U.S.–ASEAN Eminent Persons Group

The U.S.–ASEAN Eminent Persons Group provided independent recommendations to leaders on how to significantly enhance U.S.–ASEAN ties.

The United States–Association of Southeast Asian Nations Eminent Persons Group (U.S.–ASEAN EPG) was announced by President Barack Obama and the 10 ASEAN heads of state in November 2011 during the third U.S.–ASEAN summit in Bali, Indonesia. The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Southeast Asia Program was named secretariat for the U.S.–ASEAN EPG by the U.S. Department of State.

President Obama nominated three U.S. members of the EPG:

  • The Hon. Charlene Barshefsky, former U.S. trade representative,
  • Mr. Muhtar Kent, chairman & CEO, The Coca-Cola Company, and
  • The Hon. J. Stapleton Roy, former U.S. ambassador to China, Indonesia, and Singapore.

The ASEAN nations each named one member to the U.S. –ASEAN Eminent Persons Group.

The CSIS Southeast Asia Program, led by Ernest Bower, provided research and technical support to the EPG. CSIS coordinated closely with leading think tanks in each of the ASEAN countries to support the effort.

The EPG met twice in 2012, in Manila from May 20 to 21, and in Yangon from September 6 to 7 (see below). They then prepared a final report with recommendations for consideration at the fourth U.S.-ASEAN Leaders Meeting in Cambodia on November 19. The Leaders' Meeting was co-chaired by U.S. president Obama and Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen, and attended by the leaders of the other nine ASEAN member states. 

The EPG's final report is available here.

The Hon. J. Stapleton Roy and Muhtar Kent visit Yangon in September 2012: