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2017 Annual Dinner

2017 09 28  annual-dinner  icon

 

Van Fleet Award Honoree & Special Guest


2016 Annual Dinner KwonOhJoon icon

The Honorable George W. Bush
43rd President of the United States
Founder, George W. Bush Presidential Center




MODERATOR

Victor Cha
Professor of Government and Director of Asian Studies, Georgetown University
Senior Adviser and Korea Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Fellow in Human Freedom, George W. Bush Institute



MASTER OF CEREMONIES

Juju Chang
Co-Anchor, ABC Nightline


ENTERTAINMENT

Kenny G
Saxophonist

***

The Plaza
Fifth Avenue at Central Park South, New York City
Reception 6:00 PM | Dinner 7:00 PM
Business or Cocktail Attire

 


 

For any inquiries, contact Angela I. Rhyee or phone: (212) 759-7525 ext. 311
For press inquiries, contact TK\PR Public Relations or phone: (212) 909-0340

 

Awardee | Special Guest


2016 Annual Dinner KwonOhJoon icon
Van Fleet Award Honoree & Special Guest 

The Honorable George W. Bush
43rd President of the United States
Founder, George W. Bush Presidential Center

 

George W. Bush served as the 43rd President of the United States from 2001 to 2009.

President Bush was born on July 6, 1946, in New Haven, Connecticut, to Barbara and George H.W. Bush – later the 41st President of the United States. In 1948, the family moved to Texas, where George W. Bush grew up in Midland and Houston. He received a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University in 1968 and a master’s degree in business administration from the Harvard Business School in 1975. He served as a pilot in the Texas Air National Guard from 1968 to 1974. Afterward, he settled in Midland, where he started an energy business and married Laura Welch on November 5, 1977. After working on his father’s successful 1988 Presidential campaign, George W. Bush joined a group of partners that purchased the Texas Rangers baseball franchise in 1989.

On November 8, 1994, George W. Bush was elected the 46th Governor of Texas. In 1998, he became the first governor in Texas history to be elected to consecutive four-year terms.

After the Presidency, George and Laura Bush founded the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas. The Center is home to the Bush Presidential Museum and Library, which houses George W. Bush’s presidential papers. The Center also is home to the George W. Bush Institute, a public policy organization that focuses on economic growth, education reform, global health, and human freedom. The Institute supports the rights of women with its Women’s Initiative and honors those who have served in the United States armed forces through its Military Service Initiative.

President Bush is the author of a bestselling memoir, Decision Points (2010), as well as a book about his father, President George H.W. Bush, entitled 41: A Portrait of My Father (2014). On February 28, 2017, President Bush released his latest book, Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors, a vibrant collection of oil paintings and stories by President Bush honoring the sacrifice and courage of America’s military veterans. He and Laura have twin daughters, Barbara and Jenna, a son-in-law, Henry Hager, and two granddaughters, Mila and Poppy Louise Hager. The Bush family also includes a dog, Freddy, and two cats, Bob and Bernadette.

MODERATOR


2016 Annual Dinner KwonOhJoon iconVictor Cha
Professor of Government and Director of Asian Studies, Georgetown University
Senior Adviser and Korea Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Fellow in Human Freedom, George W. Bush Institute

 

Victor Cha joined CSIS in May 2009 as a senior adviser and the inaugural holder of the Korea Chair. He is also director of Asian studies and holds the D.S. Song-KF Chair in the Department of Government and School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. From 2004 to 2007, he served as director for Asian affairs at the White House on the National Security Council (NSC), where he was responsible primarily for Japan, the Korean peninsula, Australia/New Zealand, and Pacific Island nation affairs. Dr. Cha was also the deputy head of delegation for the United States at the Six-Party Talks in Beijing and received two Outstanding Service Commendations during his tenure at the NSC. He is the award-winning author of Alignment Despite Antagonism: The United States-Korea-Japan Security Triangle (Stanford University Press, 1999), winner of the 2000 Ohira Book Prize; Nuclear North Korea: A Debate on Engagement Strategies, with Dave Kang (Columbia University Press, 2004); Beyond the Final Score: The Politics of Sport in Asia (Columbia University Press, 2009); and The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future (Ecco, 2012), selected by Foreign Affairs magazine as a 2012 “Best Book on Asia and the Pacific.” His newest book is Powerplay: Origins of the American Alliance System in Asia (Princeton University Press, 2016). He has written articles on international relations and East Asia in journals including Foreign Affairs, International Security, Political Science Quarterly, Survival, International Studies Quarterly, and Asian Survey.

Dr. Cha is a former John M. Olin National Security Fellow at Harvard University, a two-time Fulbright Scholar, and a Hoover National Fellow, CISAC Fellow, and William J. Perry Fellow at Stanford University. He holds Georgetown University’s Dean’s Teaching Award for 2010 and the Distinguished Research Award for 2011. He serves as an independent consultant and has testified before Congress on Asian security issues. He has been a guest analyst for various media, including CNN, ABC Nightline, NBC Today Show, CBS Morning Show, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, BBC, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and National Public Radio. He has a cameo role (as himself) in the action film Red Dawn (Contrafilm, MGM, Vincent Newman Entertainment, 2012). Dr. Cha holds a B.A., an M.I.A., and a Ph.D. from Columbia University, as well as an M.A. from Oxford University.

