U.S. Foreign Policy in Southeast Asia: A Conversation with Derek Mitchell
Please join the Asian Studies Program for a discussion with Derek Mitchell, President of the National Democratic Institute and former U.S. Ambassador to Burma. He will be discussing U.S. Foreign Policy in Southeast Asia and the future of U.S. regional engagement.
Derek Mitchell is the current President of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) since September 2018.
From 2012-2016, Mitchell served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Burma). He was America’s first ambassador to the country in 22 years. From 2011-12, he served as the U.S. Department of State’s first Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma, with the rank of ambassador.
Prior to this appointment, Mitchell served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Asian and Pacific Security Affairs (APSA), in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In that capacity, he spent six months as acting APSA Assistant Secretary of Defense, and was responsible for overseeing the Defense Department’s security policy in Northeast, Southeast, South, and Central Asia. For his service, he received the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Distinguished Public Service in August 2011.
From 2001 to 2009, Mitchell served as Senior Fellow and Director of the Asia Division of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
From 1997 to 2001, he served as Special Assistant for Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Mitchell was the principal author of the Department of Defense’s 1998 East Asia Strategy Report, the last such report produced by DoD.
Mitchell began his work in Washington as a foreign policy assistant in the office of Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) from 1986-88.
Mitchell has authored numerous books, articles, policy reports, and opinion pieces on international affairs. He is the coauthor of China: The Balance Sheet—What the World Needs to Know Now about the Emerging Superpower (2006), and China and the Developing World: Beijing’s Strategy for the 21st Century (2007).
Mitchell received a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Virginia. He was a visiting scholar at Peking University in 2007. He speaks Mandarin Chinese proficiently.