Lauren Kahea Moriarty, Ambassador (Ret.)Dean of Academics, College of Security Studies
Ambassador Lauren Kahea Moriarty joined the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in 2010 as Dean of Academics after retiring from the U.S. Department of State. She leads an academic program of in-residence and outreach courses, workshops, conferences, and research to educate, empower and connect security practitioners in the Asia-Pacific region.
With three decades of service as a career U.S. diplomat, Ambassador Moriarty has lived and worked twelve years in East and Southeast Asia (China, Taiwan, and Thailand) and seven years in South Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan). From 2003-2005, she was U.S. Ambassador and Senior Official to Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), an international organization whose 21 members accounted for over half of global production and almost half of world trade. As the U.S. Department of State’s Deputy Assistant Secretary-level Coordinator for East Asian and Pacific Economic Issues, Ambassador Moriarty helped coordinate bilateral, multilateral and private reconstruction efforts after tsunamis struck Asia in December 2004. She also worked on the White House task force on pandemic flu response.
From 2001-2003, Ambassador Moriarty led the Office of East African Affairs, which was deeply involved in post-9/11 security issues in the Horn of Africa. She headed the Economic Sections at the U.S. Embassy in China (1999-2001) and the American Institute in Taiwan (1994-1997) and provided critical assistance in negotiations to bring those two, major economies into the World Trade Organization. Ambassador Moriarty also served as deputy head of the American Institute in Taiwan (1997-1998), the institution established by the U.S. Congress to manage relations between the United States and Taiwan.
Earlier in her career, Ambassador Moriarty was Diplomat-in-Residence at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawai’i (1993-1994). From abroad and as Deputy Director of the State Department’s Office of Development Finance (1991-1993), she shaped U.S. policy on lending from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other international financial institutions. She headed task forces that responded to hijackings and air plane crashes, worked on secure trade and customs issues, and (in 1979-1980) was a member of the Khmer Emergency Group.
Ambassador Moriarty holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Hawai’i and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy, with emphasis in food policy, international trade, and Asia, from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. Among her many awards are the U.S. Secretary of State’s Award for Career Achievement and the State Department’s top award for leadership and mentoring. Her personal areas of expertise and interest include international trade and finance, multilateral negotiations, whole of government policy coordination, and the role of religious leaders in public policy. Ambassador Moriarty was the first U.S. Ambassador of Native Hawaiian ancestry. She has taught at the secondary level and served on school boards and has always been passionate about the importance of education.