Global Leadership from the West Coast

From the President & CEO

Reflecting on 2017 and Looking to the Future

As an organization committed to amplifying the voice of Los Angeles and the West Coast in global affairs, the Pacific Council had a transformational year, as did our country and world.

We watched Washington’s position on global leadership take on an increasingly nationalistic and inward-looking character, redefining the world order and the United States’ role in it—perhaps permanently. While numerous trade and environmental pacts came under attack, at the same time we witnessed a growing and encouraging trend toward subnational international affairs leadership by cities and states, mayors and governors. Clearly, our work is more important than ever. Despite a climate of global concern, and indeed because of it, the Pacific Council is dedicated to informing, connecting, and leveraging our community to have impact on key issues both at home and abroad.

This past year’s highlights include the inaugural State of the Global City address by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, an event featuring former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and a gala evening with former President George W. Bush. We are proud of the fact that our Guantánamo Bay Task Force’s recommendations made their way into the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2018. Member-led international delegations traveled to Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, Belgium, and the Netherlands. And 2017 concluded with the inaugural Water Conference as part of our Global Water Scarcity Project.

In 2017, we welcomed 300 new members, nearly half of them women. We reached out to younger members and strengthened our policy eliminating exclusively male panels at Council events. We also made considerable strides in broadening ties with new communities through collaborations with the Seoul-based Korea Foundation and other partners, as well as our emerging corporate membership program.

The year ahead is shaping up well, with delegations slated to visit Japan and Israel, as well as a special delegation to Mexico for our emerging leaders.

We will host the Tokyo-Los Angeles Forum in May with several Japanese partners, alongside conferences in the spring and fall. Our programming will continue to evolve to reflect our commitment to inclusivity across our membership.

The Pacific Council on International Policy remains deeply committed to highlighting and strengthening the significant role enjoyed by the West Coast, and especially Southern California, in international affairs. Our members, donors, and far-flung network of supporters are absolutely essential to the successful accomplishment of that mission.

My warmest thanks for all that you do to make our community what it is today. We are most grateful for your support.

With my best wishes,

Dr. Jerrold D. GreenPresident & CEO

Mission and Values


The Pacific Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization committed to building the vast potential of the West Coast for impact on global issues, discourse, and policy.

We are dedicated to building a community of leaders and emerging leaders across industries and sectors to share ideas, keep up on foreign affairs, and effect change on issues that are important at home and abroad.


We believe that constructive discourse on complex global issues builds an informed citizenry. An informed citizenry leads to idea exchange and collaboration, which improves policy outcomes. Together, the Pacific Council member community is proposing solutions and developing ideas that inform and drive global progress.

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The Pacific Council embraces the inclusion of all voices in our community, across our membership, staff, event speakers, and guests, regardless of race, ethnicity, ability, class, religion, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other differentiating characteristic.

To solidify and guide our commitment to inclusivity and diversity, the Pacific Council has formed a staff committee dedicated to creating programs and opportunities that elevate underrepresented voices in our membership. Our Pay It Forward Annual Giving Campaign, launched in 2016, aims to build a network of tomorrow’s thought leaders from all corners. We also continue to fulfill a promise made at the beginning of 2017 to feature women experts on all of our panels.

We welcome and support diversity in all its forms; indeed, we believe it is the only way to effect change on global issues.

Highlights of 2017

Our Initiatives

Advancing the Conversation in 2017

At the Pacific Council, we know that change happens when people from different fields work together toward a common goal. We operate across sectors and silos to inspire collaboration and provoke change. We incubate ideas and solutions to global issues through four initiatives:

Through these initiatives, members have the opportunity to address the challenges affecting our community and our world. These projects focus on specific areas where the Pacific Council is poised and pledged to make a difference.

You can learn more about the Council’s focus on these initiatives as well as our work on various regions and international topics on our website and by following our social media channels:

Twitter: @PacCouncil

Instagram: @PacificCouncil

Global Water Scarcity Project

The effects of global water scarcity extend beyond the possibility of drought, spilling into cross-border conflict, global trade issues, and human insecurity. The Pacific Council’s Global Water Scarcity Project looks at what we can do to address these issues now to create a water abundant future.

The mission of the Global Water Scarcity Project is to empower the Pacific Council’s network to contribute to international policy solutions addressing water scarcity. We approach water scarcity as a crosscutting issue that requires cross-cutting solutions, connecting the dots between water scarcity and issues like trade, energy, politics, and security. We aim to build knowledge, inspire and incubate ideas, and motivate action on global water scarcity through ongoing activities, events, and education.

