Speaker Bio

Tom Plate
Tom Plate
Distinguished Scholar of Asian and Pacific Studies
Loyola Marymount University
Los Angeles

Tom Plate writes about America’s relationship with the Pacific Rim and over the last dozen-plus years, Prof. Plate’s columns have appeared and continue to appear in many world papers, including The South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, The Straits Times in Singapore, The Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates), The Japan Times in Tokyo, The Korea Times in South Korea, The Jakarta Post (Indonesia), The Seattle Times, The Providence Journal and some mid-sized and small U.S papers. The collective circulation of these core newspapers is easily in the millions. Last June, he began a fortnightly series of essays on China as a columnist for the South China Morning Post, the historic ‘listening post of China’.

Today, Prof. Plate is the Distinguished Scholar of Asian and Pacific Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he supervises ‘Asia Media International’ (see: asiamedia.lmu.edu), and leads an education innovation program that conducts live interactive university courses with universities in Asia. Between 1994-2008, Prof. Plate taught, full-time, undergraduate courses in media, ethics and Asian politics at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). He has lectured at UCLA’s Anderson School, the East- West Center at the University of Hawaii, California Polytechnic State University at Pomona, The Getty Museum and Trust in Los Angeles, the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii and at universities in Asia, including the LKY School of Public Policy in Singapore. With Kyoto University in Japan, United Arab Emirates University, Fudan University and (this semester) Yonsei University, he has taught or co-taught courses in live time via skype-type internet hookups.

He is the author of the well-received ‘Giants of Asia’ quartet, which feature separate editions on Lee Kuan Yew, Mohamad Mahathir, Thaksin Shinawatra and Ban Ki-moon; and in the coming fifth volume of the well-received series he proposes to illuminate the thinking of Xi Jinping, the president of China (‘Giants of Asia: Searching for Xi’). His most recent books are ‘In the Middle of the Future: Tom Plate on Asia’ (2013), ‘In the Middle of China’s Future’ (2014), and ‘The Fine Art of the Political Interview’ (2015). ‘Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew’ (2010) garnered the 2011 People’s Choice Award in Asia for best non-fiction book in English, and is currently in its third edition, seventh printing. His 2007 book ‘Confessions of an American Media Man’ and other books are in multiple editions and/or have been translated into Chinese (traditional and simplified), Bahasa (standard Malay), Vietnamese, Korean, Russian and others. Special English editions for India and other countries have been published.

He is a graduate of Amherst College (Phi Beta Kappa) and Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where he earned his master’s degree in public and international affairs. He has been a staff editor or writer at Time, Newsday, New York Newsday, New York Magazine, CBS and The Daily Mail of London, where he served as guest American editor. From 1989-1995 he was Editor of the Editorial Pages of the Los Angeles Times. He has been honored with major journalism awards, including the coveted American Society of Newspaper Editors Deadline Writing Award, the Greater Los Angeles Press Club Award for “Best Editorial” (three years in a row) and the California Newspaper Publishers Award (three times). He has been a Media Fellow at Stanford University and a fellow in Tokyo at the Japanese Foreign Press Center’s annual Asia-Pacific Media Conference.

He resides in Beverly Hills with his wife Andrea, a licensed clinical social worker, and their three cats. She has two master’s degrees; the cats have no higher-education degrees --- but they do sport their pedigrees.