Tea Leaves Podcast

© 2021 The Asia Group

October 12, 2021

John Brennan on U.S. Partnerships and Intelligence in the Indo-Pacific Region

Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan led the CIA from 2013 to 2017, following four years as assistant to President Obama for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. A key decision-maker on many of the country’s most critical national security matters, Mr. Brennan played a central role in efforts to counter international extremism, U.S. policy in Syria and the fight against ISIS, and the Iran deal. Mr. Brennan served six U.S. presidents, and in 2003 became the founding director of the CIA Terrorist Threat Integration Center. In this episode, John offered insights from his nearly four decades of experience in the CIA, commenting on the Afghanistan withdrawal and its implications for regional security, the role of the Quad and other U.S. partnerships in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and the CIA’s response to the unique intelligence challenges posed by China.

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September 24, 2021

Dr. Michael J. Green on the Quad Summit and Suga's Successor

Dr. Michael J. Green is senior vice president for Asia and Japan Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and director of Asian Studies at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Previously, Dr. Green served on the National Security Council staff from 2001 through 2005, first as director for Asian affairs, and then as special assistant to the president for national security affairs and senior director for Asia. Today we are lucky to work with Mike at The Asia Group, where he is a senior advisor. In this episode, Mike and Rexon delved into Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s resignation, the race for leadership of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the AUKUS security pact, and the first in-person Quad Leaders Summit.

You can find a full video of this episode at www.youtube.com/wSvkY8tzvEq21kNOjYILXQ

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September 8, 2021

Shweta Rajpal Kohli of Sequoia India on Bridging Innovation and Regulation

Shweta Rajpal Kohli is Chief Public Policy Officer, Sequoia India and Southeast Asia. She advises the fund’s Indian and Southeast Asian portfolio companies on regulatory risks and engages policymakers on matters related to India’s startup ecosystem. Prior to joining Sequoia, Shweta was the head of public policy for India and South Asia at Uber, and then at Salesforce, following a two-decade career as a leading business journalist and TV news anchor. With 2021 projected to see a record of around USD 20 billion invested in Indian startups, Shweta and Rexon discussed the tremendous opportunities in India’s innovation ecosystem, including in the FinTech, EdTech, and enterprise tech sectors. They also weighed the regulatory challenges surrounding data localization and overseas listing for Indian startups, and Shweta offered advice for CEOs of multinational tech companies as they navigate India’s evolving policy environment.

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August 23, 2021

How PichaEats Empowers Kuala Lumpur’s Refugee Community Through Food

PichaEats is a Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia-based social enterprise in the food industry, focused on supporting the city’s large refugee community. PichaEats partners with refugee chefs to cook and package meals based on the chefs’ personal recipes, and sells and delivers those meals to individuals and catered events across the city. On this episode we spoke with Kim Lim, who alongside co-founders Suzanne Ling and Lee Swee Lin transformed PichaEats from a college service project into a self-sustaining business that has delivered more than 350,000 meals and partnered with 35 refugee chefs. Kim shared moving stories about the displaced individuals with whom PichaEats has partnered, and discussed PichaEats’ growth path and strategic vision, the challenges of running a social enterprise through COVID-19, and the status of refugees in Malaysia. She also shared some juicy details about the biryani, lamb-stuffed eggplant, and chicken mandi that have made PichaEats famous.

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August 8, 2021

Anna Fifield on What Drives Kim Jong-un

Anna Fifield was Beijing bureau chief for The Washington Post from 2018 to 2020, before which she covered the Korean Peninsula and Japan as the Post’s Tokyo bureau chief from 2014 to 2018. Anna is the author of The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant Comrade Kim Jong Un, and an authority on North Korean society and politics, having visited the country a dozen times to report on the Kim regime. She has also traveled across Asia to interview North Korean defectors, giving her rare insight into the lives of ordinary people in North Korea. Anna now lives in her home country of New Zealand, where she is the editor of the Dominion Post. Anna painted a rare portrait covering the totality of North Korean politics and society, including her analysis of Kim Jong-un’s leadership, North Korea’s nuclear program and the prospects for denuclearization, China’s relationship with the Kim regime, the state of human rights in North Korea and the lives of the North Korean people, and more.

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