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Ambassador Michael Michalak Joins US-ABC as Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director

(Washington, D.C.) - The US-ASEAN Business Council announced today that the Honorable Michael W. Michalak, former U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, will join the Council as Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director effective September 1, 2015. He will oversee the Council’s 6 offices in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) from the Council’s regional headquarters in Singapore.  Ambassador Michalak will lead the Council’s regional advocacy efforts, and engage regularly with key ASEAN policymakers and thought leaders to offer his unique perspective on the key role U.S. businesses can play in ASEAN.  He will also manage, coach and develop the Council’s most critical resource: its staff.
“Ambassador Michalak brings a tremendous knowledge of the ASEAN region and Asia earned over 30 years of government service,” said Alexander Feldman, President and CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council. “He will be a fantastic advocate for the Council’s members as he proved during his time as the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, and as a result the Council will have a substantially upgraded ability to engage with governments across the region. I look forward to working with Ambassador Michalak to continue growing the Council’s membership and presence in ASEAN.”
Ambassador Michalak most recently worked as an independent business consultant focused on Asia and particularly Vietnam. He also served as Senior Advisor to the private sector host committee of the U.S. APEC Year (2011).  Ambassador Michalak’s diplomatic career with the State Department spanned more 30 years.  It included: postings to Tokyo, Japan; Sydney, Australia; Islamabad, Pakistan; Beijing, China; as well as Washington, D.C. He served as United States Ambassador to Vietnam from August 2007 to February 2011.  Prior to his position in Vietnam, Ambassador Michalak served as Ambassador and Senior U.S. Official to APEC.   He also served as Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and the second highest ranking diplomat in Japan.  In addition, he received a group award for valor for his actions in time of crisis when the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad was burned down.  Ambassador Michalak began his career as a research physicist at NASA.

He holds Bachelor of Science in Physics from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and Master of Science in Applied Physics degrees from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He received a second Master's degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He speaks Japanese, Chinese and French.

For 30 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, Council Members generate over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.


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By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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