October 2020 NextGen Leaders Trade and Economics Delegation

October 13–December 10, 2020

The October 2020 Trade and Economics Delegation of the U.S.-ROK Next Generation Leaders Program (NextGen) included nine rising Asia policy professionals. Led by Tami Overby (McLarty Associates), with the assistance of NBR’s Alison Szalwinski, Julia Oh, Melissa Newcomb, and Olivia Truesdale, this delegation met virtually to overcome travel challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout the month, participants met with U.S. and Republic of Korea (ROK) government officials to discuss the U.S.-ROK trade partnership, bilateral economic issues, and regional trade.

The Trade and Economics Delegation kickoff meeting in October 2020 introduced delegation participants to NBR and KF programs and allowed participants to meet for the first time. After introductions, Senior Expert Tami Overby gave an overview of U.S.-ROK trade and economic relations.

The delegation’s first meeting was then held with the U.S. Embassy in Seoul’s country team, consisting of Ambassador Harry Harris, senior adviser Shaun Kim, and Embassy section heads. At the briefing, participants learned about key issues in U.S.-ROK relations, including challenges in the bilateral relationship and U.S. policy toward South Korea and the Asia-Pacific region, as well as public opinion regarding the U.S.-ROK alliance.

The Trade Delegation met with Director-General Keeyong Chung of the Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Scientific Affairs Bureau at the South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs in mid-October. At the briefing, Director-General Chung presented on ROK sustainable development initiatives and the recently announced Korean Green New Deal.

In mid-November, Donghan Yang, Director-General of Bilateral Economic Affairs Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, briefed the Trade Delegation on U.S.-ROK trade relations. Central themes included the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA), Korean economic development, and challenges and opportunities in bilateral economic relations.

In a briefing held in conjunction with the Security Delegation, National Assembly member Dr. Jin Park discussed South Korean domestic politics, key focus areas in the U.S.-ROK alliance, and the incoming Biden administration’s emphasis on strengthening alliances with program participants. Dr. Park also highlighted legislative diplomacy opportunities between the U.S. Congress and National Assembly.

Director of the Americas Division at the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy Hyouk-woo Kwon met with Trade Delegation participants in late November. At the briefing, Director Kwon discussed the U.S.-KORUS FTA negotiation process, multilateral trade relationships in Asia, and future opportunities for U.S.-ROK trade cooperation.

At the joint wrap-up meeting for both the trade and security delegations in December, participants reflected on their experiences and commented on prevalent themes from the program, such as the future of U.S.-ROK trade relations and the economic challenges facing Korea.

Additionally, in order to incorporate Korean cultural experiences into the virtual delegation, participants were invited to a virtual movie night in early November where they watched the 2017 film Steel Rain. Participants also received cultural experience baskets with Korean souvenirs, including snacks, skincare products, and beverages, at the end of the program.


Participants’ titles and institutional affiliations as of the time of the delegation.

Edward (Ned) Collins-Chase

Research Assistant, Congressional Research Service

Edward (Ned) Collins-Chase is a Research Assistant for the Congressional Research Service (CRS) in the Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division: Foreign Policy Management and Global Affairs sections.

At CRS his portfolio focuses on U.S. foreign policy implementation and State and Foreign Operations appropriations, as well as transnational issues including global health, humanitarian assistance, and international sanctions. Prior to working at CRS, Ned worked in multiple D.C. Asia-policy think tanks, including the National Bureau of Asian Research, the China Africa Research Initiative, and the Global Taiwan Institute.

Ned has an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies with a dual concentration in China studies and international economics, and a BA from Colgate University with a dual major in international relations and Chinese. He is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and completed his service as a community health worker in Mozambique from 2014-2016. Ned worked in the wine industry for eight years, and in his spare time enjoys discussing oenology with fellow enthusiasts, as well as hiking, biking, and fishing.

Stephanie Faulkner

Manager, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Stephanie Faulkner is Manager for Korea, Japan and Pakistan at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Prior to joining the Chamber in March 2020, she served as Senior Associate at McLarty Associates, a strategic advisory firm in Washington D.C., supporting the firm’s Northeast Asia and Trade practices.

Stephanie has held various positions including at the U.S. Department of State, Eurasia Group, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Ashley Feng

Masters in Asian Studies Candidate, Georgetown University

Ashley Feng is a former research associate for the Energy, Economics, and Security program at the Center for a New American Security.

Her research interests include U.S.-China trade relations, China’s economic policies, and China’s global economic footprint. She also researches the intersection of trade, investment restrictions, and export controls and national security.

