President, Washington State China Relations Council
Joseph J. Borich is the President of the Washington State China Relations Council. Prior to his current position, Mr. Borich was a career U.S. Foreign Service Officer. He has been closely associated with the China field throughout most of his career, serving under every president from Nixon to Clinton in a China-related capacity. His last assignment was as Consul General in Shanghai from October 1994 through June 1997.
In his current position, Mr. Borich leads the only State-level association dedicated to promoting relations with China. The Council has been a leading voice since 1979 in promoting trade between China, Hong Kong, and the United States. Members of this not-for-profit organization include over 100 corporate, ports, banks, law firms, and other manufacturers, retailers, businesses and major universities in Washington State.
Mr. Borich was born in Minnesota in 1944, received a bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State University in 1967, and a master’s degree from the University of South Dakota in 1972. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand from 1967 to 1969, and served in the U.S. Army from 1969-1971, including a tour in Vietnam. Mr. Borich, his wife Ting Hsiao-hui and their daughter Grace reside in Seattle.
Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Turkey
John Gokcen has represented the Republic of Turkey in the Washington State as an Honorary Consul General since 2002. He is also President of the Washington State Consular Association that represents all diplomats serving in the WA State as well as emeritus and retired U.S. diplomats residing in the WA State, and a member of the Seattle World Affairs Council Board of Trustees. He is also involved in many other community service activities.
Mr. Gokcen was instrumental in organizing the first Turkish Trade Delegation visit to the Washington State in 2002. He currently is working to establishment of Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Turkish American Chamber of Commerce and Industry and will lead a Washington State trade and goodwill delegation visit to Turkey next year. He is a member of the University of Washington, Near Eastern Languages and Civilization Department, and led efforts to establish a Turkish Studies Endowment Fund at the University of Washington.
Mr. Gokcen has worked for the Boeing Company for more than 30 years as a structural engineer instructor and teaches engineering classes at the University of Washington. He is the recipient of more than 30 awards for technical achievements and community and customer services. He is married and has one son.
STEPHEN E. MURPHY
Advisor, Pacific Northwest Advisors
Stephen Murphy provides high level entree to government and business leaders in all Latin America's major markets—especially in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico—with longstanding personal relationships throughout the Americas. Special expertise includes verifying bona fides of potential partners, negotiating intellectual property licensing and joint-venture accords, and assisting start-up companies in the sometimes 'hostile', inflationary and bureaucratic environments of 'Mercosur' and CAFTA countries.
Mr., Murphy has actively engaged in Brazil and Latin America for 40+ years as business consultant, public official, and educator, recently advising international language institutes, software, clean energy, Brazilian media firms and the Inter-American Development Bank's Multilateral Investment Fund in Washington D.C.
During the administration of President George W. Bush (2001-2009) he served as Director for the Inter-Americas & Pacific Region of the U.S. Peace Corps, supervising 2,200 volunteers and 1,000 staff in 23 countries. In the administration of George H.W. Bush (1989-1993) he was Director of Worldnet Television, managing 320 employees and its satellite TV network on several continents. He negotiated a Mexico-USA volunteer agreement, emphasizing Information Technology (IT) small business development, and creating satellite feeds to emerging Latin American and Eastern European cable TV systems.
Mr. Murphy also spearheaded Brazil's first international conference on financial remittances from immigrants abroad, mobilizing high level government, multilateral and private banking support for this initiative. In the 1980's, Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios appointed him Vice President, Latin America, responsible for starting up ten video operating companies, in alliance with the Motion Pictures Association, Latin American producer and copyright trade associations. In the mid-1970s, he served as Chief Lending Officer, Rio de Janeiro branch, BankBoston, and later, Vice President, Multinational Division, financing investment and trade operations for select Fortune 500 companies worldwide.
Mr. Murphy is fluent in Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, and has basic knowledge of Arabic. He earned his BA in Economics & History at the University of Washington, and an MBA in Finance at Columbia University.
