Ambassador Derek J. Mitchell Rejoins CSIS as Non-Resident Senior Adviser

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 5, 2023 – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) today announced that former U.S. Ambassador to Burma (Myanmar) Derek J. Mitchell has rejoined CSIS as a non-resident senior adviser. Ambassador Mitchell previously served CSIS from 2001 to 2009 as senior fellow with the International Security Program, Director for Asia Projects, and founder of CSIS’s renowned Southeast Asia Program.

Ambassador Mitchell boasts a more than three-decade career serving in a variety of leadership roles across the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and the private and nonprofit sectors. He most recently served as president of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, from September 2018 until September 2023. One of the nation’s foremost experts on Asian and Pacific political and security affairs and global democracy, Ambassador Mitchell brings an extraordinary range of experience and knowledge to CSIS, bolstering the Center’s world-class research and analysis.

“Ambassador Mitchell is among the world’s most respected experts on the Indo-Pacific. He has been instrumental in shaping U.S. policy in the region for decades, and his counsel has been sought by U.S. presidents, cabinet secretaries, and foreign leaders,” said John Hamre, CSIS president and CEO. “It is a great honor to welcome Ambassador Mitchell back to CSIS, and we look forward to the many contributions he will make to our research and analysis.”

As the first U.S. Ambassador to Burma in 22 years, a role he held from 2012 to 2016, Ambassador Mitchell led the mission during a historic period in Burma’s nascent democratic transition, hosting the first two visits of a sitting U.S. president to the country in history. He previously served as Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma with rank of Ambassador, from 2011 to 2012.

From 2009 to 2011, Ambassador Mitchell served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and acting Assistant Secretary, where he helped oversee DoD’s Asia policy. For his service, he received the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Distinguished Public Service. He previously served as Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Affairs from 1997 to 2001.

Ambassador Mitchell joins a distinguished network of more than 100 non-resident senior advisers who elevate and engage with CSIS’s work. For a full list of CSIS’s non-resident experts, visit here.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit policy research organization dedicated to advancing practical ideas to address the world’s greatest challenges.