Here in California—where government, the private sector, agriculture, conservationists, and individuals all have deep experience of drought and water challenges—the region is poised to lead the charge.

Here’s how we advanced the project’s mission in 2017:

Mexico Initiative

The United States and Mexico enjoy one of the most interdependent, successful economic partnerships in the world, and their populations share deep cultural, linguistic, and often familial ties. As part of North America, the two countries also share common domestic and foreign policy priorities as they relate to energy security, the environment, and public health.

The Pacific Council seeks to take an approach to Mexico that reflects our geography, identity, and appreciation for the international policy interests of the United States. Under the auspices of the Mexico Initiative, chaired by the Honorable Michael C. Camuñez, the Pacific Council holds events, produces analysis and commentary, and fosters exchange with Mexican leaders.

Here’s how we advanced the project’s mission in 2017:

Global Los Angeles

Los Angeles is one of the world’s great urban communities. It is large, diverse, vibrant, and cosmopolitan. Its people, businesses, and institutions routinely and constructively connect and interact with their counterparts all over the world. The city provides goods, services, ideas, and culture to the larger world and in turn enjoys the best that the world has to offer. Los Angeles is a global city.

Through our Global LA initiative, the Pacific Council seeks to position Los Angeles as a leader on international issues and to engage the city in a conversation about seizing the opportunities and dealing with the challenges that arise from its global character.

“In 2017, we were proud to return our Humanitarian Symposium and Prize Ceremony to LA, our hometown, after years on the East Coast. Our strategic partnership with the Pacific Council has inspired us to connect our international humanitarian work to the thriving community that is Global Los Angeles.”

Dr. Peter Laugharn, President and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and a Pacific Council Director.

Here’s how we advanced the project’s mission in 2017:

Guantánamo Bay Observer Program

Since 2013, the Pacific Council has held official NGO observer status with the Office of Military Commissions at Guantánamo Bay Office of Military Commissions at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba (GTMO). We are one of a select group of organizations with that designation, alongside Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the American Bar Association. In this role we send member representatives with relevant expertise to observe select proceedings at GTMO and report back. In 2017, we sent 12 observers to continue to observe the pre-trial hearings for the highest-profile detainees.

The Pacific Council’s GTMO Task Force works with observers and policymakers to translate findings and recommendations into policy. This year, the Task Force provided recommendations to Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), who applied them as three amendments to H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018. In July, the bill passed the House of Representatives by 344-81 votes and became law in December.

“I offered three amendments to the defense bill based on the work of the Pacific Council, and all three were made in order. My thanks to the Council for their good work.”

Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA)

Congressman Adam Schiff introduced these three amendments which were informed by the Pacific Council’s GTMO Task Force report, published in 2016:

  1. Expressing a sense of Congress that in the interest of justice and efficiency, military judges should provide victims of terrorism and their families the opportunity to provide recorded testimony.
  2. Allowing military judges to use video conferencing for any matter for which the military judge may call the military commission into session, to improve efficiencies of military commissions. Any party who participates through the use of video teleconferencing shall be considered as present.
  3. Requiring proceedings of military commissions to be publicly available on the internet.

We are grateful for the support and dedication of Representative Schiff to this important issue. The Task Force will continue to observe the proceedings at GTMO in 2018.

Gala Dinner

Featuring President George W. Bush

In September, we gathered 500 members and guests at our 2017 gala with President George W. Bush. It was the first Pacific Council event with a former U.S. president, and included a moderated discussion between President Bush and Ambassador Robert H. Tuttle.

The event was held at the beautiful new InterContinental Downtown Los Angeles and helped us raise over $1 million, which will allow us to grow and enhance our programs in the years ahead. It will be remembered by our members, donors, guests, and staff for a long time.

“It’s good to be back with my base.”

George W. Bush quipped to an audience of California Democrats, Republicans, and others at our gala dinner in downtown Los Angeles.

Get Involved

The Pacific Council is dedicated to engaging you, our members and sustaining members, around the issues you care about and giving you the opportunity to take action. If you have a passion for a particular global region or issue, or want to know how to take part in one of our initiatives, get in touch. We are always available at

We encourage members to get involved in the following ways:

In 2018, we will evolve our programs to respond to member feedback and illustrate our commitment to inclusive programming for all of our members. Keep an eye out for more virtual offerings, more social and networking events, and more opportunities for members to provide feedback and lead with your input.

Christopher Society

Warren Christopher, former U.S. Secretary of State, was an early champion of the Pacific Council on International Policy and longtime chair of its Board of Directors. His vision and values inspired all aspects of the Council’s work, and we seek to honor his legacy through the creation of the Christopher Society, a distinguished member society consisting of the Council’s most dedicated supporters and leaders.

