CHINA Town Hall

Join us for the 2023 CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections, organized by the National Committee on United States-China Relations and locally hosted by the University of Minnesota China Center and Global Minnesota.

The program will feature a live webcast with Nicholas Burns, the current U.S. ambassador to China, followed by an on-site discussion with Duncan J. McCampbell, associate professor of international business and law at Metropolitan State University.

Submit your questions for Ambassador Burns.

Free and open to the campus and community. Please RSVP below.


5:45 p.m. — Welcome and recognition of sponsors

6:00 p.m. — Live webcast featuring Nicholas Burns, U.S. ambassador to China

7:00 p.m. — Local speaker Duncan J. McCampbell, associate professor of international business and law at Metropolitan State University

About the Speaker

Nicholas Burns
Nicholas Burns

Nicholas Burns is U.S. Ambassador to China. Nominated by President Biden and confirmed by the Senate, he was sworn into office on December 22, 2021.

As Ambassador, he leads a team of experienced, dedicated, and diverse public servants from 47 U.S. government agencies and sub-agencies at the U.S. Mission in China, including at the Embassy in Beijing and at the American Consulates in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan, and Shenyang.  He oversees the Mission’s interaction with the PRC on the full range of political, security, economic, commercial, consular, and many other issues that shape this critical relationship.  

Ambassador Burns has had a distinguished career in American diplomacy, serving six U.S. Presidents and nine Secretaries of State over 27 years. His State Department roles have included Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, the State Department’s third-ranking official and most senior career diplomat (2005-2008); U.S. Ambassador to NATO (2001-2005); U.S. Ambassador to Greece (1997-2001); and State Department spokesman (1995-1997). Before that, he worked at the National Security Council at the White House (1990-1995) where he served as Special Assistant to President Clinton and Senior Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Affairs and as Director for Soviet Affairs for President George H.W. Bush during the collapse of the USSR.  

Ambassador Burns’ engagement with China also spans decades. He first visited the PRC in 1988, accompanying Secretary of State George Shultz, and then again in 1989 with President George H.W. Bush. He made subsequent visits with Secretaries Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright, including during the handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the PRC in 1997. As Under Secretary of State, he worked with the PRC government on a diverse range of issues, including Afghanistan, North Korea, United Nations sanctions against Iran and U.S. policy in the Indo-Pacific.  As a private citizen, he also created and managed an Aspen Strategy Group policy dialogue with the PRC government’s Central Party School.  

Ambassador Burns has served on the boards of numerous nonprofit organizations, and has received fifteen honorary degrees, the Presidential Distinguished Service Award, and the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award.  

A graduate of Boston College and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Ambassador Burns is currently on a public service leave from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government where he was the Goodman Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations and founded the school’s Future of Diplomacy Project.  

Duncan J. McCampbell
Duncan J. McCampbell

Duncan J. McCampbell is an American lawyer and associate professor of international business and law at Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis. Following a career in private law practice, Prof. McCampbell joined West Publishing (now Thomson Reuters Legal), the world’s largest legal publisher. His work—much of it overseas—involved building new legal publishing businesses in the UK, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Canada, Hong Kong, and Australia. In his last overseas assignment, he was posted to Beijing in 2007 as managing director of TR’s China start-up, Westlaw China. Leaving business for academia, Prof. McCampbell became a tenured associate professor in the College of Management at Metropolitan State, where he teaches undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral courses in law, international business, and marketing, while serving as department chair. He teaches regularly in China, holding visiting scholar appointments at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, South China University of Technology in Guangzhou, and at Huaihua University and Hunan Institute of Science and Technology in Hunan Province, PRC.