Prior to CNAS, she was research associate for China studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), where she researched U.S. policy toward China and Chinese foreign policy. Before CFR, she worked at the National Defense University, the Congressional Research Service, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and the China Affairs office in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

She received her BA in government and politics and geographical sciences from the University of Maryland and is currently pursuing her Masters in Asian Studies at Georgetown University. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Yasmin Fouladi

Energy Attaché and Deputy Director for the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Embassy Tokyo, Japan

Yasmin Fouladi is the Energy Attaché and Deputy Director for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. Prior to her assignment in Tokyo, Ms. Fouladi was a Senior Asia Energy Researcher at DOE, responsible for briefing the Secretary of Energy and the Deputy Secretary of Energy on Asia energy issues. She also prepared research reports on Asia energy issues for the U.S. President and other Cabinet members. In addition, Ms. Fouladi completed short-term details to DOE’s Office of Asian Affairs in the Office of International Affairs and to DOE’s attaché office at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China.

Before DOE, Ms. Fouladi gained experience in U.S.-Asia relations at various organizations, such as The Asia Group, the U.S. Department of State, the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and the U.S.-Asia Institute.

Ms. Fouladi has a bachelor’s degree with honors in Asian Studies and English from Cornell University and a master’s degree in Asian Studies with a focus on Politics & Security and Energy & Environment from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. She has studied Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.

Tra Hoang

Analyst, The Asia Group

Tra Hoang is an Analyst at The Asia Group, where she conducts research on Southeast Asia’s political and trade developments to support client initiatives. Prior to this role, Tra was a Policy Fellow at the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) and an Analyst at Access Partnership, an ICT consultancy based out of Singapore. In these roles, she advised global technology firms on government relations and policy issues relating to cybersecurity, data privacy, and market access in the Asia Pacific. Tra also previously worked at The Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program, the US-ASEAN Business Council, and Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Tra graduated with an MA in Asian Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, with a focus on the political economy of East and Southeast Asia. She also holds a BA in International Relations and Religion from Colgate University, and spent a semester abroad at University College London in the United Kingdom. Tra grew up in Hanoi, Vietnam and speaks fluent Vietnamese.

Emily Jin

Research Assistant, Center for a New American Security

Emily Jin is a Research Assistant for the Energy, Economics, and Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). She has prior work experience in the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM), the Department of Commerce, and Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Emily holds an M.A. in International Economics and China Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown University. Her academic interests include political psychology and economics, and she is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Blaine Johnson

Senior Associate, Boston Consulting Group

Blaine Johnson is a Senior Associate at Boston Consulting Group in San Francisco, CA, where she focuses on public sector work. Previously, Blaine served as the China and Asia Policy Analyst on the national security team at the Center for American Progress, conducting primary source and field research on Chinese policies to develop strategy and policy recommendations for the U.S. government.

Outside of work, Blaine co-founded Young Professionals in Foreign Policy’s Chinese Language Discussion Group and serves as the Community Outreach Coordinator of the Critical Language Scholarship Alumni Society. Blaine has a master’s degree from Fudan University’s School of International Relations and Public Affairs and a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College. Blaine speaks Spanish and Mandarin Chinese.

Oyintarelado (Tarela) Moses

Policy Analyst, Export-Import Bank of the United States

Oyintarelado (Tarela) Moses is a policy analyst in the Office of Policy Analysis and International Relations (OPAIR) at the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM). Tarela supports the production of EXIM’s annual Report to U.S. Congress on Global Export Competition, oversees EXIM’s research on Chinese export and trade related finance and supports EXIM’s roles in international forums.

Prior to EXIM, Tarela served as a senior research assistant at the China Africa Research Initiative and as a political risk insurance intern at the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation. She speaks and reads Mandarin. She earned her B.A. from Duke University and M.A. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Doug Strub

Project Manager, The National Bureau of Asian Research

Doug Strub is a Project Manager with the Center for Innovation, Trade, and Strategy at NBR. He manages and supports research for Trade Center projects focusing on Asian economic, trade, innovation, and intellectual property policy issues.

Prior to joining NBR, Mr. Strub spent five years in China working for the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, writing reports for the World Bank in Beijing, and studying Mandarin in Guilin and Wuhan. He received his MA in International Affairs from theGeorge Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

Delegation Leaders

Tami Overby

(Senior Expert)
Senior Advisor, McLarty Associates

Tami Overby is a senior advisor at McLarty Associates where she advises clients on Asia and trade matters, with a particular focus on Korea. Ms. Overby joins McLarty Associates with three decades of Asia work, including 21 years living and working in Seoul. Her most recent experience includes eight years leading the US Chamber of Commerce’s Asia team while also serving as President of the US Korea Business Council.

