March 24, 2023
U.S. diplomat Joshua Shen of the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka, left, and Prof. Patrick Mendis.
U.S. diplomat Joshua Shen of the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka, left, and Prof. Patrick Mendis.

BOSTON — American sinologist Dr. Patrick Mendis, a Rajawali senior fellow of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, is on an extensive lecture tour in Asia and the United States.

An award-winning alumnus of the University of Minnesota, Mendis is concurrently a visiting fellow of international studies at Peking University and a distinguished visiting professor of international politics at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China.   

To celebrate the President’s Day, he was invited by the United States Embassy in Sri Lanka to give a lecture on our Founding Fathers and their commercial vision for the world at the American Center in Colombo. Mendis is a commissioner to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO at the State Department. It is an appointment by the Obama administration.

During his travel, Mendis also met with President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka. They both grew-up in Polonnaruwa, the medieval capital of Sri Lanka. In 2013, then Cabinet Minister Sirisena was the recipient of the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Award in Health.

The professor also spoke about the importance of Sri Lankan Diaspora in national development at a public lecture organized by the International Alert, a London-based charity in Colombo.

The Lanka Monthly Digest, the leading business magazine of Sri Lanka, interviewed him on changing nature of Sirisena government’s relations between China and the United States. Author of several books, Mendis has written widely on Sri Lanka’s strategic importance to Beijing and Washington.

After visiting Thailand, he traveled to Inner Mongolia in China. For his research, Mendis consulted with leading scholars at Peking and Tsinghua Universities in Beijing. He gave a series of lectures and seminars at the Shandong University in Jinan on emerging Sino-American issues in the South China Sea.

Mendis also lectured on President Barack Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and President Xi Jinping’s One-Belt, One-Road (OBOR) Strategy at Harvard University. His next speaking engagement is on April 5 at the prestigious Lewis and Clarke College in Portland, Oregon.

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