Mary Kissel

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Mary Kissel
Mary Kissel by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Kissel in October 2017
Alma materHarvard University (1999)[1]
The Johns Hopkins University
EmployerU.S. Department of State

Mary Elizabeth Kissel is Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, where she provides advice on policy and messaging and conducts special assignments for the Secretary.[2] Previously, she was a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board in New York City, and opinion editor of The Wall Street Journal Asia, based in Hong Kong, responsible for the newspaper's commentary on Asia-Pacific.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Kissel was born in south Florida and is a graduate of the Dreyfoos School of the Arts.[4] She received a bachelor's degree in government from Harvard University, where she performed with the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra and Harvard College Opera.[5][6] She was well known on campus as a marimba virtuosa.[7] She earned a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, studying at the university's Bologna, Italy and Washington DC campuses.[8]

Professional career[edit]

Immediately prior to her State Department appointment, Kissel served as a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board in New York City, where she contributed editorials on foreign affairs for the newspaper's "Review & Outlook" column. She hosted the Journal's popular "Foreign Edition" podcast on foreign policy, where she interviewed and debated guests ranging from former Secretary of State George Shultz to National Security Advisor John Bolton.[9][10] She also served as a Fox News contributor from 2017 to 2018, appearing as a regular panelist on The Journal Editorial Report, Sunday Morning Futures and Mornings With Maria.[11] On Thursday evenings, Kissel co-hosted The John Batchelor Show, a nationally syndicated talk show.[12]

Kissel started her career as a fixed income research and capital markets specialist at Goldman Sachs, an investment bank, in New York City and London.[13]

She joined The Wall Street Journal Asia in Hong Kong in 2004 as a foreign correspondent, and contributed to the Money & Investing section’s Heard in Asia column.[3] From 2005 to 2010, she served as editorial-page editor, responsible for the newspaper's commentary on Asia-Pacific.[3] In that role, she traveled widely throughout the region, profiling the Dalai Lama, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, and Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, among others.[14][15][16][17] She warned against Beijing's military build-up in the Pacific and the Party's repression of Hong Kong's freedoms.[18][19]

Kissel has also written for the Far Eastern Economic Review, The Spectator, and World Affairs.[20][21]

Her television credits include ABC News, CNN, MSNBC and Sky News.[22][23][24][25] Her radio appearances include ABC Radio, Fox News Radio, Radio National and the Larry Kudlow Show, among others.[26][27][28][29]


Kissel was a 2006 Claremont Institute Lincoln Fellow and a Hoover Institution Edwards Media Fellow in 2012 and 2016.[30][31][32] She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[33]

Public appearances[edit]



  • Moderated discussion with former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster for the 2nd Annual Fouad Ajami Memorial Lecture, Hoover Institution, Washington, DC, October 30, 2017.[36]
  • Spoke at the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce, Palm Beach, Florida, September 19, 2017.[37]
  • Moderated discussion with Steve Forbes, Steamboat Institute, August 26, 2017.[38]
  • Spoke at the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation summer gala, Plymouth Notch, Vermont, July 3, 2017.[39]
  • Spoke at the Four Arts Foundation, "Is Asia Lost to China?," Palm Beach, Florida, March 21, 2017.[40]
  • Moderated discussion with Devin Nunes, Steamboat Institute, Monterey Bay, California, February 25, 2017.[41]



  • Moderated panel with Deborah Brautigam, Mark Gilbert, and John McLaughlin, "Strategic Opportunities and Challenges Facing the Next U.S. Administration," Amici di Bologna, Washington DC, October 10, 2015.[44]
  • Moderated discussion with Pascal Lamy, International Tax and Investment Center, Washington DC, April 17, 2015.[45]



  • Spoke at the Sydney Institute, "The U.S. and Australia -- Taking Notes of Conservatives," Sydney, Australia, September 28, 2010.[49]
  • Spoke at Asia Society, "Women Leaders of New Asia," Hong Kong, China, June 14, 2010.[13]
  • Moderated panel at the Milken Institute's Global Conference 2010, "Building China's Middle Class," Beverly Hills, California, April 27, 2010.[50]


  • Moderated panel at the Milken Institute's Global Conference 2009, "Reinventing Asia's Growth Miracle," Beverly Hills, California, April 27, 2009.[51]
  • Spoke at Prime Source Forum, Hong Kong, China, April 1, 2009.[52]



  • Moderated discussion with Michael Kurtz, Qu Hongbin, and Sean Wallace, "Integrating Hong Kong and Mainland China's Financial Markets," Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong, China, Nov. 15, 2007.[54]