Master of Ceremonies


2016 Annual Dinner KwonOhJoon icon
Juju Chang

Co-Anchor
ABC Nightline

 

Juju Chang is an Emmy Award-winning co-anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline.” She also reports regularly for “Good Morning America” and “20/20.”

Chang has been recognized for her in-depth personal narratives set against the backdrop of pressing national and international news. Her exclusive television interview with transgender solider Chelsea Manning, after seven years in prison, explored issues of national security leaks and LGBTQ military service. Her profile of former firefighter Pat Hardison – after a groundbreaking face transplant – highlighted the crisis of organ donation. Additionally, Chang anchored a special edition of “Nightline,” “Consent on Campus,” from Penn State which tackled complex issues surrounding sexual assault.

Chang has also covered major breaking news for decades for ABC News, including Superstorm Sandy, the Orlando nightclub massacre and the Boston Marathon bombing. She has traveled around the world to report on global issues including a three-country trip through Central Africa on the front lines against Boko Haram in the latest on #bringbackourgirls, and to Honduras for “Femicide: the Untold War,” an eye-opening look at rampant violence against women.

Chang has profiled newsmakers like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, former Vice President Joe Biden and Oprah Winfrey as well as entertainers like Chris Pratt, Channing Tatum, and Nicki Minaj. Her extensive feature reporting covers parenting dilemmas, digital addictions and social media moguls like Dude Perfect and Esther the Wonder Pig.

A former news anchor for “Good Morning America,” Chang joined ABC News as an entry level desk assistant in 1987 and rose to become a producer for “World News Tonight.” Her first on-air job was reporting for KGO-TV in San Francisco. After a year in Washington, D.C. covering the White House, Capitol Hill and the presidential election for NewsOne, she co-anchored the overnight show “World News Now.” Chang’s work has been recognized with numerous awards including multiple Emmy’s, Gracie’s, a DuPont, a Murrow and Peabody awards.

Born in Seoul, South Korea and raised in Northern California, Chang graduated with honors from Stanford University with a B.A. in political science and communication. She is married to WNET President and CEO Neal Shapiro and together they have three sons. Chang is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a founding board member of the Korean American Community Foundation.

ENTERTAINMENT


2016 Annual Dinner KwonOhJoon icon
Kenny G

Saxophonist

Photo Credit: Chapman Baehler

 

In a recording career that spans almost three decades and 23 albums, GRAMMY and American Music Award -winning saxophonist Kenny G has grafted elements of R&B, pop and Latin to a jazz foundation solidifying his reputation as the premiere artist in contemporary jazz. With global sales totaling more than 75 million, Kenny G is the biggest-selling instrumental musician of all time. Seven of his singles have hit the Top-40 on the Billboard Hot 100. He has also been ranked as one of the most-played artists in the Adult Contemporary format – with nine Top Ten singles, and he has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the business, ranging from Michael Bolton to Katy Perry to Weezer to Whitney Houston. To add to these accolades, Kenny G has both the best-selling instrumental album of all time with Breathless, and the best-selling Christmas album of all time with Miracles.”

PRESENTER


2016 Annual Dinner KwonOhJoon icon
Joseph Kim

Senior, Bard College

Recipient of the North Korea Freedom Scholarship Fund from the George W. Bush Institute

 

Joseph was born in 1990 and grew up during the famine in North Korea. After his father died of starvation, his mother and sister went to China. He was left homeless, living on the streets and having to steal and beg to survive. He eventually escaped to China where he connected with an international NGO called Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), who helped him on his journey to freedom, resettling in the United States in 2007 as a refugee. Joseph is a former America Needs You Fellow and Council of Korean Americans Fellow. This past summer, Joseph interned at CSIS Korea Chair under Dr. Victor Cha as a research intern.

Today he is studying political studies at Bard College and has become an advocate for the North Korean people, having spoken at TED Global and the UN. In 2015, he published a memoir titled “Under the Same Sky.” Joseph is one of the first recipients of George W. Bush Institute's North Korean Freedom Scholarship for refugees.

INTRODUCTION OF AWARD HONOREE

New York, May 18, 2016
Joseph Kim
Senior, Bard College
Recipient of the North Korea Freedom Scholarship Fund from the George W. Bush Institute

We hear news about North Korea all the time. But what does North Korea mean to you? For me, it is a place where I was born, where I lived with my mother, father and sister who loved me so much; a place where I would spend summers with my friends playing in the river and jumping off trees. It is also the place where I lost my entire family. I saw my father wither away and die of starvation when I was 12 years old; I said my last goodbye to my older sister not knowing she would never return because she would be sold to a man in China; I lost my mom to a North Korean prison; and then it was just me, all by myself living on the streets.

