Building U.S.-Indonesia Mutual Understanding Since 1994

The First Year of the Trump Presidency: Assessment and Outlook for 2018

February 7, 2018 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm UTC+7

Sequis Center Auditorium

Sequis Center, 11th Floor, Jl. Jendral Sudirman Kav 71, Central Jakarta

Organized By


cordially invites you to a Special Open Forum on:


The First Year of the Trump Presidency:

Assessment and Outlook for 2018




Wednesday, February 7, 2018 

13:30 – 15:30

(Registration starts at 13:00)



Sequis Center Auditorium

Sequis Center, 11th Floor*

Jl. Jendral Sudirman Kav 71, Central Jakarta

*Parking is available at Graha CIMB Niaga


President Trump’s first year has been eventful, filled with head-spinning developments that constitute a sharp break from past U.S. policies, practices, and tone over several administrations. Over the past year, the U.S. President, as he pledged during his campaign, has adopted an ‘America First’ approach in economic and foreign policy, as shown by his decisions to withdraw from the TPP and the Paris Climate Accords. He succeeded late last year in passing a far-reaching and controversial new tax code, and has cut down regulatory restrictions for businesses in the US, although his earlier effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act was unsuccessful. He has taken an uncompromising stance on preventing North Korea’s gaining nuclear weapons production and delivery capability, outlined a strategic vision for protecting the American people in his recently released National Security Strategy, and made a controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The style of governmental decision making, and of communicating with the public and press, have markedly changed as well.

2018 will be a pivotal year. The United States will conduct its legislative bodies’ midterm elections. Also known as a ‘wave election’, midterm elections have been a determining factor of how the United States will fare nationally and internationally in the second half of the sitting presidency. The U.S. will also participate in a series of important international summits, including the G-7, G-20, NATO, and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). President Trump’s decisions on the U.S. stance at the international summits will affect many important global issues. As concerns Asia, President Trump’s visit in late 2017 reaffirmed the region’s importance to the US; questions remain as to policies his administration will implement in 2018.

As we begin 2018, it’s timely to reflect on how has President Trump translated his ‘America First’ approach in terms of his economic, trade, investment and foreign policies? What are the factors that influenced President Trump’s rise to power and shaped policies he’s adopted in the administration’s first year? It is also timely to consider how President Trump’s policies and current priorities may affect issues of concern to Asia, both public and private sectors, for 2018 and to take an early look at the upcoming 2018 US midterm elections.

To discuss these questions, USINDO is delighted to host two experts on U.S. policy and how it is perceived in Southeast Asia: Mr. Steven Okun, Founder & CEO, APAC Advisors, a renowned strategic advisory firm focusing on business and investment, government relations, policy and sustainability and Mr. Aaron Connelly, Research Fellow, Lowy Institute, a recognized independent international policy think tank based in Sydney, Australia, to share their insights and analyses in this Open Forum. This event will be moderated by Mr. Theo L. Sambuaga, Indonesian Co-Chair of USINDO, President of Lippo Group, and Former Head of Commission on Foreign Affairs and Defense, DPR RI. Please join us for this informative event.


To register, please kindly RSVP HERE or email to, no later than February 6, 2018 at 5:00 PM to attend this Open Forum.


Speakers’ Bio:

Steven Okun is the founder and CEO of APAC Advisors, a renowned strategic advisory firm focusing on business and investment, government relations, policy and sustainability. He also serves as the ASEAN Representative for EMPEA, the global industry association for private capital in emerging markets. He served in the administration of President Bill Clinton from 1994-1999, and worked on numerous political campaigns, including the US Presidential campaigns in 1988, 1996 and 2000. He serves as a co-host on CNBC to provide expert analysis on US politics and the intersection of government and business, as well as providing the same for Channel NewsAsia. He guest lectures at universities across Asia, is frequently quoted in media, as well as having been published in The Straits Times and The Business Times.

Mr. Okun was elected as both the Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers of Commerce, and has lived and worked in Singapore since 2003. He is a Senior Advisor to global consultancy McLarty Associates which works with clients at the nexus of business, investment and policy.

Mr. Okun received his BA from the University of Virginia and his JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Aaron L. Connelly is a Research Fellow in the East Asia Program at the Lowy Institute, a recognized independent international policy think tank based in Sydney, Australia, where he focuses on Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia and Myanmar, and the US role in the region. Prior to joining the Lowy Institute, Mr. Connelly worked at Albright Stonebridge Group, a commercial diplomacy consultancy headquartered in Washington. As a director at the firm, he assisted companies and non-profits in understanding political risks to investments and operations in Southeast Asia. As special assistant to the chair of the firm, former US National Security Advisor Samuel R. Berger, Mr. Connelly collaborated closely with Mr. Berger on foreign policy matters, conducting research for and representing him in a variety of outside initiatives, including those regarding the US role in East Asia.

Previously, he worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, as a Fulbright scholar and visiting fellow at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta, and a consultant to US firms operating in Southeast Asia with BowerGroupAsia.

Mr. Connelly earned a master’s degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree from the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He also studied philosophy, politics and economics at Pembroke College, Oxford.