  1. ^ Speedie, Sam (December 11, 1997). "Mary Kissel: Mastering the Marimba". Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  2. ^ "Department Press Briefing - November 15, 2018". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  3. ^ a b c The Wall Street Journal biography
  4. ^ Kopf, Aleese. "Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce features diverse lineup of speakers". Palm Beach Daily News. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  5. ^ "HRO Tackles Challenging Program with Striking Results | Arts | The Harvard Crimson". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  6. ^ "Candide (1999)". Harvard College Opera. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  7. ^ "Vibrant Debut for Marimba Virtuoso | Arts | The Harvard Crimson". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  8. ^ National Press Club of Australia Archived 2013-04-19 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Trump's U.N. Speech; The Iran Nuclear Deal Debate from WSJ Opinion: Foreign Edition". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  10. ^ "Listen to the WSJ Opinion: Foreign Edition Episode - George Shultz's Guide to Diplomacy on iHeartRadio". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  11. ^ "Mary Kissel". IMDb. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  12. ^ "Mary Kissel - News, Articles, Biography, Photos -". WSJ. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  13. ^ a b "Delegates". Asia Society | Women Leaders of New Asia. 2010-11-03. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  14. ^ Kissel, Mary (2007-09-22). "21st-Century Monk". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  15. ^ Kissel, Mary (2007-04-21). "Yes, Prime Minister". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  16. ^ Kissel, Mary (2009-06-14). "South Korea's Bulldozer Heads for the White House". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  17. ^ Kissel, Mary (2008-07-26). "It's Déjà Vu for Malaysia's Opposition Leader". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  18. ^ Kissel, Mary (2007-06-29). "Hong Kong's Unhappy Anniversary". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  19. ^ Kissel, Mary (2009-09-21). "Is the U.S. Losing the Pacific?". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  20. ^ ""FAR EASTERN ECONOMIC REVIEW": OCTOBER 2008 ISSUE". Cambridge Forecast Group Blog. 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  21. ^ "What has happened to Trump's 'America first' policy?". The Spectator. 2017-08-26. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  22. ^ "'This Week' Transcript: Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders". ABC News. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  23. ^ " - Transcripts". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  24. ^ Eddie Scarry (2016-04-20), Mary Kissel, Mika Brzezinski fight over Trump, retrieved 2019-04-28
  25. ^ Institute of Public Affairs (2017-08-09), Mary Kissel on The Bolt Report, retrieved 2019-04-28
  26. ^ "Decoding Trump with Mary Kissel". ABC Radio. 2017-08-10. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  27. ^ Pascarella, Matthew (2017-08-03). "(AUDIO) WSJ's Mary Kissel on Mueller Grand Jury: #RussianProbe Looking Like A "Fishing Expedition"". FOX News Radio. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  28. ^ "Mary Kissel on Donald Trump". Radio National. 2017-08-10. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  29. ^ "kudlow 2-24-18 Mary Kissel & Liz Peek: What's Trump gonna do about guns? School guards (ex cops)? Age limit?". Audioboom. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  30. ^ "Lincoln Fellowship Alumni". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  31. ^ "William and Barbara Edwards Media Fellows - 2012" (PDF).
  32. ^ "William and Barbara Edwards Media Fellowships - 2016" (PDF).
  33. ^ "Council on Foreign Relations". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  34. ^ "Identifying and Developing Leaders « Annual Report". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  35. ^ FreeToChooseNetwork. "The Price of Peace Documentary Screening and Discussion by Independent Women's Forum". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  36. ^ "2nd Annual Fouad Ajami Memorial Lecture featuring H.R. McMaster". Hoover Institution. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  37. ^ Wenzler, Elliott. "Wall Street Journal writer in Palm Beach: Media 'unhinged' over Trump". Palm Beach Daily News. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  38. ^ "Shared Files -". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  39. ^ "July 3: Summer Gala". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  40. ^ "Mary Kissel – The Society of the Four Arts". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  41. ^ "The Path Forward: America in 2017 and Beyond - The Steamboat Institute". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  42. ^ Rick Akin (2016-08-31), Field of Fight: How We Can Win the War Against Radical Islam and its Allies, retrieved 2019-04-28
  43. ^ "SAIS Alumni New York: SWAN Distinguished Alumni Dinner with Mary Kissel '04, Executive Editor from the Wall Street Journal | Johns Hopkins Alumni". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  44. ^ "Amici di Bologna 2015". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  45. ^ Lamy, Pascal (2015-04-17). "Global Tax and Trade Policy". Pascal LAMY. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  46. ^ "Public knowledge forum — United States Studies Centre". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  47. ^ "Vali Nasr: The US and China in the Middle East". Asia Society. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  48. ^ "Mary Kissel". National Press Club of Australia. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  49. ^ Staff, T. S. I. "Mary Kissel". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  50. ^ "Global Conference 2010 - Panel: Building China's Middle Class". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  51. ^ "Global Conference 2009 - Program Detail". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  52. ^ "Prime Source Forum > Track Records > Participants List". Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  53. ^ "Japanese Economic Czar Stresses Urgency of Reforms". Asia Society. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  54. ^ "HKGCC - Hong Kong Business Summit". Retrieved 2019-04-28.

External links[edit]