A Conversation With Kurt Campbell, White House Coordinator for the Indo-PacificVIEW EVENT DETAILS
In mid-January, shortly before his inauguration as president, Joe Biden announced the appointment of Kurt Campbell as White House coordinator for the Indo-Pacific – a new title and a special role. The appointment of Campbell, who served as assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs under Hillary Clinton and played a key role in the “pivot” to Asia, was welcomed in the region as a reassuring sign of renewed American engagement.
As Indo-Pacific Coordinator, Dr. Campbell quickly made his mark by engineering a landmark Quad Summit followed by successful meetings at the White House by the leaders of Japan and Korea. As point person for Asia, he plays a key role in shaping the administration’s outreach to ASEAN countries, the Pacific island nations, as well as to India and the rest of South Asia. He is also helping to design America’s response to China-related challenges – ranging from Taiwan to technology, human rights to trade, maritime disputes to climate change.
Please join us for a discussion with Kurt Campbell, led by Asia Society Policy Institute President Kevin Rudd with Vice Presidents Daniel Russel and Wendy Cutler, to explore the Biden administration’s goals and strategy in the vitally important Indo-Pacific region.
Kurt Campbell serves as Deputy Assistant to the President and Coordinator for Indo-Pacific Affairs on the National Security Council. He was previously Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Asia Group, LLC, a strategic advisory and capital management group. From 2009 to 2013, Campbell served as the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, where he is widely credited as being a key architect of the “pivot to Asia.” For advancing a comprehensive U.S. strategy that took him to every corner of the Asia-Pacific region, Secretary Hillary Clinton awarded him the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award (2013) — the nation’s highest diplomatic honor. He was formerly the CEO and co-Founder of the Center for a New American Security and concurrently served as the director of the Aspen Strategy Group and Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Washington Quarterly. He is the author or editor of ten books including Difficult Transitions: Why Presidents Fail in Foreign Policy at the Outset of Power and Hard Power: The New Politics of National Security. He received his B.A. from the UC San Diego and his doctorate in international relations from Brasenose College at Oxford University.
The Hon. Kevin Rudd AC is President and CEO of the Asia Society, and inaugural President of the Asia Society Policy Institute. He served as 26th Prime Minister of Australia (2007 to 2010, 2013) and as Foreign Minister (2010 to 2012). He is Chair of the Board of the International Peace Institute in New York, and Chair of Sanitation and Water for All – a global partnership of government and non-governmental organizations dedicated to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 6. He is a Distinguished Fellow at Chatham House and the Paulson Institute, and a Distinguished Statesman with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is also a member of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization’s Group of Eminent Persons.
Wendy Cutler is Vice President of Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI) and Managing Director of its Washington, D.C. office. In these roles, she focuses on building ASPI’s presence in Washington — strengthening its outreach as a think/do tank — and on leading initiatives that address challenges related to trade and investment, as well as women’s empowerment in Asia. She joined ASPI following nearly three decades as a diplomat and negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Most recently, she served as Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, working on a range of U.S. trade negotiations and initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region. In that capacity she was responsible for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, including the bilateral negotiations with Japan. She also was the chief negotiator to the U.S.-Korea (KORUS) Free Trade Agreement.
Daniel Russel is Vice President for International Security and Diplomacy at the Asia Society Policy Institute (ASPI). Previously he served as a Diplomat-in-Residence and Senior Fellow with ASPI for a one year term. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service at the U.S. Department of State, he most recently served as the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior Director for Asian Affairs, where he helped formulate President Obama’s strategic rebalance to the Asia Pacific region, including efforts to strengthen alliances, deepen U.S. engagement with multilateral organizations, and expand cooperation with emerging powers in the region. Among many roles at the Department of State, he served as Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs and U.S. Consul General in Osaka-Kobe.
This program is made possible in coordination with the Asia Society Policy Institute and the Asia Society Texas Center.