A retired Air Force brigadier general and East-West Center (EWC) alumnus is the new U.S. assistant secretary of state for Asian and Pacific Affairs. Honolulu resident David R. Stilwell, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate, earned his master’s degree in Asian studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa as an EWC grantee in the 1980s and later was an adjunct senior fellow at the center.
Stilwell entered the Air Force in 1980 as a Korean linguist. After a tour of duty in Korea, he attended the U.S. Air Force Academy, graduating in 1987 with a degree in Asian history. He then attended UH Mānoa as an EWC participant, earning a master’s degree in Asian studies and Chinese language in 1988. He is proficient in Chinese and Korean with limited capability in Japanese.