Kurt M. Campbell

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Kurt Campbell
National Security Council Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific
Assumed office
January 20, 2021
PresidentJoe Biden
Preceded byPosition established
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
In office
June 29, 2009 – February 8, 2013
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byChristopher R. Hill
Succeeded byDaniel R. Russel
Personal details
Kurt Michael Campbell

(1957-08-27) August 27, 1957 (age 65)
Fresno, California, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
(m. 1998)

Kurt Michael Campbell, AO, CNZM (born August 27, 1957[1]) is an American diplomat and businessman, who formerly served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Obama administration. He is the chairman and CEO of The Asia Group, LLC,[2] which he founded in February 2013.

Campbell was appointed White House "Asia co-ordinator" or "Asia Tsar" on the first day of the Biden administration, with the official title of National Security Council Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific.[3][4]


Kurt Michael Campbell was born on August 27, 1957.[5] He received a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego, a certificate in music and political philosophy from the University of Yerevan in Soviet Armenia, and a doctorate in international relations from Brasenose College, Oxford, on a Marshall Scholarship.[6]


Campbell served in several capacities in government, including as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia and the Pacific, Director on the National Security Council Staff, Deputy Special Counselor to the President for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and as a White House fellow at the United States Department of the Treasury.[6]

Campbell served as an officer in the U.S. Navy on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in the Chief of Naval Operations Special Intelligence Unit.[6] He was also associate professor of public policy and international relations at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and Assistant Director of the Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.[6]

Campbell was hired[when?] at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think-tank as one of its senior vice-presidents, as director of its International Security Program, and as its Henry A. Kissinger Chair in National Security Policy.[6]

Campbell went on to become the chief executive officer and co-founder of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), a national security think tank launched in January 2007.[7]

On June 26, 2009, Campbell was confirmed by the Obama administration as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. His last day in office was February 8, 2013.[6]

Campbell also served as director of the Aspen Strategy Group and the chairman of the editorial board of the Washington Quarterly, and was the founder and principal of StratAsia, a strategic advisory company focused on Asia.[6]

Campbell is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Wasatch Group, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.[6]

In 2018-2019, Campbell was Kissinger Fellow at the McCain Institute for International Leadership.[8]

Campbell was appointed "Asia co-ordinator" or "Asia Tsar" on the first day of the Biden administration.[3][4]


As author[edit]

  • The Pivot: The Future of American Statecraft in Asia, Kurt M. Campbell, (NYC: Twelve, 2016) ISBN 978-1455568956
  • Difficult Transitions: Foreign Policy Troubles at the Outset of Presidential Power, Kurt M. Campbell and James B. Steinberg, (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 2008)
  • Hard Power: The New Politics of National Security, Kurt M. Campbell and Michael E. O'Hanlon, (Washington, D.C.: Basic Books, 2006)
  • To Prevail: An American Strategy for the Campaign against Terrorism, Kurt M. Campbell and Michèle Flournoy, Principal Authors, Center for Strategic and International Studies (Washington, D.C.: CSIS Press, 2001)

As editor[edit]

As opinionist[edit]

  • At the outset of his influence on the Biden administration, he saw the D10 club of countries as "most urgent for questions of trade, technology, supply chains, and standards", and militarily sought to expand "the so-called Quad".[9]

Honors and awards[edit]

Campbell received the Department of Defense Medals for Distinguished Public Service and for Outstanding Public Service.[citation needed]

Campbell co-chaired the executive committee of the 9-11 Pentagon Memorial Fund.[citation needed]

On 25 November 2013, Campbell was appointed an Honorary Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) For service to strengthening bilateral relations between Australia and the United States of America.[10] In the 2014 New Year Honours, Campbell was appointed an honorary Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to New Zealand-United States relations.[11] On 15 October 2013, Campbell was appointed Order of Brilliant Star with Special Grand Cordon for services to Taiwan-United States relations.[12]


  1. ^ "California Birth Index | CaliforniaBirthIndex.org". www.californiabirthindex.org. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
  2. ^ "The Asia Group". Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b Smith, Nicola (20 January 2021). "Joe Biden promotes foreign policy tsar in sign of 'pivot to Asia'". Telegraph Media Group Limited.
  4. ^ a b Fisher, Lucy (28 January 2021). "Britain could join 'Asian Nato' under proposal to expand its membership to counter China". Telegraph Media Group Limited.
  5. ^ "Standard Chartered plc". Companies House. Retrieved 29 August 2015.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "Kurt M Campbell". Harvard Kennedy School. Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  7. ^ Campbell, K. M., Patel, N. and V. J. Singh, 2008. “The Power of Balance: America in iAsia.” ‘’Center for a New American Security’’.
  8. ^ Kissinger Fellowship Taps Kurt Campbell to Tackle China "Business Wire" January 29, 2018
  9. ^ Campbell, Kurt M.; Doshi, Rush (12 January 2021). "How America Can Shore Up Asian Order A Strategy for Restoring Balance and Legitimacy". Foreign Affairs.
  10. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 March 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "New Year honours list 2014". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  12. ^ "President Ma bestows Order of Brilliant Star with Special Grand Cordon on former US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt M. Campbell". Office of the President, ROC (Taiwan). 15 October 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2021.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Succeeded by