ASU Chief Operating Officer, Chris Howard, Indonesian Charge d’Affairres, Ida Bagus Made Bimantara, and Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Liz Allen cutting the ribbon at the U.S.-ASEAN Center Opening Ceremony.

“We know that in the modern world, foreign policy is about relationships. And as some of you know, I’m fond of saying that it’s not just about government-to-government relationships, but about people-to-people relationships. This U.S.-ASEAN Center is going to be a key initiative to keep building those relationships and understanding between the people of the U.S. and people across ASEAN.” -Under Secretary Allen at the opening of the U.S.-ASEAN Center in Washington, D.C.

Members of the Diplomatic Corps from ASEAN member nations – from left to right: Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Thailand: Chuliepote Isarankura Na Ayudhaya; Charges d’Affaires, Embassy of Indonesia: Ida Bagus Made Bimantara; Ambassador of Cambodia: H.E. Keo Chhea; Ambassador of the Philippines: H.E. Jose Manuel G. Romualdez; Ambassador of Malaysia: H.E. Dato’ Seri Nazri Aziz; Deputy Chief of Mission & Minister Counsellor, Embassy of Singapore: Cindy Wee; Charges d’Affaires, Embassy of Myanmar: Thet Win; Charges d’Affaires, Embassy of Brunei Darussalam: Ms. Izzati Baharuddin; Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Lao PDR: Dr. Bounthanongsack Chanthalath; Charges d’Affaires, Embassy of Vietnam: Nguyen Thuy Hong.
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth
Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro
Under Secretary Allen Opens the U.S.-ASEAN Center in Washington, D.C.


December 14, 2023

Today, in partnership with Arizona State University (ASU), the U.S. Department of State celebrated the opening of the U.S.-ASEAN Center in Washington, D.C. Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Liz Allen delivered remarks to highlight the important event.

Announced by Vice President Kamala Harris during the 2023 U.S.-ASEAN Summit, the Center will serve as a hub for U.S.-ASEAN engagement and deepen this important relationship. The Center will do so by bolstering support for U.S. economic and cultural engagement with Southeast Asia and helping connect key private sector organizations, academic institutions, and civil society. Its activities will also strengthen the United States’ and ASEAN’s joint efforts to promote an open, connected, prosperous, resilient, and secure Indo-Pacific region.

Since the establishment of our dialogue partnership in 1977, the United States and ASEAN have built extensive cooperation in various areas under the political-security, economy, and socio-cultural pillars.  The United States is the largest source of foreign direct investment in Southeast Asia, and more than 6,200 U.S. businesses have contributed to a record $520.3 billion in total trade between the United States and the nations of ASEAN in 2022, creating 625,000 jobs in all 50 states, and 1 million jobs throughout Southeast Asia.  The close U.S.-ASEAN partnership is also reflected in the increasing people-to-people engagements for our combined one billion people, as well as the growing number of students from ASEAN countries in the United States.

Under Secretary Allen’s remarks highlighted our strong ties and the enduring strength of the U.S.-ASEAN relationship, including her work building people to people ties in Indonesia December 4-5. There she oversaw expansion of the Fulbright program to religious schools, advocated for increased student exchanges, and marked the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative’s first decade serving as the premier U.S. leadership and professional development program in the region. The Under Secretary also acknowledged the presence of several members of Congress who have authored and supported legislation aimed at supporting the U.S.-ASEAN Center.

The Department welcomed further remarks from ASU Chief Operating Officer Christopher B. Howard, Embassy of Indonesia Chargé d’affaires Ida Bagus Made Bimantara, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth, and U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro.

The Department thanks ASU for its continued partnership and its longstanding commitment to academic programs and studies on issues in Southeast Asia and the broader Indo-Pacific region. We look forward to further strengthening our partnership through our many programs, including the U.S.-ASEAN Center, for years to come.

View the media note here.