May 21, 2014
New York NY
New York Stock Exchange, New York, NY

To celebrate the 35th anniversary of diplomatic recognition between the United States and China, our 48th Annual Members Program featured former U.S. Ambassadors to China Winston Lord, J. Stapleton Roy, Joseph Prueher, Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., and Gary Locke. The five ambassadors compared their experiences as ambassadors as well as their current outlooks for the U.S.-China relationship. The conversation, which also included questions form the audience, was moderated by National Committee President Stephen Orlins.

During a break in the program, the Ambassadors were all invited down onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, which hosted the 2014 event, to ring the closing bell.

Program Materials

  • Winston Lord, ambassador to China from 1985 to 1989, was a key figure in the restoration of relations between the United States and China in the early 1970s. As a member of the United States National Security Council's planning staff from 1969 to 1973, he was special assistant to National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger, accompanying him on his secret trip to Beijing in 1971. The following year, he was part of the U.S. delegation during President Richard Nixon's historic visit to China. Mr. Lord became the State Department's director of Policy Planning and top policy adviser on China in 1973, and was later named assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs by President Bill Clinton.

    J. Stapleton Roy was born in China, receiving his education there and in the United States. He joined the U.S. Foreign Service immediately after graduating from Princeton, retiring with the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest in the service. In 1978 he participated in the secret negotiations that led to the establishment of U.S.-China diplomatic relations. During a career focused on East Asia and the Soviet Union, Mr. Roy's ambassadorial assignments included Singapore (1984-86), China (1991-95), and Indonesia (1996-99). His final post with the State Department was as assistant secretary for intelligence and research. Upon retirement from the Foreign Service he joined Kissinger Associates, Inc., moving to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2008 as founding director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States.

    After serving in the U.S. Navy for 35 years, Admiral Joseph W. Prueher served as ambassador to China from 1999 to 2001. Immediately before becoming ambassador, Admiral Prueher was the 17th commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Command (1996-99); from 1989 through 1995, he served as commandant of midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. Previous posts include commander of Carrier Battle Group ONE based in San Diego; commander of the U.S. Mediterranean Sixth Fleet and of NATO Striking Forces based in Gaeta, Italy; and vice chief of Naval Operations in the Pentagon. Primarily a carrier based attack pilot for his first 24 years of service, he also spent three years as a Navy test pilot at Patuxent River, MD.

    Jon M. Huntsman's public service career began as a White House staff assistant to President Ronald Reagan; he was subsequently appointed deputy assistant secretary of commerce for Asia and U.S. ambassador to Singapore by George H.W. Bush. Later, as deputy U.S. trade representative, he worked on global trade negotiations in Doha during the period of China's accession to the World Trade Organization. He became U.S. ambassador to China in 2009, serving until 2011 when he stepped down to run for president. Immediately prior to his assignment in Beijing, Mr. Huntsman served two terms as governor of Utah. He is chairman of the Atlantic Council and of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation; he also serves on several boards.

    Gary Locke, ambassador to China from August 2011 until earlier this year, previously served as secretary of Commerce and as two-term governor of Washington State – the first Chinese-American in all three positions. Earlier in his career he was a partner in the Seattle office of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP where he co-chaired the firm’s China practice. Ambassador Locke’s grandfather emigrated from China to Washington State, initially finding employment as a servant, working in exchange for English lessons. His father, also born in China, was a small business owner, operating a grocery store where Ambassador Locke worked while receiving his education in Seattle public schools. He went on to earn a BA from Yale and a law degree from Boston University.

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