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東京大学公共政策大学院 | GraSPP / Graduate School of Public Policy | The university of Tokyo

A student dialogue with ADB’s General Counsel Thomas Clark on “Challenges and opportunities for 21st-century policymakers” April 26, 2023

Guest Speaker Seminar , Summary

On April 5, 2023, a group of students had an evening dialogue with ADB’s General Counsel Thomas Clark and Principal Counsel Christina Pak on “Challenges and opportunities for 21st-century policymakers” on the Hongo campus.

Message from our guest speakers

“We were impressed with the interest from students from a wide array of countries and academic institutions on the role of development banks such as the ADB in helping Asia and the Pacific region achieve inclusive and sustainable development. Questions included how the ADB and its clients prioritize needs and how projects are implemented in-country. In particular, we appreciated the students’ insights into climate change issues and their observation that more detailed transition plans are required. It was an inspiring night with the students who will positively shape our world and it was great to hear how academic institutions such as The University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Public Policy are equipping students with vital skills and thought leadership to become effective leaders in the 21st century.”

Thomas Michael Clark, General Counsel, and Christina Pak, Principal Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Asian Development Bank

Student feedback

“I believe the talk was very productive, considering how short it was compared to the magnitude of topics and questions to be covered. I came in skeptical of ADB as an organization as I usually am regarding international financial/monetary organizations. I had many questions but unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to tackle them. Fortunately, though, similar questions were discussed and my overall impressions of the ADB were of an organization doing a genuine attempt to aid and cooperate with the countries that most need it and was also positively surprised by the organization’s operations and priorities.”

“I believe it to be the case for most other students, I do wish the best for the organization, General Counsel Thomas M. Clark, and Principal Counsel Christina Pak on the challenges they (and us all) will surely face ahead and thank them for the opportunity of listening to and discussing so closely the affairs in question.”

“The event was an enriching experience that broadened my understanding of the pressing issues ADB member countries are facing and what are the strategies and actions taken by the organization. The fireside chat with ADB leaders provided me with a unique opportunity to share my thoughts and opinions. I look forward to applying the knowledge gained from this seminar to my future studies and career pursuits.”

“Through this lecture, I realized how global leaders or policymakers contribute to achieving SDGs and I was strongly motivated to become a global leader as a member of the next generation who shapes the future world.”

“Thank you, Mr. Clark and Ms. Pak, for taking the time to introduce ADB. I learned ADB’s development efforts have been based on trust built in the relationship over many years through working as partners. For this very reason, ADB has been able to work with people in Asia and the Pacific region from a long-term perspective, while respecting their agencies and overcoming the risks. I was also greatly inspired by Mr. Clark and Ms. Pak’s passion for development. As I just entered GraSPP this April, I became very motivated to study and work hard in the next two years to create positive impacts and a better future society.”