Dr. Bo Kong
ConocoPhillips Associate Professor of Chinese and Asian Studies
The Institute for US-China Issues seeks to enhance the understanding and management of US-China relations by simultaneously addressing two sets of interrelated issue clusters — the security, technology, economic, environmental, public health and political (STEEPP) issues, and the instrumental role culture plays in shaping how the two nations perceive and engage each other. To achieve this goal, the Institute works along parallel tracks through public programming, research, publications, symposiums and teaching to tackle both the STEEPP and cultural issues confronting the two nations.
The Institute for US-China Issues at the University of Oklahoma was established in 2006 with the generous financial support of Harold J. & Ruth Newman.
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The US-China STEEPP Dialogue brings faculty, students, and scholars together to discuss the state of US-China relations with a focus on STEEPP Issues. The goal is to uncover the deeper structure of the bilateral relationship: its dynamics of security and insecurity, perception and misperception, identity and power.
In the absence of public platforms able or willing to provide a more sophisticated or nuanced understanding of the cultural interdependence and interaction of our nations, media cultures on both sides of the Pacific have become increasingly reliant on reductive cultural memes that guide public opinion and policy (albeit in different ways). The Institute for US-China Issues cultural programming, publications and research facilities provide a deeper cultural estuary space where Americans and Chinese citizens alike can come to better understand the cultural forces that have shaped and will continue to shape bilateral relations long into the future.
The University of Oklahoma is deeply honored to be the recipient of a generous endowment from Mr. and Mrs. Harold J. and Ruth Newman for the creation of a chair that will focus on substantive issues of difference between the United States of America and China. In addition to academic responsibilities, this chairholder will assume a leadership role in the establishment and oversight of an Institute of U.S.-China Issues.
The Newmans’ many years of interest in international matters is demonstrated by their involvement in the Asia Society. Harold served as a Trustee for ten years as well as chair of its nominating committee. Ruth is currently serving as a Trustee. Within the Asia Society they are actively involved in a program they endowed entitled “The Soul of Asia”. Harold also has a long history of involvement with the East-West Institute, serving as a Director for 13 years and as Chair of its Executive Committee for four of those years. His other interests include an oil exploration and production company in Kazakhstan - which he sold to Sinopec, a private venture capital firm; a Nashville music company; and an off-Broadway theater group. He also produced a Broadway show that won a Tony Award. He currently has investment interests in the former Soviet Union, India, and China. His general interests include history, dancing, tennis, writing poetry, and boxing.
The Newmans live in Connecticut and Harold’s business offices are in New York City. He has a long and successful history in investment activities and is the Managing Director of Neuberger Berman which was acquired by Lehman Brothers several years ago. Harold has an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, an M.A. from the School of South Asian Studies, University of Pennsylvania, and a B.S. in Geography from the University of Oklahoma.
A strong supporter of the University of Oklahoma, Harold Newman also serves as a member of the International Programs Center Board of Visitors and the Board’s planning and development committee for the Institute of U.S.-China Issues.