John S. Chen
Chairman, Committee of 100
In our extraordinarily complex global political landscape, mutual understanding and collaboration between the United States and China is indispensable. This reality informs the theme of this year’s conference, “COMMON GROUND.” In gathering the best minds from politics, business and culture today, we seek to spark dialogue and deepen understanding of the key issues impacting both countries. I thank our Conference Co-chairs, sponsors, C-100 members, staff and volunteers for their hard work in ensuring the quality and success of this Conference. I am honored that my tenure as Chairman of the Committee of 100 culminates in the celebration of our 20th annual conference.
Since the inception of the Committee of 100 more than two decades ago, the continued dedication of our members and the support of our key stakeholders have enabled us to achieve real and measurable results. I am personally gratified to have played a role in our most recent successes in my role as Chairman for the past two years.
As a respected interlocutor between stakeholders on both sides of the Pacific, the Committee has worked tirelessly to bolster communication and understanding between the US and China. Over the past 24 months, we have sustained significant exchange with senior ranked officials on the Chinese mainland, in Taiwan and in Washington. Our interactions with influential US and China policy and opinion makers have included strategic meetings with the chief actors of the US-China dialogue, effective platforms for mutual exchange at our conferences and leadership development programs on both sides of the Pacific.
Furthermore we have worked diligently to advance our domestic mission to promote the full participation of Chinese Americans in the US. In that effort, we championed for the Senate confirmation of two highly qualified candidates for federal judicial appointments, Goodwin Liu and Ed Chen, and advocated for the Senate to approve Commerce Secretary Gary Locke’s nomination to the ambassadorship to China. We also joined the steering committee of the 1882 Project, a coalition of Chinese American organizations seeking to educate the American people on the history of the Chinese in the United States.
In the cultural arena, we made a major effort to raise funds and promote the exhibit “Chinese in America: We Are Family” at the World Expo in Shanghai. In addition, we supported the PBS filming of Basso Hao Jiang Tian’s musical journey from China to America.
Beyond our external successes, the Committee has successfully expanded its membership in size and diversity, increased member participation, revamped our Mentoring Program and explored broader leadership development initiatives such as a program for more mature mid-career professionals. The organization has shaped a programming direction in Washington by establishing a dialogue series in Washington, D.C. and institutionalizing informational briefings to stakeholders. To better communicate the positive impact the Committee’s work is forging, we have implemented a comprehensive media strategy.
I am proud of all we have accomplished in the past two years, and remain grateful for the opportunity to have served as Chairman. I have every confidence that under the new leadership of Dominic Ng, the Committee will continue to play a constructive and pivotal role in bridging the two nations as well as voicing concerns and celebrating the successes of Chinese Americans. As we strive for these goals, I firmly believe that the Committee of 100’s precept, “Seeking Common Ground, Respecting Differences,” will continue to guide us into the next 20 years and beyond.