When I could not fall asleep from the bitter cold and hunger pains, I hoped that the next morning, my sister would find me and wake me up with my favorite food. That hope kept me alive. When I approached people in the food courts in the city markets, they would cover their nose and swat me away as though I were a fly. They called me homeless, orphan and beggar; some even called me human trash. And that hurt me because I was also someone else’s precious son and brother. Before I had a chance to decide who I was on my own terms, my identity was defined by others.

Although North Korea is a place that gave me many sad memories, it is still a place so close to my heart. It was the last place where my family was together, and the place where my father is buried.

In South Africa’s international airport, I saw a message on the wall saying, “They call it Africa, but we call it home.” Without a doubt, North Korea is one of the darkest places in the world. Even so, it is still my home, and home to 24 million North Korean people today. It is a place that must be restored and not destroyed.

The road to destroy is an easier path while the road to restore is a harder one. I believe it takes tremendous commitment and courage to pursue the harder road, and President Bush is someone who has demonstrated what that commitment looks like through his ongoing commitment and care for North Korean human rights issues and North Korean refugees here in the United States. Because he believes in the potential of North Korean refugees, his commitment and support to our community through scholarships and mentorship programs will ensure that our potentials are realized and will give us opportunities to pursue higher education. He has not only helped us to overcome many challenges, but has ultimately empowered many of us in our ultimate goal of helping to make our motherland—North Korea—a better place, by bettering ourselves.

But my appreciation to President Bush extends beyond what he has contributed to North Korean refugees; it’s rather that he has taught me to be a truly caring person. Three years ago, I received an invitation to meet him in Dallas. I was hesitant of whether I should go or not. It was during my midterm week, and plus I was just a college student; I was overwhelmed because I thought I had to know about high politics. Nonetheless, I decided to accept the invitation mainly because how many college students will ever get to say, “I’ve met President Bush?”

When I arrived in Texas, a good friend and North Korean human rights activist, told me that I should thank him because it was President Bush who signed the North Korean Human Rights Act that allowed North Koreans the opportunity to come to the U.S. That day, I thanked him with my words, but not with my heart.

But during the meeting, instead of discussing politics, President Bush asked me about my story. With a warm and fatherly tone, he asked how I escaped, how difficult it was living in China. And finally, he asked what my dream was. I struggled so much to answer that question, partially because I was nervous, and mostly because I did not know what my dream was.

I had never had a real dream before. When I was on the streets as a homeless beggar, my dream was to have a day where I could eat three meals. Then when I to the United States, food was no longer an issue. I did not know what to do with my life in the U.S. and was totally overwhelmed by the grand freedom that I suddenly had. I talked on and on like this to President Bush without really answering his question.

Everyone in the room was probably wondering when was this kid going to stop talking nonsense, and I knew I wasn't really making a point. But President Bush listened so patiently with genuine interest.

His character and his genuineness really touched me that day, and so it piqued my interest to learn more about the bill that he had signed into law. I began to realize how significantly the North Korean Human Rights Act affected the lives of many North Korean refugees. Over two hundred refugees, like me, had the opportunity to come to America and begin new lives. Today, some are running small businesses; some are studying in college with the hope of helping to change their motherland some day; and I personally know of one friend who is concentrating his efforts on working out a lot so that he can achieve a six-pack. For many people these may seem like trivial and ordinary things, but for many North Koreans, the lives we have here are perhaps the lifelong dreams we have waited for so long to achieve.

President Bush, I have said this before, and I will say it again tonight: Thank you, with my whole heart for allowing North Korean refugees to come to the U.S. And I am so glad to have met you, not because you were a President of the United States, but for the caring and genuine person that you are and for giving me a chance to come to America to have a new life.

Because of people like you who recognizes that the North Korean people also deserved to have freedom and treated with human dignity, I have faith that North Korean people will be liberated eventually. And I look forward to welcoming you to my hometown one day to celebrate the freedom of the people you had cared so much for. Congratulations on tonight’s award!

 


Supporters

Chair

2016 posco
Poongsan Corporation

 


 

Leader

2016 LG
LG Electronics USA

 


 

Benefactor

citi 2016
Citigroup

hyundai-logo
Hyosung

hyundai-logo
Hyundai Motor Group

Korea Zinc
Korea Zinc

Korea Zinc
SK

 


 

Patron

metlife 2016
MetLife

 


 

Sponsor

Ernst and Young
Corning Incorporated

Ernst and Young
Ernst & Young

2016 consulate general
Korean Consulate General in New York

 


 

Donor

fila logo
FILA Global and Acushnet Company 

kita 2016
Korea International Trade Association

kpmg 2016
KPMG LLC

pwc 2016
PwC

 


 

Additional Supporters

metlife 2016
POSCO

metlife 2016
Anthrop-J Investment Group

metlife 2016
Dentons

metlife 2016
Gale International

metlife 2016
HLP Integration

metlife 2016
McLarty Associates

 


 

Special Acknowledgement

Mr. Mark Gaston

Ms. Julia Quincy

Mrs. & General (Ret.) Walter “Skip” Sharp

Bentley Meeker Lighting & Staging at the Plaza Hotel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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