Michael Kantor Discusses "The U.S.-China Relationship: Charting a Path Forward"


The Pardee RAND Graduate School hosted the Honorable Michael Kantor, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative, in a robust discussion surrounding the West’s relationship with China, rebuilding policy expertise in government, and the prospects for a rule-based order in a multipolar world. Considered “arguably the finest trade negotiator in the world,” he was eager to share his decades of experience in a variety of roles and speak directly to the tension between public policy and political reality. The talk was part of the Pardee RAND Distinguished Speaker Roundtable.

Mickey Kantor

Michael "Mickey" Kantor

Michael "Mickey" Kantor concentrates his practice on corporate and financial international transactions. He has extensive experience in market access issues, as well as the expansion of client activities in foreign markets through trade, direct investment, joint ventures, and strategic business alliances.

Prior to joining Mayer Brown, Kantor was the United States Secretary of Commerce (1996-1997) and the United States Trade Representative (1993-1996). He has been called “arguably the finest trade negotiator in the world” (Chambers Global 2006) and is said to be “blessed with fantastic political insights and connections” (Chambers USA 2007). He was recognized in The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers - Trade & Customs 2009. Among the many awards and honors he has received are the following: the Civic Medal of Honor by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Order of the Southern Cross Award by The Government of Brazil, 2001, the William O. Douglas Award by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the Thomas Jefferson Distinguished Public Service Medal from the Center for the Study of the Presidency, the Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award from the Hugh O'Brien Youth Foundation, and Elihu Root Distinguished Lecturer, Council on Foreign Relations.

Angel O'Mahony

Angela O'Mahony

Angela "Angel" O'Mahony is assistant dean for Academic Affairs, Pardee RAND Graduate School, and a senior political scientist at RAND. At Pardee RAND, she has been responsible for implementing the redesigned academic program while also pivoting to remote and hybrid instruction during COVID-19. She teaches courses on policymaking in complex environments and international security.

O'Mahony has led RAND research projects examining security cooperation and defense posture, forecasting conflict trends, assessing multinational interoperability, and projecting public support for terrorism. Methodologically, she has led work on computational social-behavioral modelling for complex environments, and uncertainty-sensitive approaches to understanding decisionmaking. Other projects included work on the national security implications of virtual currency and the integration of women into special operations forces. She was the inaugural winner of RAND's Innovation Award in 2015 for her work on incorporating social media in public policy analysis.

O'Mahony co-edited Social-Behavioral Modeling for Complex Systems, a volume that grew out of DARPA-funded RAND research. She has published a dozen articles in top academic journals examining the implications of international political and economic scrutiny on governments' decisionmaking, the causes and consequences of transnational political behavior, and modeling complex social systems.

Prior to joining RAND, O'Mahony was an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia, where she taught courses on international political economy and economic statecraft. A native Angelena, she received her B.A. in economics and political science from UCLA and her Ph.D. in political science from UCSD.