Event Details

Join us on April 6 as we welcome Ambassador Rahm Emanuel, the 31st United States Ambassador to Japan, to the Valley of the Sun for a weekend brunch program at the Global Ambassador hotel.

Ambassador Emanuel will speak about the era of transformation that Japan is currently undergoing and the implications for the U.S.-Japan alliance and the broader Indo-Pacific region. From increasing its defense budget from one percent of GDP to two percent, enhancing counterstrike capability, and easing its ban on weapons export, Japan is up-ending decades-old policies once considered sacrosanct. Japan's economy is also booming with the Nikkei breaking 30-year old records, and baseball's Shohei Ohtani to Oscar-winning "The Boy and the Heron," are the rage around the globe, a sign of Japan's rising soft power.

Jack McCain, CEO of Blue Sky Vantage will moderate the conversation and City of Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego will make remarks.

This program is open to PCFR members and invited guests only.


  • Ambassador Rahm Emanuel (United States Ambassador to Japan)

    Ambassador Rahm Emanuel

    United States Ambassador to Japan

    Rahm Emanuel was confirmed in a bipartisan vote as the 31st United States Ambassador to Japan on December 18, 2021. 

    Previously, Ambassador Emanuel was the 55th Mayor of the City of Chicago, a position he held until May 2019. During that time, he made the critical choices necessary to secure Chicago’s future as a global capital.

    As Mayor, the Ambassador added four years to a student’s education. He increased the school day by 75 minutes and added more than 200 hours to the school year, marking the largest single increase in educational time by any city and taking Chicago from having the least educational time of any large school district in the country to being on par with its peers. He implemented universal pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten for every Chicago child, and made Chicago the first city in America to provide free community college.

    The Mayor’s comprehensive public safety strategy focused on expanded prevention programs for at-risk youth, smarter policing strategies, and empowering parents and communities to reduce violence. The Ambassador made it a priority to bring global companies to the city, helping Chicago to lead the U.S. in corporate relocations and foreign direct investment for seven consecutive years. His administration invested in infrastructure, public transportation, open space, and cultural attractions. From the $8.5 billion O’Hare International Airport modernization program that is cementing Chicago’s status as a global leader in travel, tourism, and trade to the development of the iconic 1.25-mile Chicago Riverwalk, the City’s investments are creating thousands of good-paying jobs and making Chicago a better place to live, work, and play.

    Prior to becoming Mayor, from November 2008 until October 2010, Ambassador Emanuel served as President Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff. In addition to being the President’s top advisor, the Ambassador helped the Obama administration secure the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    Ambassador Emanuel was elected four times as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois’s 5th Congressional District (2002-2008). As Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Emanuel helped pass legislation to raise the minimum wage and authored the Great Lakes Restoration Act.

    From 1993 to 1998, Ambassador Emanuel was a key member of President Bill Clinton’s administration, rising to serve as Senior Advisor to the President for Policy and Politics. During this time, Emanuel served as a legislative liaison to Congress and spearheaded efforts to pass several of President Clinton’s signature achievements, most notably the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, and the historic Balanced Budget Act, which created the Children’s Health Insurance Program that expanded health care coverage to 10 million children. The Ambassador also worked closely with President Joseph R. Biden Jr., then a U.S. Senator, to shepherd the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 through Congress.

    As a former Senior Counselor at Centerview Partners and former Managing Director at Wasserstein Perella & Co., Emanuel brings a depth of financial experience to the post.

    Ambassador Emanuel graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1981 and received a Master’s Degree in Speech and Communication from Northwestern University in 1985. He is married to Amy Rule, and they have three children.

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  • Mayor Kate Gallego (Mayor at City of Phoenix)

    Mayor Kate Gallego

    Mayor at City of Phoenix

    Mayor Kate Gallego has a vision for Phoenix: she sees it as a place that is vibrant and growing, and one where every person is treated with dignity and respect.