Ms. Overby’s extensive experience helps American companies compete and prosper in Asia. She attended many of the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating rounds, often leading the American business delegation to help ensure US firms’ priorities were well understood by the negotiating partners. She oversaw the US Coalition for TPP, an alliance led by the US Chamber, the Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers, the Farm Bureau and the Emergency Committee for Trade. In addition, she directed the US Chamber’s APEC efforts, which involved leading the Chamber’s annual delegation together with the National Center for APEC, the US ASEAN Business Coalition and Business Councils.

Ms. Overby’s extensive Asia experience includes working on both high profile trade disputes with our government and our Asian trade partners as well on market access and investment issues throughout the region. During her 14-year tenure as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea, she actively supported efforts towards a bilateral trade agreement that resulted in the successful completion of the US Korea Free Trade Agreement. She then came to Washington DC, where she led the successful US Korea FTA Coalition effort for ratification, which included an extensive US grassroots campaign that ultimately resulted in ratification.

Ms. Overby sits on the board of The Korea Society and the International Student Council, as well as the Korea Economic Institute’s Advisory Council and the US-Asia Institute. She received her BS in Business Administration and Management from the University of Arkansas.

Alison Szalwinski

(Program Director)
Vice President of Research, The National Bureau of Asian Research

Alison Szalwinski is Vice President of Research at NBR. Ms. Szalwinski provides executive leadership to NBR’s policy research agenda and oversees research teams in Seattle and Washington, D.C.

She is the author of numerous articles and reports and co-editor of the Strategic Asia series along with Ashley J. Tellis and Michael Wills, including the most recent volumes, Strategic Asia 2020: U.S.-China Competition for Global Influence (2020), Strategic Asia 2019: China’s Expanding Strategic Ambitions (2019), and Strategic Asia 2017–18: Power, Ideas, and Military Strategy in the Asia-Pacific (2017). Prior to joining NBR, Szalwinski spent time at the U.S. Department of State and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Her research interests include U.S. policy toward Asia, especially U.S.-China relations and the implications of great-power competition for U.S. alliances in the region.

She holds a BA in Foreign Affairs and History from the University of Virginia and an MA in Asian Studies from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Outside of work, she enjoys outdoor activities, including snowboarding, climbing, and triathlons.

Julia Oh

(Group Rapporteur)
Associate, The National Bureau of Asian Research

Julia Oh is an Associate at National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) based in Seoul, South Korea. She also is a Senior Project Officer at the National Democratic Institute, Korea. At NBR, Julia provides guidance on Korea Programming, business development, and strategic relationship building. She was previously a resident fellow at NBR’s DC office. Prior to joining NBR, she worked for the South Korean government in London as a Marketing Assistant Manager for the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency. She interned for one year in a separate research role for the Korea Economic Institute of America in DC, and the United Nations office for Disarmament Affairs in NYC. While completing her MA, she contributed to the Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) in London.

Julia holds BA in Communications from University of Delaware and an MA in International Relations from the Department of War Studies at the King’s College London, where her dissertation focused on the role of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program in domestic propaganda.

Melissa Newcomb

(Program Coordinator)
Senior Project and Grants Manager, The National Bureau of Asian Research

Melissa Newcomb is a Senior Project and Grants Manager with the Political and Security Affairs group at NBR. In this position, Ms. Newcomb manages projects related to Taiwan, cross-strait relations, U.S.-China relations, and the Korean peninsula.

Prior to joining NBR, Ms. Newcomb was the Research Manager at the Global Taiwan Institute and Associate Editor of the Global Taiwan Brief. At the Global Taiwan Institute, she created and managed the Civil Society and Democracy Series. She also previously worked at the East-West Center in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Newcomb holds an MA in International Affairs with a focus on East Asia and Conflict Resolution from the School of International Service at American University. She also holds a BA from St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a double major in English Literature and Asian Studies. She enjoys soccer, yoga, and reading sci-fi novels in her free time.

Olivia Truesdale

(Program Assistant)
Intern, Political and Security Affairs, The National Bureau of Asian Research

Olivia Truesdale is a Political and Security Affairs intern at NBR.

She supports publication and project activities such as research, drafting, proofreading, and fact checking.

Prior to joining NBR, Ms. Truesdale was a Nonimmigrant Visa Unit intern at the U.S. Embassy, Seoul and an exchange student at Yonsei University. She studies foreign languages and cultures, specializing in Korean and Spanish, at Scripps College.