December 9, 2016

Georgetown Delegation Visits Asia

Last month President John J. DeGioia led a high-level Georgetown delegation to East Asia. William Doyle, chairman of the Georgetown Board of Directors; Paul Tagliabue, vice chairman of the Board of Directors; Joel Hellman, dean of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS); and other members of the delegation held meetings, discussions, and engagement events in Beijing, Seoul, and Hong Kong.

Academic Collaboration in Beijing

In Beijing President DeGioia signed a memorandum of understanding and cooperation with the National Reform and Development Commission, a key driver of China’s long-term economic planning.

He also signed a memorandum of understanding with Tsinghua University, one of China’s two leading universities and a major partner for Georgetown’s new Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues.

“The agreement with Tsinghua represents a new beginning,” shared Vice President for Global Engagement Thomas Banchoff, who participated in the delegation. “It will allow us to advance dialogue with China’s top scholars and pursue deeper teaching and research collaboration that benefits our faculty and students.”

Delegation members also met with leaders of the China Central Party School, with which Georgetown has engaged in academic dialogue for over a decade on issues ranging from urban planning to environmental protection.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to spend time with these leaders in Beijing,” said President DeGioia. “As a university, we are called to advance the common good—to come together to develop shared approaches to critical issues affecting our nations and our world.”

Inaugural Visit to Seoul

In Seoul President DeGioia met with officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and at the Korea Foundation to discuss deeper collaboration.

Professor Victor Cha, director of Asian Studies in SFS and holder of a Korea Foundation chair, underscored the importance of DeGioia’s first visit to the country.

“South Korea is the third sender of international students to Georgetown, after China and India,” he noted.

A highlight of the visit was a reception held for the delegation and Georgetown alumni at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Seoul.

Reconnecting with Hong Kong Alumni

A contingent of the delegation—including Chairman Doyle, Vice Chairman Tagliabue, and Dean Hellman—also traveled to Hong Kong, another hub of alumni activity in Asia.

At a reception with over 100 members of the Georgetown community in Hong Kong, Dean Hellman and former ambassador Frank Lavin (F’79) led a Q&A about the presidential election and Asian foreign policy.

The group also took part in a series of visits and small group meetings with local alumni, parents, and friends of the university, many of whom were instrumental to the success of the recently completed For Generations to Come campaign.

“Our visit took place a year after Georgetown hosted its first International Alumni Weekend in Hong Kong, in November 2015,” Doyle noted. “It is important that we continue to remain deeply engaged in Asia in the years ahead.”