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Mary Kissel

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Mary Kissel
Kissel in October 2017
Alma materHarvard University (1999)[1]
Johns Hopkins University

Mary Elizabeth Kissel is former Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.[2] Previously, she was a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board in New York City, and editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal Asia, based in Hong Kong.[3] She is currently Executive Vice President and Senior Policy Advisor at Stephens Inc.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Kissel was born in south Florida and is a graduate of the Dreyfoos School of the Arts.[5] She received a bachelor's degree in government from Harvard University, where she studied under Russian historian Richard Pipes. She was well known on campus as a marimba virtuosa, and performed with the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra and Harvard College Opera.[6][7][8] She later 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.[9]

Professional career[edit]

Kissel served from October 2018 to January 2021 as Senior Advisor to Secretary Pompeo, where she developed a reputation for her hawkish stance on U.S.-China policy.[10] She advocated for China's persecuted Uyghurs, supported the Hong Kong democracy movement,[11] and pushed for closer U.S. ties to Taiwan.[12][13] She also worked closely with Harvard Law School professor Mary Ann Glendon to launch the Secretary's Commission on Unalienable Rights.

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 was chief foreign affairs writer 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 the late Secretary of State George Shultz to former National Security Advisor John Bolton.[14][15] 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.[16] On Thursday evenings, Kissel co-hosted The John Batchelor Show, a nationally syndicated talk show.[17]

Kissel started her career as a fixed income research and capital markets analyst at Goldman Sachs in New York City and London.[18]

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 the Asia-Pacific region.[3] In that role, she traveled widely, profiling the Dalai Lama, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, and Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, among others.[19][20][21][22] She warned against Beijing's military build-up in the Pacific and the Party's repression of Hong Kong's freedoms.[23][24]

Kissel has also written for the Far Eastern Economic Review, The Spectator, Le Spectacle du Monde, and World Affairs[25][26] and appeared on television networks and podcasts around the world, including ABC News, CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, MSNBC, RTHK, and Sky News.[27][28][29][30] Her radio appearances include ABC Radio, Fox News Radio, Radio National and the Larry Kudlow Show, among others.[31][32][33][34]


Kissel was a 2006 Claremont Institute Lincoln Fellow and a Hoover Institution Edwards Media Fellow in 2012 and 2016.[35][36][37] She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations[38] and host of The Nixon Seminar on Conservative Realism and National Security.[39]


  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. ^ "Mary Kissel | Corporate". Stephens. Retrieved 2022-05-19.
  5. ^ Kopf, Aleese. "Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce features diverse lineup of speakers". Palm Beach Daily News. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  6. ^ "HRO Tackles Challenging Program with Striking Results | Arts | The Harvard Crimson". www.thecrimson.com. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  7. ^ "Candide (1999)". Harvard College Opera. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  8. ^ "Vibrant Debut for Marimba Virtuoso | Arts | The Harvard Crimson". www.thecrimson.com. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  9. ^ National Press Club of Australia Archived 2013-04-19 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Seeing China Clearly". American Purpose. 2021-04-14. Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  11. ^ Luke de Pulford 裴倫德 [@lukedepulford] (November 8, 2020). "Another niggle. There's so much credit claiming out there on US #HK policy. If we knew half of what this person has done, no one else would dare speak. 👇 This is @marykissel, former #HK resident, and true friend of the city. Want someone to thank? Thank her. 🇭🇰🇺🇸 https://t.co/rUCnlG8Xzx https://t.co/83TeNnMnLG" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 2020-11-08. Retrieved 2021-06-14 – via Twitter.
  12. ^ Luke de Pulford 裴倫德 [@lukedepulford] (January 9, 2021). "🔥WOW. The US has just massively upgraded their relationship with Taiwan. Nobody did more than @marykissel to make this happen. The UK should follow. The Taiwanese aren't even allowed to call their London office an Embassy. Why? You guessed it folks. https://t.co/rn4DnIV3FP" (Tweet). Retrieved 2021-06-14 – via Twitter.
  13. ^ Benedict Rogers 羅傑斯 [@benedictrogers] (January 9, 2021). "A truly superb decision #Taiwan is a vibrant democracy, an exemplary role-model in fighting #COVID19 & a true ally This relationship upgrade is absolutely right - I pay tribute to @SecPompeo & his amazing advisor @marykissel for this historic decision https://t.co/6p5eNJhyrn" (Tweet). Archived from the original on 2021-01-11. Retrieved 2021-06-14 – via Twitter.
  14. ^ "Trump's U.N. Speech; The Iran Nuclear Deal Debate from WSJ Opinion: Foreign Edition". www.stitcher.com. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  15. ^ "Listen to the WSJ Opinion: Foreign Edition Episode - George Shultz's Guide to Diplomacy on iHeartRadio". www.iheart.com. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  16. ^ "Mary Kissel". IMDb. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  17. ^ "Mary Kissel - News, Articles, Biography, Photos - WSJ.com". WSJ. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  18. ^ "Delegates". Asia Society | Women Leaders of New Asia. 2010-11-03. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  19. ^ Kissel, Mary (2007-09-22). "21st-Century Monk". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  20. ^ Kissel, Mary (2007-04-21). "Yes, Prime Minister". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  21. ^ Kissel, Mary (2009-06-14). "South Korea's Bulldozer Heads for the White House". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  22. ^ Kissel, Mary (2008-07-26). "It's Déjà Vu for Malaysia's Opposition Leader". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  23. ^ Kissel, Mary (2007-06-29). "Hong Kong's Unhappy Anniversary". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  24. ^ Kissel, Mary (2009-09-21). "Is the U.S. Losing the Pacific?". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  25. ^ ""FAR EASTERN ECONOMIC REVIEW": OCTOBER 2008 ISSUE". Cambridge Forecast Group Blog. 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  26. ^ "What has happened to Trump's 'America first' policy?". The Spectator. 2017-08-26. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  27. ^ "'This Week' Transcript: Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders". ABC News. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  28. ^ "CNN.com - Transcripts". transcripts.cnn.com. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  29. ^ Eddie Scarry (2016-04-20), Mary Kissel, Mika Brzezinski fight over Trump, retrieved 2019-04-28
  30. ^ Institute of Public Affairs (2017-08-09), Mary Kissel on The Bolt Report, retrieved 2019-04-28
  31. ^ "Decoding Trump with Mary Kissel". ABC Radio. 2017-08-10. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ "Mary Kissel on Donald Trump". Radio National. 2017-08-10. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  34. ^ "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.
  35. ^ "Lincoln Fellowship Alumni". www.claremont.org. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  36. ^ "William and Barbara Edwards Media Fellows - 2012" (PDF).
  37. ^ "William and Barbara Edwards Media Fellowships - 2016" (PDF).
  38. ^ "Council on Foreign Relations". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 2019-04-28.
  39. ^ "Mary Kissel - Nixon Seminar". 2021-03-29. Retrieved 2021-04-30.

External links[edit]