Introducing the Founders Series: Celebrating 25 Years in LA
Founders Series
March 3, 2020

You have probably heard by now that the Pacific Council is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year—a big and exciting milestone, especially for those who have been involved in the organization since its founding in 1995.

As part of the commemoration, we will publish reflections and stories from and about some of our members and directors who were there at the beginning. Their hard work and determination brought the Pacific Council on International Policy to life, turning it into a renowned West Coast organization dedicated to global affairs within a few short years. Throughout 2020, we will release pieces in the “Founders Series,” published here in the Pacific Council Newsroom.

If you would like to share stories, experiences, or photos from the past 25 years with the Pacific Council, please email us at or share them with us on social media.

Timeline of Pacific Council Accomplishments from 1995-2020: A Retrospective

To kick off the series, we put together a comprehensive timeline of the Pacific Council’s accomplishments over the years, from 1995 to the present. 


Check out the timeline >>


What are your favorite memories with the Pacific Council over the years? Share them with us on Twitter @PacCouncil.

Read all of the articles in our 2020 Founders Series:

The LA Times’ 1995 Interview on Founding the Pacific Council

  • In May 1995, the Los Angeles Times interviewed Dr. Abraham Lowenthal about the founding of the Pacific Council on International Policy in an article titled “Redefining U.S. Foreign Policy by Focusing on the Pacific Rim.” In our 25th year, we share it from the archives.

The Academic Champion: Dr. Susan Shirk

  • As one of the six women who served as founding Directors of the Pacific Council in 1995, Dr. Susan Shirk saw the advantages of being part of the international policy organization early on.

Remembering Robert F. Erburu, Early Pacific Council Leader

  • In this 25th year of the Pacific Council’s history, it is fitting to remember Robert Erburu’s indispensable leadership in establishing and guiding the Pacific Council, writes Pacific Council founding President Emeritus Abraham Lowenthal.

The Foreign Editor: Karen Elliott House

  • Karen Elliott House recalls her experience with the early Pacific Council and what value it has brought to her life and to Los Angeles.

The Local Perspective: Linda Griego

  • The creation of the Pacific Council in 1995 piqued Linda Griego’s interest in international affairs and made it clear to her that LA was destined to become a global city.

Jane Olson: The Pacific Council is a West Coast Institution

  • Jane Olson discusses her role in the early days of the Pacific Council, what role LA can and should play on the international stage, and what she hopes the Council will look like in the years to come.

Steven Sample & USC Officials Helped Build Pacific Council

  • Dr. Steven Sample, former president of the University of Southern California, provost Lloyd Armstrong, and other senior USC officials played an integral role in launching and building the Pacific Council on International Policy, writes president emeritus Abraham Lowenthal.

Yukio Okamoto, Former Council Director: An Appreciation

  • Abraham Lowenthal remembers Yukio Okamoto, a distinguished Japanese diplomat, trusted senior advisor to successive prime ministers of his country, influential international consultant, and a long time Board member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, who recently passed away from COVID-19.

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