KITA Discourse Series 12/2018, 30 November 2018

On Friday 30 November 2018, KITA Discourse Series No. 12/2018 was held with the following particulars:

Title: U.S.–Malaysia Relations: Past, Present, and Future Direction
Speaker: Dr. Pamela Sodhy, Adjunct Associate Professor, Asian Studies Program, Georgetown University
Venue: KITA Meeting Room

Abstract: This talk will highlight the main developments in bilateral relations over 61 years, from 1957-2018. The “Past” section will survey the relationship during the premierships of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, and their U.S. counterparts. The “Present” part will examine current relations under Dr. Mahathir and President Donald Trump on the political, economic, and socio-cultural levels. The third part, “Future Direction,” will conclude by discussing future prospects, noting that variables, like leadership, state of the economy, and geo-political concerns, can impact its direction.

About the Speaker: Pamela Sodhy presently teaches part-time at Georgetown University as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Asian Studies Program, School of Foreign Service. She also gives occasional lectures on Southeast Asia at the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute (FSI). Prior to that, she taught for many years at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, where she was an Associate Professor in the History Department. She is the recipient of an American Field Service Scholarship, an American Council of Learned Societies Research Fellowship, and a Fulbright-Hays Grant. She has also served as Honorary Secretary, Malaysian International Affairs Forum; President, Malaysian Association for American Studies; and Secretary-General Asian Federation of American Studies Associations. She now serves on the Board of Directors of the Malaysia-America Society and the Malaysia-America Foundation.

Her publications include The US-Malaysian Nexus: Themes in Superpower- Small State Relations (Institute of Strategic and International Studies, ISIS, Malaysia, 1991); Meeting of Minds, MACEE, 1963-1993 (Malaysian-American Commission for Educational Exchange, 1993); The United States and Malaysia: The Socio-Cultural and Legal Experience (Malaysian Association for American Studies, 1988), US-ASEAN Trade: Current Issues and Future Strategies (Malaysian Association for American Studies, 1988), and an e-book on Malaysia-US Relations, 2000-2011 (ISIS, 2012). She has also authored two study guides for FSI: Malaysia: Self-Study Guide and Singapore: Self-Study Guide. In addition, she has published many articles on US-Southeast Asia relations.

She received a State Department Speaker and Specialist Grant for talks in Malaysia on U.S.-Malaysia relations in 2003 and in 2006. Her degrees in History are from the University of Malaya (BA Hons.), Louisiana State University (MA), and Cornell University (MA, Ph.D).

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