Monthly Seminar | President Donald Trump and Asia

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 (12:00 PM – 1:30 PM)
Tower Center Board Room, Room 227, Carr Collins Hall (map)

The Trump Presidency and Southeast Asia

laiyeeDr. LaiYee Leong is a Fellow at SMU’s John G. Tower Center for Political Studies and the SMU Center for Presidential History. She received her B.A. in English (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University. Her scholarship deals with Islamic groups and ideological change in the context of democratization. A recent publication on religion and the state in Indonesia appears in a volume titled Sacred Matters, Stately Concerns: Essays on Faith and Politics in Asia (2014). Dr. Leong teaches in the SMU Master of Liberal Arts program and also occasional Continuing and Professional Education courses that are open to the public. She has taught undergraduate courses in Comparative Politics, the Politics of Southeast Asia, the Politics of the Middle East, and the Politics of Islam. Leong was formerly a television news journalist in Singapore.

The Trump Policy in Japan and the Koreas

newtonM. Diana Helweg Newton is a senior fellow at the Tower Center for Political Studies at Southern Methodist University (SMU) where she teaches national security policy and global policy making. While at the Tower Center, Mrs. Newton helped create the Tower Scholars Program, a selective minor in Public Policy and International Affairs that blends academic theory with real-world policymaking. Mrs. Newton has also taught U.S. foreign policy in Asia and global policy making at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin. Before moving to Texas, Mrs. Newton was an International Affairs Fellow and Hitachi International Affairs Fellow at CFR in New York City, where she worked as the project director for the Economic Task Force on Japan. Before working at the Council, she served as the Executive Assistant to the Deputy National Security Advisor at the National Security Council, and as the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs at the State Department. Prior to that, she practiced law in the Legal Adviser’s Office at State. She began her legal career at Morrison & Foerster in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of Yale University and Boston University School of Law. She currently serves on the Deerfield Academy Board of Trustees, and on the Council on Foreign Relations Hitachi International Affairs Fellowship Selection Committee.

Trump and China/Taiwan

HirokiProfessor Hiroki Takeuchi is director of the Sun & Star Program on Japan and East Asia at the Tower Center. He received his B.A. of economics from Keio University in Japan, his M.A. of Asian studies from University of California at Berkeley, and his Ph.D. of political science from University of California at Los Angeles. He is currently an associate professor of political science at Southern Methodist University. Previously, he taught at UCLA as a faculty fellow of the Political Science Department and at Stanford University as a postdoctoral teaching fellow of the Public Policy Program.

Professor Takeuchi’s research and teaching interests include Chinese and Japanese politics, comparative political economy of authoritarian regimes, and international relations of East Asia, as well as applying game theory to political science.

The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required.


If you are interested in joining the Tower Center Forum, please contact us at

Sun & Star Japan and East Asia Program

The Sun & Star Japan and East Asia Program aims to increase awareness of the economic, historical, political, and social trends of Japan and East Asia that affect the future of China, Japan, Korea, East Asia, and the world, including the United States.  Through the Sun & Star Symposia and lecture series featuring scholars, practitioners, journalists, and government officials, students and other participants learn about the challenges and opportunities in each country’s domestic politics and economics, the region’s relationship with the U.S. and the Asia-Pacific, and the international relations of the globalized world.

Click here to visit the Sun & Star Japan and East Asia Program webpage.