Kurt Campbell

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Kurt Campbell is U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs in the Obama administration|Obama Administration.[1] He came to the position from co-founding the Center for a New American Security.

Research & Education

He had been an International Security Program research fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University at Harvard University, and later became an associate professor of public policy and international relations and assistant director of the Belfer Center.[2] While it was not immediately obvious that Washington needed a new think tank, he and Michelle Flournoy, the co-founder of CNAS whom he met at Belfer, liked the style of interaction at Belfer and thought it could extend into the Washington world.

He also was director of the Aspen Strategy Group and the chairman of the editorial board of the Washington Quarterly, and founded a consultancy, StratAsia. Campbell served as senior vice president and director of the International Security Program and Henry A. Kissinger Chair in National Security Policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).


In the Bill Clinton|Clinton Administration, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia and the Pacific, a director on the National Security Council staff, deputy special counselor to the president for NAFTA in the White House, and White House fellow at the Department of the Treasury.


He was a United States Navy officer assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in the Chief of Naval Operations Special Intelligence Unit. His bachelor's degree is from the University of California at San Diego, and he has a certificate in music and politics from the University of Yerevan in the Soviet Union, and a doctorate in international relations from Oxford University as a Marshall scholar.

He is married to Lael Brainard, who is the nominee for Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs.


  1. Steve Clemons (30 June 2009), "FINALLY. . .Kurt Campbell Sworn in to Deal with Asia", Washington Note
  2. "Belfer Center Alums Launch Center for New American Strategy (CNAS)", Belfer Center Newsletter, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University, Winter 2008-09