Emanuel Yi Pastreich



Emanuel Pastreich Pastreich founded The Asia Institute in 2007 while working in Daejeon, Korea.

He writes extensively on culture, technology, the environment and international relations with a focus on Northeast Asia.

Emanuel Pastreich also serves as president of the Earth Management Institute, a global think tank dedicated to developing original approaches to global governance in this dangerous age.

Pastreich served as the director of the KORUS House (2005-2007), a policy think tank operated in the embassy of the Republic of Korea in Washington D.C. and as editor-in-chief of Dynamic Korea an on-line newspaper produced by the Korean foreign ministry. He founded The Asia Institute in 2007 while working as a consultant for Daejeon’s Korea’s IT cluster.

Pastreich has been an advocate for a more rigorous environmental policy in Asia. While in Daejeon, Pastreich helped to found the Daejeon Green Growth Forum, a group of researchers at major institutes dedicated to encouraging environmentally friendly policies in the city of Daejeon and Korea as a whole. The Daejeon Green Growth Forum was made an official NGO working closely with the Daejeon Metropolitan City and also collaborating with the  3E Forum of Tsukuba, Japan.

Pastreich has conducted research projects on technology and its implications for society with the Korea Research Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology, Korea Research Institute for Standards and Science, the Korea Research Institute for Geoscience and Materials, Seoul National University, Center for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology and the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety. In 2010, Pastreich co-founded the Global Convergence Forum, an association of research institutes dedicated to international collaboration in technology convergence. The Global Convergence Forum was later incorporated and works with research institutes on the future prospects for the convergence of technologies.Professor at Sookmyung Women’s University.


Senior Associates

John Feffer

Co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies

John Feffer is a leading policy analyst in Washington D.C. who is known for his thoughtful approach to international relations with attention to cultural, historical and social issues. Feffer serves as co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus (FPIF), a journal run by the Institute for Policy Studies. Feffer writes a weekly column for FPIF and numerous articles. Feffer is the author of Crusade 2.0, a study of bias in U.S. policy towards Islam, Korea/South Korea: US Policy and the Korean Peninsula, a consideration of U.S. policy towards North Korea, and Living in Hope, a description of creative responses by local communities to the challenges of globalization. He is known for his writings on Russia, Eastern Europe and East Asia. He has worked as an international affairs representative in Eastern Europe and East Asia for the American Friends Service Committee. He has studied in England and Russia, lived in Poland and Japan, and traveled widely throughout Europe and Asia.


Daniel Garrett
3E Program

Daniel Garrett is a retired U.S. Department of State diplomat.  His areas of expertise include human rights, trafficking in persons, Himalayan regional issues, climate change and international transboundary water issues.  He is currently working to facilitate the accelerated emergence of innovative ideas and technologies that make it possible for human civilizations and their infrastructures to be seamlessly interwoven in a productive manner into the earth systems which sustain and support them.


Dr. Honda Hirokuni

Professor of Economics at Dokkyo University

Professor Honda Hirokuni is a member of the economics department of Dokkyo University in Tokyo, Japan, and a specialist on the United States economy and international economics. He has written about international trade, the relationship of income distribution to globalization and manufacturing policy in Japan and around the world. Recently, Professor Honda has written about government policies for addressing the poor distribution of income. He is currently working on a book with The Asia Institute regarding a new architecture for international relations in East Asia.

wang xin




Wang Xin

Senior Associate

Chinese Representative

Wang Xin has been a central figure in the planning for a new generation of think tanks in China. He has devoted his efforts to cooperation in East Asia with a focus on new approaches to security. Wang Xin played this role as the director of publishing and international cooperation, deputy secretary general and then Vice President at Center for China and Globalization (CCG), China’s leading independent think tank.

He is currently a board member of the Wu Jianmin Foundation in Beijing, named for one of China’s most insightful diplomats. As the China Representative of the Asia Institute, he seeks out partners for international cooperation regarding diplomacy, technology, the environment and global governance.