    Mayor Gallego is a strong advocate for smart business growth and investment – she recently helped land the city’s largest-ever business development deal, a $40 billion semiconductor manufacturing plant that will bring significant economic development for decades to come. She is leading the city to global status as a leader in bioscience, technology, research, and advanced manufacturing.

    The mayor is also leading Phoenix t​o meet its goal to become the most sustainable desert city in the United States. She has fostered investments in cool solutions, including the nation’s first, publicly funded Office of Heat Response and Mitigation; launched the city’s successful cool pavement pilot; and led the charge toward building the necessary EV infrastructure to support a sustainable future.

    Mayor Gallego is the second elected female mayor in Phoenix history a​nd one of the youngest big city mayors in the United States. In November 2020, she was returned to office with the highest number of votes ever cast for a mayoral candidate in Phoenix.

    A graduate of Harvard University, she earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. She was elected to the Phoenix City Council in 2013, representing south Phoenix and the city’s downtown core. Prior professional pursuits include strategic planning and economic development for one of Arizona’s largest utility companies and service in state government, as part of the governor’s team.

    Mayor Kate Gallego enjoys a desert hike and a good read. She is mom to seven-year-old Michael.​

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  • Jack McCain (CEO of Blue Sky Vantage)

    Jack McCain

    CEO of Blue Sky Vantage

    Jack McCain is the CEO of Blue Sky, where he leads a team that connects governments and business to strategic American industries. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy (BS) and Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service (MA), as well as a reserve aviator for the United States Navy. Prior to joining Blue Sky he worked as a Search and Rescue pilot, senior instructor of leadership at the United States Naval Academy, and an Afghan Hand, flying Blackhawk helicopters alongside Afghan pilots in Kandahar and Helmand. After leaving the military, he joined American Airlines as their Director of Government Affairs, serving in the role for four years until joining Blue Sky. He is also a serving member of the Board of Trustees at the McCain Institute and the Naval Academy Board of Visitors.

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  • Dr. Christine K. Wilkinson (Senior Vice President and Secretary at Arizona State University)

    Dr. Christine K. Wilkinson

    Senior Vice President and Secretary at Arizona State University

    Dr. Christine K. Wilkinson is the Senior Vice President and Secretary of the University; ASU Alumni Association President and CEO overseeing programs, services and outreach to 600,000+ alums; and Managing Director, Trustees of ASU. Among her other executive roles, Dr. Wilkinson has served as the vice president of student affairs and the university’s interim athletic director on three separate occasions. She is a tenured faculty member in the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation, Mary Lou Fulton Teacher College.

    Her current community engagement includes serving on the following boards: Valley of the Sun United Way, Japanese American National Museum Governors, and Pat Tillman Foundation. She is chair of the Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center and past president of the Arizona Business Leaders Association. Dr. Wilkinson is also on the Arizona Educational Foundation Advisory Board. She is a member of the Arizona Women’s Forum, Charter 100 and ASU Women & Philanthropy.

    Dr. Wilkinson was inducted into the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame as the first Living Legacy in education and received the Most Admired Leader Lifetime Achievement award from the Phoenix Business Journal, received the Tempe Community Council’s Don Carlos Humanitarian Award and was selected as one of the Most Influential Business Women by the AZ Business Magazine and Woman of Achievement honoree by In Business Magazine. She also has received the Tempe Business Woman of the Year from the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, the Valley Leadership Woman of the Year, the CASE Crystal Apple Award, and additional community awards for leadership and service. Her educational background includes: BA in Education with distinction from ASU, a MA in Education, Counseling Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley, and a PhD in Higher Education Administration from ASU.

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The Global Ambassador

4360 East Camelback Road
Phoenix, Arizona

If you have any questions please contact Samuel Richardson

Contact Organizer

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PCFR Members
Member Price $50
ASU Affiliates
Standard Price $50
Invited Guest
Standard Price $50
Table Sponsor
Standard Price $1,000