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China Town Hall

CHINA Town Hall connects leading China experts with Americans around the country for a national conversation on the implications of China’s rise on U.S.-China relations and its impact on our towns, states, and  nation.

The University of Tennessee is proud to join a range of institutions and community groups, colleges and universities, trade and business associations, and world affairs councils, in partnering with National Committee on U.S. China Relations, to bring this important national conversation to local communities around America.

2023 China Town Hall

The Tennessee World Affairs Council will host the annual China Town Hall in association with the National Council on U.S.-China Relations (NCUSCR) and the University of Tennessee Knoxville Center for Global Engagement, on October 11, 2023. TNWAC will present an opening conversation with Mr. Jeremy Goldkorn moderated by President Emeritus Patrick Ryan, from 6:30-7:00 p.m. ET., followed by a presentation by Ambassador Nicholas Burns from 7:00-8:00 p.m. ET.

Goldkorn is editor-in-chief of The China Project, a daily newspaper about China that publishes a website, email newsletters, and the Sinica Podcast, which Goldkorn co-founded in 2010. Burns is United States Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China since December 2021. As America’s top diplomat in Beijing, Burns is not only the eyes and ears for the White House and State Department on all aspects of America’s relationship with China, but he also works to advance the U.S. agenda in China and the Pacific.

For more information, visit TNWAC Website.

2022 China Town Hall

Partners: Baker Center, Haslam College of Business, and TN-China Network
The local panel starts at 8:00 PM EDT

Lulu Lim Copeland

Lulu Lim Copeland, Executive Director, TN-China Network

Lulu Lim Copeland is the Executive Director of TN-China Network and an independent economic and workforce development consultant. She was Executive Director of Economic and Workforce Development at Chattanooga State Community College, where she worked on workforce development projects for more than 20 years.

Lulu is very active in the Chattanooga-area engineering and business communities. She leads the annual Chattanooga Engineers Week events.

Lulu is currently serving as Vice President of Program and Communication for Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s International Business Council. Lulu is the Tennessee state lead for Million Women Mentors, an international movement promoting STEM careers for women of all ages.

Sara Hsu

Sara Hsu, Professor, University of Tennessee, Supply Chain Management

Sara Hsu is a Clinical Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Prior to that, she was an Associate Professor of Economics at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Dr. Hsu specializes in Chinese supply chains, fintech, economic development, informal finance, and shadow banking.

John McDevitt

John McDevitt, Vice President of Supplier Management, Radio Systems Corporation

Mr. McDevitt has been leading Supply Chains for over 30 years and is VP of Supplier Management at Radio Systems Corporation located in Knoxville, Tn. John has responsibility for Global Sourcing, Demand, and Supply Planning and has teams in Knoxville, SE Asia, Ireland, and Australia. Radio Systems is one of the top providers of Pet Products in the world with over nine product categories generating over $750M in sales annually. John has held various Supply Chain roles in Production and Manufacturing Engineering at several fortune 500 companies like Exxon, UNISYS, Mars Electronics, etc. John is a certified Instructor with ASCM (APICS) and is currently serving as Past President of the East Tennessee ASCM Chapter. He is also a long-term mentor in the TnAchieves program helping High School graduates go through the college entry process.

Dwight Nordstrom

Dwight Nordstrom, Chairman of Pacific Resources International

With over 30 years of experience doing business in China, Dwight serves as the Chairman of PRI. He gives leadership to PRI’s 28 equity investments, and 5,000+ employees, and offers his expertise in consulting with new business ventures entering the China market.

He is an expert in sourcing team build-out, and performance evaluations for suppliers and has built local Chinese engineer-to-engineer sales teams and made equipment decision buys for multiple factories.

Krista Wiegand

Krista Wiegand, Director, University of Tennessee, Global Security Program

Dr. Krista E. Wiegand (Ph.D. Duke University) is Director of Global Security at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and Professor of Political Science at the University of Tennessee. Wiegand specializes in international conflict management and political violence, territorial and maritime disputes, mediation, rebel group violence, and East Asian security. She has written three books – The Peaceful Resolution of Territorial and Maritime Disputes (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2023), Enduring Territorial Disputes: Strategies of Bargaining, Coercive Diplomacy, and Settlement (University of Georgia Press, 2011) and Bombs and Ballots: Governance by Islamic Terrorist and Guerrilla Groups (Routledge, 2010) and many journal articles and book chapters. She is co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal International Studies Quarterly.

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2021 China Town Hall | Watch the recording

Partners: Department of History, Asian Studies Program, TN-China Network

The local panel starts at 8:00 PM EDT

Alan Enslen, Partner at Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP

Alan Enslen is a Partner in the Washington, DC office of Womble Bond Dickinson, where he represents clients in international trade and national security matters, government investigations and regulatory enforcement actions, and global trade disputes in the commercial and defense sectors.  His practice is typically focused on export controls, economic/trade sanctions programs, CFIUS foreign direct investment national security reviews, and global anti-corruption laws.  Alan received his LL.M., with distinction, in International Trade Law from the Georgetown University Law Center and is a retired U.S. Army officer.     
Portrait of Virginia Harper Ho

Virginia Harper Ho, Earl B. Shurtz Research Professor, The University of Kansas

Virginia Harper Ho is an Earl B. Shurtz Research Professor of Law at the University of Kansas School of Law. Her research focuses on corporate governance, securities regulation, and sustainable finance in the U.S. and mainland China.  She has been a research fellow at the International Institute of Green Finance of the Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing and a visiting scholar at Sun Yat-Sen University and Zhejiang University. She is a Public Intellectuals Program Fellow of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and received her J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.  
portrait Margaret K. Lewis

Maggie Lewis, Professor of Law, Seton Hall

Margaret K. Lewis is a professor of law at Seton Hall University. Her research focuses on law in China and Taiwan with an emphasis on criminal justice and human rights. Professor Lewis has been a Fulbright senior scholar at National Taiwan University, a visiting professor at Academia Sinica, and a Public Intellectuals Program Fellow with the National Committee on United States-China Relations. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Professor Lewis is currently living in Taipei as a recipient of a Ministry of Foreign Affairs Taiwan Fellowship.
Shellen Wu, Director of Asian Studies at UT; Associate Professor of History
Shellen Wu is an associate professor of history at UT, also the Director of the Asian Studies Program. Wu’s research interests include Modern Chinese History, History of Science, Global History. Wu is particularly interested in imperialism, the global ascendance of science, and how changes in the uses and exploitation of natural resources affected the modern Chinese state and society. She is currently working on a second book on the rise of geopolitical discourse in twentieth century China. 

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China Town Hall Flyer 20202020 China Town Hall

Partners: Department of History, Asian Studies Program, TN-China Network


  • David Parsley, E. Bronson Ingram Professor of Economics and Finance at Vanderbilt University
  • Larry Combs,  Senior Vice President and General Manager for the Jack Daniel’s Global Supply Chain
  • John McDevitt, Sr. Director of Supply Chain Management at Radio Systems Corporation
  • Peter Zysk, Director, and Head of Insight, Asia at the business advisory firm Brunswick Group


2019 China Town Hall

Partners: Department of History, Asian Studies Program, TN-China Network


  • Mr. Waterman Cao, Director of Hardgoods, Radio Systems Co.
  • Dr. Paul Gellert, Director of UTK Global Studies Program
  • Mr. John McDevitt, Sr. Director of Supplier Management, Radio Systems Co.
  • Dr. Yang Zhong, Professor of Political Science and US-China relations

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