Gordon Flake was appointed executive director of the Mansfield Center for Pacific Affairs in February 1999. Prior to his appointment, he was a senior fellow and associate director of the program on conflict resolution at The Atlantic Council of the United States, and he served as director for research and academic affairs at the Korea Economic Institute of America.
“My graduate experience at the David M. Kennedy Center helped solidify my inclination to pursue a career in the international arena. My professors and the various guest speakers [International Forum Series and in classes] brought in to address the combined class came from a variety of fields and further opened a window of perspective and potential.” He also recalls personal moments at “weekly meetings in the ‘war room’ (the Kennedy Center Conference room, where we actually moved beyond trying to apply that week’s episode of Star Trek the Next Generation to international relations); small group discussions of the books we had read that week; the struggle to understand Bruce Bueno DeMesquita’s The War Trap; and hours burrowed in the carrels downstairs. My time in the program was a time of immense intellectual, personal, and spiritual growth.”
Flake travels frequently to Japan, Korea, China, and other countries in Asia as a conference participant and lecturer [he was in Rome while transmitting this by e-mail]. He is a regular contributor on Korean issues in the U.S. and Asian press. He has published extensively on policy issues in Asia and is currently working on a book tentatively entitled Korea 2010.
Born in Rehobeth, New Mexico, he received his BAdegree in Korean from BYU, with a minor in international relations. He also completed his MAat the Kennedy Center. His master’s thesis focused on the economic reforms in Laos.
He lived in Korea for a number of years and speaks both fluent Korean and Laotian. He has four young daughters and is married to Pakayvanh Sisoutham of Vientiane, Laos.