solutions to some of the most complex local, regional, and global issues facing the United States and China today, through regular engagement in debates and discussions with the foremost experts in Chinese affairs. The Edgerton Series is made possible by generous support from the Edgerton Foundation. We thank Dr. Bradford and Ms. Louise Edgerton for their continued support of and dedication to the Pacific Council.

    Featuring:

    Dr. Leslie Vinjamuri, Dean, Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs; and Director, US and the Americas Programme, Chatham House

    Dr. Vinjamuri leads the US & Americas programme and is Dean of the Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs. Leslie writes and speaks about America’s role in the world, international security, geopolitics, and global governance.

    Noah Barkin, Senior Visiting Fellow, Asia Program, German Marshall Fund of the United States

    Noah Barkin is a senior visiting fellow in the Asia Program based in Berlin. He specializes in Europe’s relationship with China and the implications of China’s rise for the transatlantic relationship. Noah is also managing editor in the China practice at Rhodium Group.

    Moderator:

    Kimberly Marteau Emerson, Principal, KME Consulting

    Kimberly is a Pacific Council member and board member of Human Rights Watch.

    • 59 min

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