YPFP Events

YPFP DC: The Environment and Development in China: Domestic and International Implications

January 30, 2013 06:30 pm


1800 K Street Northwest
#400 Center for Strategic and International Studies
20006 Washington, DC
United States

What are the intended and unintended environmental, political, and social consequences of China’s rapid development? Young Professionals in Foreign Policy (YPFP) is partnering with the Young Professionals (YP) of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA) to host a relevant event on China’s development and its overall implications.

Join YPFP and YP in a thought-provoking roundtable discussion session with panelists Dr. Robert Shepherd, Molly Walton, Damien Ma, and Dr. Charles Barber, some of the nation’s top experts on China and international environmental policy.

Wednesday January 30, 2013    I   6:30 pm-8:00 pm

Location: Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

Room 4CR (4th floor)


Professor Robert Shepherd

Robert Shepherd holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from George Mason University and has been an assistant professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at George Washington University since 2006. Before earning his doctorate he served in the Peace Corps in Nepal, worked on UNDP projects in China and Indonesia, and taught at a national university in Taiwan; in total he has nine years experience living and working in the Asian region. His research focuses on cultural issues in post-Mao China, particularly the relationship between state development projects, domestic tourism promotion, and heritage projects. He aims his written work at both a multidisciplinary audience and, where possible, a non-academic audience. For the past four summers he has conducted fieldwork at Mount Wutai, a World Heritage site in Shanxi Province, China, where he has studied the process of heritage development, its impact on religious practice, and local responses.

Damien Ma

Damien Ma is an analyst in the Asia practice at Eurasia Group. He studies and analyzes the intersection between Chinese politics and markets, with a particular focus on energy policies, climate change, commodities, elite politics, industrial policy, US-China trade, and social/Internet policies. Damien also covers Mongolian politics and mining. He provides up-to-date analysis on the impact of political issues on business operations and their implications for investors. Damien serves a range of clients from institutional investors and multinational corporations to the US government. 

In addition to his analytical work, Damien writes a regular China column for the Atlantic Monthly's website. He also served as an adjunct instructor at Johns Hopkins SAIS. He has published widely, including in Foreign Affairs, Slate, The New Republic, BusinessWeek, Forbes, and the China Economic Review. He has also appeared in a range of US and Chinese media, including the Charlie Rose Show, Bloomberg TV, CNBC Asia, Time, the Wall Street Journal, and Caijing. Recently named by the Diplomatic Courier as one of 2012's "99under33" foreign policy leaders, Damien is currently working on his first book (co-authored). 

Prior to joining Eurasia Group, Damien was a manager of publications at the US-China Business Council in Washington, DC. He also worked in a public relations firm in Beijing, where he served clients ranging from Ford to Microsoft. He holds an MA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and both BA and BS from Boston University. He earned an advanced international student certificate from People's University in Beijing in 2006. Damien has lived, worked, and studied in Beijing and Shanghai, China, as well as in Oxford, England. Damien speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese and some Shanghainese dialect.

Dr. Charles V. Barber

Dr. Charles V. Barber (“Chip”) is currently Forest Division Chief in the Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science, U.S. Department of State, where he leads and coordinates U.S. multilateral and bilateral relations concerning forest policy and also serves as co-coordinator for interagency efforts on climate and environment under the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership.  From 2005 to 2009, he served as focal point for multilateral environmental treaties and institutions at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), as well as working on design and management of a number of regional forest and coral reef programs in Southeast Asia.  From 2002 to 2004, Chip served as an independent consultant on forest, coral reef and biodiversity issues for the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and a variety of UN agencies and NGOs.  From 1989 to 2001, he was a Senior Research Associate with the World Resources Institute, working on forest, coral reef, protected areas and biodiversity publications and policy advocacy.  A considerable portion of his work has focused on Indonesia.

Chip has traveled and worked throughout the Asia-Pacific region, including living 11 years in Indonesia and the Philippines.  He received his Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy, J.D. and M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation focused on the politics of community forestry on Java during the Suharto era.  He is fluent in Bahasa Indonesia

Molly Walton

Molly Walton is a research associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in the Energy and National Security Program. Her research and analysis focuses on domestic and global energy trends. More specifically, she works on the energy-water nexus, clean energy, unconventional fuels, environmental impact and risk management of energy development, and global climate change.  She is also editor in chief of New Perspectives in Foreign Policy, a CSIS journal that provides a forum for young professionals to address global challenges.

Ms. Walton graduated from Boston University with a master in international relations and environmental policy. She also holds an undergraduate degree from Wheaton College (IL) in international relations and communications.

Molly Walton's publications include Sustainable Energy Futures in Southeast Asia, The Importance of Ecological Security for Protective Security: A Case Study of Northern China and the Impact of Water Scarcity on Food Security, and Prospects for Shale Gas Development in Asia: Examining Potentials and Challenges in China and India.

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