Derwin Pereira Southeast Asian Foreign Policy Roundtables

The Derwin Pereira Southeast Asian Foreign Policy Roundtables brings together high-level experts – including current and former government officials – to discuss economic, diplomatic and security issues in Southeast Asia. The ultimate goal of the Roundtables is to provide recommendations for the next administration.

As Southeast Asian economies have risen in global importance, so, too have U.S.-Southeast Asian relations become more important to Washington decision-makers. The George W. Bush administration expanded cooperation in a number of areas, including both trade and counter-terrorism.  And the Obama administration’s policy of rebalancing to Asia places a particular focus on institutionalizing and enhancing relations with the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).  Indeed, the Sunnylands summit in mid-February underscores the value U.S. policy now places in regular, high-level diplomacy with Southeast Asian nations, who collectively are America’s fourth-largest trading partner in the world.

It is vital to the U.S.’ security interests in Asia, is at the forefront of counter-terrorism, and is one of the fastest-growing regions of the world in economic terms. It is vital the next Administration understand how to engage with this region.

Derwin Pereira, Founder and CEO, Pereira International

Since establishing the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) in 2007, co-founders Kurt Campbell and Michèle Flournoy emphasized the need to develop constructive, bipartisan security, foreign, and trade policies.  Today CNAS is led by Flournoy, the Chief Executive Officer, and President Richard Fontaine, former foreign policy advisor to Senator John McCain.  The CNAS Asia-Pacific Security Program is similarly bipartisan in makeup: it is directed by the Honorable Patrick M. Cronin, who held a senior position in the George W. Bush administration, and Dr. Mira Rapp-Hooper, who recently replaced Dr. Ely Ratner after he left CNAS to become a key foreign policy advisor to Vice President Joseph Biden.

As Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, the Honorable Kurt M. Campbell was one of the key architects of the U.S. pivot—or rebalance—to the region.  That policy not only sought heightened engagement with the Indo-Pacific region in general, but also stressed the need for enhanced engagement with Southeast Asia in particular.  The Honorable Michèle Flournoy served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and in that capacity played a leading role in the formulation and implementation of U.S. strategy and security engagement with the region.  Campbell, chairman and CEO of The Asia Group LLC, is currently Chairman of the CNAS Board of Directors. 

Derwin Pereira, Founder and CEO of Pereira International, is also an International Council Member of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  He was an award-winning journalist at The Straits Times Singapore, rising to the position of Bureau Chief in Indonesia, then subsequently the United States.  

Recent Publications

Indo-Pacific Security

Networked Transparency

The South China Sea is strategically important and resource-rich, crucial to the lifeblood of U.S. and Indo-Pacific economies. Roughly one-third, or $5 trillion, of the world’...

Indo-Pacific Security

Reefs, Rocks, and the Rule of Law

CNAS experts Dr. Mira Rapp-Hooper and Harry Krejsa assess the regional and global implications of a ruling by the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea under the Perman...

Indo-Pacific Security

Laos in the World Spotlight

President Barack Obama will find major governments and international organizations heavily involved in Laos1 when he arrives in Vientiane to attend the East Asian Summit in Se...

Indo-Pacific Security

Sustaining the Rebalance in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia’s global rise illustrates its promise and its pitfalls. As with growing global interdependence, there are pluses and minuses that President Barack Obama’s succe...

Indo-Pacific Security

Seeing Strait

Research Associate Harry Krejsa makes the case that U.S. policy should emphasize Taiwan’s human capital, defensive capabilities, and integration into the international marketp...

Blog Posts in this Series

Indo-Pacific Security

U.S. Southeast Asian Policy Under President Obama and his Successor

On March 8, 2016, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) hosted the inaugural session of the Derwin Pereira Southeast Asian Policy Series. This session took stock of th...

Indo-Pacific Security

How the Next US President Should Handle the South China Sea

Beijing will test the mettle of the next U.S. administration in the South China Sea. At a minimum, China is determined to use “passive assertiveness” to exercise greater contr...

Indo-Pacific Security

CNAS Press Note: The President's Trip to Asia

 In advance of President Obama’s trip to Asia for the G-20, the East Asia Summit, and the U.S.-ASEAN Summit, three Asia experts at CNAS write a press note....