Secretary Christopher demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to public service, and his legacy embodies equality, fairness, community service, and the highest ethical standards. The members of the Christopher Society follow in his footsteps by representing the forward-thinking values and commitment to the common good demonstrated throughout Secretary Christopher’s career.

The Pacific Council is grateful to our generous supporters who make it possible to advance our mission to build the potential of the West Coast for impact on global issues, discourse, and policy.

Members of the Christopher Society in 2017:

  • Mr. Sonny Astani & Mrs. Jo Astani
  • Ambassador Frank Baxter & Mrs. Kathy Baxter
  • Mr. Robert Liu & Ms. Mimi Liu
  • Mr. Robert W. Lovelace & Ms. Alicia Miñana
  • Mr. Marc Nathanson & Ms. Jane Nathanson
  • Ambassador Robert H. Tuttle & Ms. Maria Hummer-Tuttle

Institutional Health

In 2017, the Pacific Council exceeded $6 million in revenue for the first time in our 22-year history. We thank our generous individual donors, foundations, and corporate partners who helped us achieve this success. This year’s fundraising accomplishments give us a foundation to make additional strategic investments in the organization so that we can continue our track record of excellence, inclusivity, and nonpartisanship well into the future.

Scroll left to right to view the Pacific Council’s audited financials:

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Our Donors

Our Team


Mr. Sonny H. Astani, Chairman, Astani Enterprises, Inc.

Ambassador Frank Baxter, Chairman Emeritus, Jefferies & Company

Ms. Willow Bay, Dean, USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism

Ambassador Colleen Bell, Former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary

Hon. Howard L. Berman, Senior Advisor, Covington & Burling LLP

Mrs. Lynn A. Booth, President, The Otis Booth Foundation & The Evening Star Foundation

Ms. Elise Buik, President & CEO, United Way of Greater Los Angeles

Hon. Michael C. Camuñez, President & CEO, Monarch Global Strategies LLC

Mr. Charles Chen, Chairman, Eyon Holding Group; President, Chen Yung Foundation; Vice Chairman, Taian Insurance

Ms. Carla Christofferson, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, AECOM

Mr. Robert Eckert, Chairman Emeritus of the Board, Mattel

Dr. Bradford W. Edgerton, President, Edgerton Foundation & Plastic Surgeon, SCPMG

Mr. Richard B. Goetz, Partner, O’Melveny & Myers LLP

Dr. Jerrold D. Green, President & CEO, Pacific Council on International Policy

Ambassador Nina Hachigian, Deputy Mayor for International Affairs, City of Los Angeles; former U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN

Ms. Antonia Hernández, President and CEO, California Community Foundation

Ambassador David Huebner, Former U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand & Samoa

Hon. Mickey Kantor, Partner, Mayer Brown LLP; U.S. Secretary of Commerce (1996-1997); U.S. Trade Representative (1993-1996)

Ms. Sherry Lansing, Founder & Chair, The Sherry Lansing Foundation

Dr. Peter Laugharn, President & CEO, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Hon. Mel Levine, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Mr. Robert W. Liu, Chairman, Tireco, Inc.

Mr. Robert W. Lovelace, Vice Chairman, Capital Group Companies

Ambassador Vilma S. Martínez, U.S. Ambassador to Argentina (2009–2013)

Ambassador Susan McCaw, President, COM Investments

Mr. Willem Mesdag, Managing Partner, Red Mountain Capital Partners, LLC

Dr. Sharon Nazarian, President, Y & S Nazarian Family Foundation

Mr. Arthur J. Ochoa, Senior Vice President, Community Relations & Development, Cedars Sinai Medical Center

Mr. Barry Porter, Managing General Partner, Clarity Partners, Inc.

Mr. Nelson C. Rising, CEO, Rising Realty Partners

Ambassador Charles H. Rivkin, CEO, Motion Picture Association of America; Former Assistant Secretary of State for Business & Economic Affairs, U.S. State Department

Mr. Fredric D. Rosen, Former CEO, Ticketmaster

Hon. Nancy Rubin, Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, Presidential Appointee to the White House Council for Community Solutions

Mr. Harry Sloan, Chairman & CEO, Global Eagle Acquisition

Dr. Cynthia A. Telles, Director, Spanish-Speaking Psychosocial Clinic, Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital, UCLA School of Medicine

Ambassador Robert H. Tuttle, Co-Managing Partner, Tuttle-Click Automotive Group; Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom

Mr. Ernest Wooden, Jr., President & CEO, Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board

Learn more about our work at

This report was published in April 2018.