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Fall 2002 VOLUME 7
From the Director
The 2002-2003 Class of White House Fellows
Fall PR & Recruiting Campaign Underway
2001-2002 WHF Domestic and International Policy Study Trips: China, Vietnam and Alaska
Fellows Corner
Where are They Now?

2001-2002 WHF Domestic and International Policy Study Trips: China, Vietnam and Alaska

The 2001-2002 Fellows selected Asia as the destination for their International Policy Study Trip. They wanted to develop a better understanding of US diplomatic, political and economic policies towards China, an emerging world power, and Vietnam with its growing economy. In particular, China was selected to study the transition from a state-run economy to a free-trade economy. The Fellows also wanted to develop a better understanding of America's relationship with Vietnam, which has evolved and emerged from post-war tensions to acceptance and agreement on the Bi-lateral Trade Agreement in December of 2001. Below is an overview of their trip itinerary.

5/5 Tour of the Great Wall and the Ming Tombs
5/6 U.S. Embassy briefing
Lunch with U.S. Ambassador Clark T. Randt, Jr.
Tour of the Forbidden City, Tian’anmen Square and the Summer Place
5/7 Visit to a village in Yanging County
Lunch with a village farmer
Visit to the Longqing Gorges
5/8 Meeting with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation
Lunch with Mr. Li Jianying, Vice President of Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs
5/9 Lunch with Consul General Hank Levine
Meeting at the U.S. Consulates on legal reforms in China
5/10 Roundtable discussion with leaders from the Shanghai American Chamber of Commerce
Lunch at Fudan University with a Chinese professor
5/11 Tour of the Old China Hand Reading Room and the Old French Concession
5/12 Tour of the Shanghai Museum
Depart for Vietnam
5/13 Briefing on US-Vietnam bilateral relations with Ambassador Burghardt
Meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Americas Desk
Meeting at the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs
Tour of Hanoi
Reception at the US Ambassador’s Residence
5/14 Meeting at the Communist Party of Vietnam’s External Relations Commission
Meeting at the National Assembly Foreign Affairs Department
Meeting with the Director of the Vietnamese Red Cross
Meeting with the Ministry of Public Security
Visit to the Hoa Lo Prison
Visit to the Temple of Literature
5/15 Briefing at the U.S. Consulate General Conference Room with Consul General Emi Lynn Yamauchi
Meeting at the Ho Chi Minh City External Relations Office
Meeting at the Duong Trung Quoc with Editor-in-Chief, Past and Present Journal
Meeting at the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee
Reception at the Consul General’s Residence
5/16 Meeting at the Center for Reproductive Health and Family Planning
Tour of the Nike Factory
Lunch at the American Chamber of Commerce
Tour of the War Remnants Museum and Ben Thanh Market
Dinner with Young Entrepreneurs of Ho Chi Minh City

"Though China and Vietnam are moving in the right direction with regard to human rights – thanks in no small part to the US policy of economic engagement -I returned to the US with a renewed appreciation for the greatness of our Constitution and way of life. We often take for granted the vast protections of our individual liberties, and wereally shouldn't." - Steve Poizner (WHF ‘01-’02)

"Before our trip, China and Vietnam were abstractions -- places in books and on maps, places from history. Now, however, those countries and the people who live there are as real as the friends we made and conversations we had. Never again will I be able to think of China and Vietnam without thinking of the Chinese and the Vietnamese people." - Roberta Shea (WHF ‘01-’02)

"Our trip provided an opportunity to explore these two nations at a rare juncture in history. Both are struggling to join the Western World in terms of economic might and standard of living. Yet neither Communist Party is willing to relinquish its monopoly on political power. This tension was palpable in the gleaming skyscrapers of Shanghai, the raw capitalism of street vendors, the stilted party-line statements by Chinese officials, the "democratic elections" that were occurring in Vietnam, the propaganda we encountered at the Hanoi Hilton, the heavily controlled Chinese press, and many other contexts. This contradiction between economic advancement and political underdevelopment seems impossible to sustain for long." - Kris Kobach (WHF ‘01-’02)


The 2001-2002 White House Fellows’ final domestic policy trip took them to Alaska. There, they studied the challenges faced by those seeking to balance ecological conservation with economic development in the state.

The trip commenced at Glacier Bay National Park USGS, where Fellows met with biologists and geologists to discuss how they develop the area with minimal disruption to the environment. A full day of meetings in Juneau with local and state officials was planned for the following day. Inclement weather, however, prevented 11 members of the delegation from returning to Juneau. Jocelyn White, Kris Kobach and Bobbi Shea met with the US Chief of Forest Service, the Alaska Regional Foresters, David Ramseur, Chief of Staff to Governor Knowles, the environmental group Earthjustice and Jim Balsiger, Administrator for the National Marine Fishery Service. The rest of the delegation arrived that night, making their way to Juneau by way of two fishing boats.

The reunited delegation flew to Anchorage next, where the US Coast Guard held briefings on their development of fisheries, the role they play in protecting the environment and how they balanced such regional duties with new national responsibilities established by the Office of Homeland Security.

Fellows traveled to the North Slope of Alaska – Dead Horse, for the final leg of their trip. There, BP demonstrated their modern drilling technology and how oil fields can be developed in environmentally sensitive areas without damaging the environment.

In reflecting on the challenge Alaska faces in balancing its environmental and economic development, Kim Connors (WHF ‘01-’02), Chair of the Alaska Planning Committee, concluded that “the costs of permanently altering Alaska’s landscape could only be justified if oil drilling is used as a tool to allow us the time to find better long-term solutions to our energy needs.”

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