Derek J. Mitchell
Senior Fellow, Asia Projects, International Security Program
Center for Strategic and International Studies Derek J. Mitchell joined the Center for Strategic and International Studies on January 31, 2001, as Senior Fellow for Asia Projects in the International Security Program. In this position, Mr. Mitchell is responsible for managing all Asia-related studies conducted in ISP, which currently include projects involving the security of the Taiwan Strait, the U.S.-Japan alliance, U.S. perceptions of China, and the future of U.S. relations with Korea.
Mr. Mitchell was appointed as Special Assistant for Asian and Pacific Affairs, Office of the Secretary of Defense, on 15 July 1997. He served as Senior Country Director for China, Taiwan, Mongolia, and Hong Kong from 2000-2001, and Director for Regional Security Affairs from 1998 to the end of 2000. During his term at DoD, he also served as Country Director for Japan, and Senior Country Director for the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore. Mr. Mitchell was the principal author of DoD’s 1998 East Asia Strategy Report.
Prior to joining DoD, Mr. Mitchell served as Senior Program Officer for Asia and the former Soviet Union at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in Washington, D.C. While at NDI, from 1993 to 1997, Mr. Mitchell developed the Institute’s long-term approach to East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia, and worked on democratic development programs in Armenia, Burma, Cambodia, Georgia, Pakistan, and Thailand. He produced a 10-minute film on Aung San Suu Kyi in support of the 1996 W. Averell Harriman Democracy Award luncheon honoring the Burmese democracy leader. Mr. Mitchell also edited NDI’s publication “Making Every Vote Count: Domestic Election Monitoring in Asia,” published in May 1996.
In the fall of 1992, Mr. Mitchell served as Logistics and Operations Manager for the United Democratic Campaign field program in California (Clinton-Gore, Boxer, Feinstein). He was Personnel Director for field operations during California Campaign ’88 (Dukakis-Bentsen), the first field program ever organized in California for a presidential campaign. In 1989, Mr. Mitchell worked as a copy editor at The China Post, the largest English-language daily newspaper on Taiwan. From 1986 to 1988, Mr. Mitchell served as assistant to the senior foreign policy adviser to Senator Edward M. Kennedy in Washington D.C.
Mr. Mitchell received a Masters of Arts in Law and Diplomacy degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1991, and a Bachelors degree from the University of Virginia in 1986. He studied Chinese language at Nanjing University, PRC, during the summer of 1990, and speaks Mandarin Chinese proficiently. His hobbies include playing piano, tennis, and jogging.