The East-West Center has been a research and educational organization since 1960 but has in recent years sometimes struggled with funding from Washington, D.C.

Fortunately for the center, which is located in Manoa Valley in Honolulu, the Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved $16.7 million in federal support.

“The East-West Center continues to play an increasingly important role in strengthening our national security and improving regional cooperation,” said U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz in a press release Monday. “The funding passed today reaffirms our strong commitment to Hawaii and our rebalance strategy.”

Schatz is a member of the Appropriations Committee.

Secretary of State John Kerry gestures before addressing audience about the U.S. vision for Asia-Pacific engagement at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. August 13, 2014. photograph by Cory Lum.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at the East-West Center in Honolulu in 2014. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2014

Asked for comment, EWC President Richard Vuylsteke expressed thanks to Schatz and the rest of Hawaii’s delegation “along with numerous other supporters on Capitol Hill, for their ongoing efforts to help sustain the Center’s mission of enhancing interaction and understanding between the peoples and nations of the U.S., Asia and the Pacific.”

Vuylsteke added, “The Center will diligently continue to put our public funding to effective use to implement innovative capacity-building programs, produce policy-relevant research, and promote student learning and people-to-people exchanges.”

Alumni include anthropologist Ann Dunham Soetoro, the mother of Barack Obama.

Full disclosure: I was an EWC Jefferson Fellow in 2018.

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