Recently Mr. Wang Xin has launched a new initiative concerning cultural communications in the Belt & Road initiatives

Wang Xin studied at Nankai University and the Department of International Politics at Beijing University. He started his career as a journalist for China Reconstructs, going on to serve as vice president of China Today, then founder & president of Sinomedia International Group in San Francisco, USA. Wang Xin devoted his efforts to international communication and cultural research, as well as education and international publishing.


Jin Kai

Senior Researcher

International Affairs Research Institute

Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences

Jin Kai is an expert on Chinese international relations and columnist for the Diplomat who has argued for the value of close cooperation between the United States and China. He is currently a senior researcher at the International Affairs Research Institute of the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences (广东省社会科学院国际问题研究所).


woojin jung




Woojin Jung


Woojin Jung is a director at the Asia Institute and an adjunct professor at Kyunghee University’s Institute of International Education.

He has studied and conducted research on international relations, politics and culture at Harvard University, the University of Arizona, the University of Chicago and Sophia University in Tokyo.

He is currently a visiting professor at Vietnam National University and the director of the Hanoi office of the Asia Institute.

His recent book Where are Koreans going (한국인어디로가는가), from Chaek kwa Namu Publishers, offers a critique of Korea’s current approach to international relations and suggests innovative solutions.



Malik Ayub Sumbal (2)






Malik Ayub Sumbal

Senior Associate


Malik Ayub Sumbal is a geopolitical analyst, television commentator, and award-winning journalist with more than 17 years of professional experience working with leading media outlets.
He has won the Syracuse University Mirror Award for excellence in reporting in 2012 conferred by the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University.

Malik launched the Eurasia Media Network with Eurasia Diary & The Caspian Times, two main multimedia newspapers and production houses located in Baku, Azerbaijan. He has also worked with Gulf News, Al Jazeera, Free Speech Radio News (FSRN), Transterra Media, The Diplomat, Daily Sabah, Asia Times Online, Asia Calling Radio, The Foreigner, iMediaEthics and other journals.
He is currently writing a book on Azerbaijan’s political system and governance.







Sarah Bregman


The Asia Institute, Vietnam Office

An anthropologist and educator by training, Sarah Bregman advocates for education reform in Korea and Vietnam.

Bregman believes that improving the quality of education internationally is key to solving global issues. Deeply concerned with the problems resulting from thoughtless globalization, Bregman engages in research on low-fertility, women’s labor, international migration, Korean-Vietnamese families, North Koreans in South Korea, and education.

Bregman worked as an education and grant writing intern at a North Korean human rights NGO in Seoul, while completing her master’s thesis at Harvard University (2016. She published one peer-reviewed paper in the North Korea Review in 2017, and a book chapter is under review with Amsterdam University Press.

Bregman was struck by the catastrophic rise in socio-emotional and physical problems afflicting urban youth in the United States, Korea, and Vietnam.

Bregman also has a deep concern for female migrants from North and South Korean migrants, the decline in fertility in East Asia and the large number of young South Korean women who must leave the work force

In her efforts to understand the root of these problems, Bregman has dedicated much of her time supporting international families in Hanoi and Seoul. This effort led Bregman to collaborate with Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts between 2017-2018 as she conducted research regarding Korean-Vietnamese families settling in Hanoi. This migration from the global north to south challenged the modernist discourse of the South Korean state and offered an important position from which to understand the shift in family-making and negotiations between ethnic and national identities.

Currently, Bregman is the international program director, expert consultant, and head teacher at the Nguyen Binh Khiem High Quality Education System in Hanoi. She has led the development of new bilingual curriculum for grade one, two and ten that aims to cultivate cognitive, socio-emotional, and cultural skills necessary for international cooperation and the formation of a new international department.


Alexander Krabbe


Asia Institute of Berlin


alexander krabbe

Alexander Krabbe is a peace activist, a citizen journalist and medical doctor who engages with a broad range of citizens in Europe to discuss critical issues in international relations. He has worked with the Asia Institute for the last four years and is preparing for the establishment of an Asia Institute in Berlin.














Yo Kawanaka


Yo Kawanaka is a peace activist and author in Japan who started her activities in the protests against the response to the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. She joined the Asia Institute in 2017 and works there on environmental issues, peace and security, and mental health issues.





Shi Yuefeng


Shi Yuefeng is a passionate youth leader active in China and in South Korea. Currently, Shi Yuefeng serves as a researcher at the Asia Institute and as planning director at the SDP (Sustainable Development Program) for Young Global Leaders. SDP is affiliated with the Ban Ki-moon Center for Sustainable Development at Yonsei University, from which he graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and a B.I.S. in Chinese Studies.

Yuefeng has a wide range of interests including international relations, peace studies, Chinese politics, international organizations, and sustainable development. His current research focuses on the development of Chinese think tanks and case studies concerning sustainable development.


william wolff

William Wolff 


Ethics in Education Program

William Wolff has extensive experience in education in China, Japan, Korea and the United States and takes a deep interest in contemporary education practice and policy in East Asia and around the world. He is currently a researcher at the Asia Institute’s Ethics in Education Program where he is preparing a broad range of policy related proposals intended to return education to its original ethical foundations in the context of a rapidly changing contemporary society.



Jung Yoojin
Managing Director

Jung Yoojin serves as a translator in both English and Japanese, has translated several institute book chapters, and assists in editing across several disciplinary boundaries. Jung also conducts preliminary research on contemporary Korean science and developmental policies and assembles TAI seminars. She has audited and participated in cultural sociology workshops at Yale University and is engaged in comparative research on culture, individual actors, and modernity. She holds a B.A. in Chinese and a B.A. Japanese at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, and an M.A. in East Asian studies at Duke University, where in her thesis she compared developmental strategies of Korea and China. She examined how respective domestic institutions differently shaped development in regard to the relationship between the historical and modernization experiences that brought about rapid economic growth in both countries. Jung presented her work at the Harvard East Asia Society Graduate Student Conference. She speaks Korean, English, Japanese and Mandarin.








Dr. Deborah Havens

United States Representative
Grand Rapids Office

Dr. Deborah Havens has had a varied career in education as well as in television and in radio broadcasting, holding several certifications in education, management, leadership, and personal development training. She holds a doctorate degree in education at Eastern Michigan University.

Dr. Havens has worked as a news reporter and talk show host for an all-news radio station and later produced award-winning documentaries, investigative reports, and public affairs programming for television.

She has served a number of years in non-profit leadership roles; she is the founding chair of the board of directors of the West Michigan Film Video Alliance, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to promoting creative and economic health in western Michigan via the film and production community. Since 2005, Alliance has worked with filmmakers, politicians, economic development experts, and trade organizations.

Dr. Havens has traveled to Korea several times as a result of family ties in Busan. Her son has lived in Korea for nearly 20 years, and is a published translator of three books of ancient Korean poetry.  Most recently, Dr. Havens initiated the non-profit organization Korean Connection in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA, in order to establish closer cultural and economic ties with Korea. An important part of the Korean cultural exchange in western Michigan and other locales in the U.S. will be programs initiated in partnership with The Asia Institute.



Arthur E. Michalak

Arthur E. Michalak


Arthur E. Michalak oversees internal and external communications, media relations, and directs strategies to support growth for the institute’s knowledge operations. Michalak engages with technologists, policy makers, writers, and academicians on developing communications that broadly shape issues at the institute. Michalak studied physics (BSc) and holds an MSc in physics pedagogy. His interests at the institute are in the interdependence of science, society, and environment. An interest in history and education informs his work.

Mariesa Ricks


Mariesa Ricks is a senior manager at HealthConnected, a comprehensive web-based platform serving the families of chronically-ill children. Ricks earned a M.S. at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she was actively involved in student government and university-wide student initiatives.  As a graduate student, she worked with other Harvard students to launch a nutrition-centric smartphone app and also worked as a graduate student consultant for the management technology consulting firm Endeavour Partners. She received her A.B. in human evolutionary biology with a citation in Spanish in 2008 at Harvard College, where she served as a student leader on many organizational boards.



image2 (11)