Derek J. Mitchell is a non-resident senior adviser to the Office of the President and the Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). From 2001 to 2009, Ambassador Mitchell served as senior fellow with the International Security Program and director for Asia projects and founded CSIS’s renowned Southeast Asia Program. One of the nation’s foremost experts on global democracy and Asian and Pacific political and security affairs, Ambassador Mitchell boasts a more than three-decade career in the U.S. government and the private and nonprofit sectors. He most recently served as president of the National Democratic Institute, overseeing programs to support democratic development worldwide. From 2012 to 2016, Ambassador Mitchell was the first U.S. ambassador to Burma (Myanmar) in 22 years during a historic period in the country’s nascent democratic transition. During the previous year, he served as special representative and policy coordinator for Burma, with the rank of ambassador. From 2009 to 2011, Ambassador Mitchell oversaw the U.S. Defense Department’s Asia policy as the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs and as the acting assistant secretary, for which he was awarded 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.