Sydney Seiler Joins CSIS Korea Chair

Former National Intelligence Officer for North Korea will serve as Non-Resident Senior Adviser

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 5, 2023 – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) today announced that former National Intelligence Officer for North Korea Sydney Seiler has joined CSIS as a non-resident senior adviser with the Korea Chair.

Mr. Seiler brings to CSIS over four decades of leadership and expertise on North Korea from all levels of the U.S. government. His track record of experience, insight, and research will bolster the Korea Chair’s work across a wide array of issues pertaining to both North and South Korea.

“We are thrilled to have Syd Seiler join the Korea Chair,” said Dr. Victor Cha, CSIS Senior Vice President for Asia and Korea Chair. “Syd is one of the most, if not the most, experienced and knowledgeable individuals on one of the nation’s most complex and perennial national security challenges. We look forward to working with him to continue to develop our research and policy studies on the Korean peninsula and Asia.”

Mr. Seiler was the National Intelligence Officer for North Korea at the National Intelligence Council from 2020 to 2023, serving as one of our nation’s top experts on North Korea. Previously, he was the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) Senior Analyst and Senior Defense Intelligence Expert for North Korea from 2016 to 2020, where he served as the principal advisor and senior expert on Korean Peninsula security issues to the USFK Commander and the U.S. Defense Intelligence Enterprise. Mr. Seiler also served as the U.S. Special Envoy for Six Party Talks (2014-2015), where he coordinated U.S. diplomacy and policy on the DPRK and led negotiations with North Korea. Prior to that, Mr. Seiler served as the director for Korea on the National Security Council (2011-2014).

A member of the Senior National Intelligence Service, Mr. Seiler has held a range of executive management, intelligence, and policy positions related to Korean Peninsula affairs, including within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Directorate of Analysis, CIA’s Directorate of Operations, CIA’s Open Source Center, and the National Security Agency. He spent twelve years of his career serving in South Korea.

Mr. Seiler was awarded the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award—the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs highest civilian honor—in 2021.

“I am honored and excited to have this opportunity to join the CSIS team and contribute to its critical work on Korean Peninsula and broader Asian issues,” said Mr. Seiler. “CSIS work on Korea has global, real-time impact on a topic central to U.S. national security interests. I look forward to contributing to this work while advancing understanding of this complex and dynamic set of national security issues.”

The CSIS Korea Chair is recognized globally for its world-class research and analysis on issues related to the Korean Peninsula. The Korea Chair hosts a variety of events to shape the debate about policy and issues related to the two Koreas and the U.S.-ROK alliance. It also operates Beyond Parallel, a website that provides a nonpartisan and authoritative analytic vehicle for delivering greater clarity and understanding to policymakers, strategists, and opinion leaders about Korean unification.

To learn more and read recent analysis by the CSIS Korea Chair, visit here.

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