CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Pat Harrison, assistant U.S. secretary for cultural and educational affairs, gave the keynote address yesterday at the International Women's Leadership Conference at Hilton Hawaiian Village.
still likely for center
An assistant U.S. secretary
says the East-West Center
fills a vital global role
Pat Harrison, assistant U.S. secretary of state, predicts the East-West Center should receive continued support from the federal government after Condoleezza Rice becomes secretary of state.
Harrison, assistant secretary for cultural and educational affairs, the department responsible for the East-West Center, was speaking at the inaugural meeting of the International Women's Leadership Conference, sponsored by Gov. Linda Lingle's office.
In a news conference after her address, Harrison, also former national co-chairwoman of the Republican Party, said she expects Rice, President Bush's national security adviser, to continue to support the center on the Manoa campus of the University of Hawaii.
"The East-West Center has become increasingly more and more important," Harrison said.
"I don't want to put words in our future secretary's mouth, but if you look at her background, it is one of international exchange. She was an exchange student, and I think the center is just going to get stronger," Harrison said.
Asked if she would remain with the State Department, Harrison said her appointment for a second term would be up to Rice.
"I serve at the pleasure of the president, and I am committed to serving this president, so it is his decision," Harrison said.
She also described herself as "a huge fan of Linda Lingle."
"She is someone who just appeals to people across the board, and she is getting very high approval ratings," Harrison said.