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Asia's Nation States and Other Actors: Opportunities and Challenges for the U.S.

Featuring Ambassador James F. Moriarty

Former Ambassador to Nepal and Bangladesh

Former U.S. Ambassador James F. Moriarty will focus on the balance of power in East Asia and the Obama Administration during the first Martin Forum of the academic year on Wednesday, Sept. 10.

Moriarty, a former ambassador to Nepal and Bangladesh, will present the talk “Asia’s Nation States and Other Actors: Opportunities and Challenges for the U.S.,” which looks at U.S. policy in the region, starting at 7 p.m. in the University of Idaho Administration Building Auditorium, 851 Campus Drive in Moscow.

Moriarty is the first Martin Institute Visiting Distinguished Practitioner of International Affairs (VDPIA) for 2014.

“The students, staff and faculty of the Martin Institute are thrilled to welcome such a distinguished public servant as Ambassador Moriarty,” said Bill L. Smith, director of the Martin Institute and the Program for International Studies. “Ambassador Moriarty’s extensive service in East Asia through several presidential administrations and in the midst of significant diplomatic challenges makes him an ideal speaker.”

Before leading the U.S. Embassies in Nepal and Bangladesh, Moriarty served in 2002-2004 as Special Assistant to the President of the United States of America and Senior Director at the National Security Council, where he was responsible for advising on and coordinating U.S. policy on East Asia, South Asia and the Pacific region. Moriarty also worked in the White House in 2001-2002 as National Security Council Director for China Affairs and served as Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

In 1994-1998, he led the General Affairs (Political) Section at the American Institute in Taiwan. Ambassador Moriarty shaped the U.S. response to Chinese missile tests in the Taiwan Strait, the U.S. bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, and the ramming of a U.S. EP-3 plane off China’s Hainan Island. In these jobs and at the National Security Council, Moriarty helped lay the groundwork for U.S.-China policy for the 21st century.

As Deputy Director of the State Department’s Office of United Nations (UN) Political Affairs in 1991-93, Moriarty coordinated U.S. policy on UN Security Council issues. He received the American Foreign Service Association’s Rivkin Award for his principled approach to the break-up of the former Yugoslavia. With his experience, Moriarty will talk about the power transition in East Asia and the opportunities and challenges for the US.

Also joining on this visit is his spouse, Ambassador Lauren K. Moriarty, a career-long diplomat who formerly served as U.S. Ambassador to Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and Dean of the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies.

The forum is sponsored by the University’s Martin Institute and Program in International Studies.

In addition to the forum, the Moriartys will guest lecture in several classes at the University of Idaho and meet with ROTC cadres, student clubs and the Martin Scholars. They will also hold office hours for students who wish to chat about international affairs.

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho is one of only 72 land-grant research universities across the country. Home to nearly 12,000 students, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. The University of Idaho is home to the Vandals and competes in the Big Sky Conference and Sun Belt Conference. To learn more, visit

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