President, Council of U.S.-Russia Relations
Derek Norberg is the President and founder of the Council of U.S.-Russia Relations (Seattle) and Executive Director of the bilateral forum between the United States and the Russian Federation “Russian American Pacific Partnership” (RAPP). RAPP seeks to expand bilateral trade and trans-Pacific cooperation working with the private sector of both countries and the U.S. Departments of Commerce and State and the Russian Ministries of Economic Development and Trade and Foreign Affairs, and the regional administrations of Eastern Russian and the Western U.S. States.
Mr. Norberg has over twenty years’ experience with Russia in sales, transportation logistics and shipping, fisheries, timber and wood processing, finance and investment, and over the past ten years in intergovernmental relations. He resided in Khabarovsk, Russia for two years in the late 1990s as Vice President and Regional Director of the U.S.-Russia Investment Fund (TUSRIF) engaged in banking/finance partnerships and investment evaluations.
He received a B.A. in Political Science with a Soviet emphasis from the University of California Berkeley, and pursued non-degree Russian Studies post-graduate work at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He is fluent in Russian.
President & CEO, Associates in Cultural Exchange
David Woodward is President & Chief Executive Officer since 1998 of Associates in Cultural Exchange (A.C.E.), which he first joined in 1980. He has 33 years of professional international experience, including 25 years of senior management roles in international business management, consultancy, and educational exchange programs and services involving clients from all major world markets.
Mr. Woodward was born in Teheran, Iran, and spent his early youth in Southern Iran. He received a National Resource Fellowship in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization while at the University of Washington, and taught English as a foreign language at Kuwait University (1982-83). He has led in the establishment of a master's degree program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, has taught a 5-credit course on Modern Middle East History, and has presented extensively in forums and conferences on Middle East issues, Islam, cross-cultural communication, language education, and international program administration.
Mr. Woodward has led A.C.E. in the development of various business startups and educational projects with scores of clients, including small businesses, universities, corporations, and government agencies within the U.S. and in peer regions of the world. He has worked closely with client organizations in Oman, Kazakhstan, Russia, Switzerland, Japan, Korea, Australia, and six U.S. states, as well as managing for-profit and not-for-profit subsidiaries and spin-offs. He has led in the formation of several key international marketing consortia, and collaborative initiatives across professional disciplines, including for the UAE Academy in Abu Dhabi, and for Sultan Qaboos, University of Oman.
Mr. Woodward is fluent in Arabic, Persian, and French and has studied Hebrew and Greek. He is a member of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce-appointed District Export Council for Washington State, the Seattle Rotary Club, the Advisory Board of the Trade Development Alliance of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, the Global Business Advisory Board of Seattle University's Albers School of Business and Economics, is Chair for the Middle East Interest Group of NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and a member of the Taproot Theatre Advisory Board.
Mr. Woodward holds multiple degrees from the University of Washington including a Master of Education in Higher Education with a specialization in Teaching English as a Second Language, a Master of Arts in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics, and a Bachelor of Arts in History.
Commercial Attaché in Seattle, Republic of Turkey
Recep Demir has served for two years as the Commercial Attaché for the Republic of
Previously, Mr. Demir was the Commercial Attaché at the Turkish Consulate in Los
Angeles, and before that he filled the same position at the Embassy of Turkey in
Islamabad, Pakistan. He was the Head of Section in Department of Research and
Assessment, Department of Commerce before being posted to Seattle in 2011.
Mr. Recip was born in 1967. He graduated from Middle East Technical University where
he studies Economics in 1990. He began working in 1992 at the Turkish Prime Ministry
Undersecretariat of Treasury and Foreign Trade. He earned an MA degree in Economics
at New York University in 1998.
DR. NADER NAZEMI
Professor, Cascadia Community College and the University of Washington Bothell
Nader Nazemi was born in Iran. He has been educated in Iran, England and the United
States. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Washington,
specializing in Middle East politics, politics of developing regions and international relations.
Currently he is founding faculty member in Political Science and History at Cascadia
Community College; he also lectures at the University of Washington Bothell. At Cascadia
he chairs the Global Education Committee which aims to enhance global awareness on
campus and in the greater community.