Kurt Campbell, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, The Asia Group, LLC, and Rexon Ryu, Partner, The Asia Group, LLC
the Aerospace & Defense and Government & Regional Affairs Committee
The United States and its allies face an uncertain and complex set of
challenges in the Asia-Pacific across security, economic, and diplomatic
dimensions. The Trump administration, now four months into its first term, has
demonstrated a clear and unwavering commitment to regional allies –
particularly around near-term strategic threats like North Korea. However,
President Trump has also diverged from past administrations in his approach to
Beijing, as well as his approach to regional trade engagement, emphasizing
bilateral trade negotiations as opposed to a U.S.-led trade architecture like
the TPP. This has created an uncertain strategic environment for many U.S.
allies and partners as they develop their own foreign policy around
Washington’s regional vision for the next several years. Dr. Campbell will provide his
perspective on the current administration’s policy priorities for the region
and the implications for Asian allies and partners – both in terms of regional
security and economic engagement.
About the Speaker
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
The Asia Group, LLC
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Asia Group, LLC, a strategic
advisory and capital management group specializing in the dynamic Asia-Pacific
region. He also serves as Chairman of the Center for a New American Security,
as a non-resident Fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center, as a member of the Defense
Policy Board at the Pentagon and is on the Board of Directors for Standard
Chartered PLC in London. From 2009 to 2013, he served as the Assistant
Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, where he is widely
credited as being a key architect of the “pivot to Asia.” For advancing a
comprehensive U.S. strategy that took him to every corner of the Asia-Pacific
region, Secretary Hillary Clinton awarded him the Secretary of State’s Distinguished
Service Award (2013) — the nation’s highest diplomatic honor. Campbell was
recognized in the Queen’s New Year’s list of honors in 2014 as an Honorary
Officer of the Order of Australia and as an Honorary Companion of the New
Zealand Order of Merit for his work in support of American relations with
Australia and New Zealand respectively. He also received top national honors
from Korea and Taiwan.
Campbell was formerly the CEO and Co-Founder of the
Center for a New American Security and concurrently served as the director of
the Aspen Strategy Group and Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Washington
Quarterly. He was the founder and Chairman of StratAsia a strategic advisory
and consultancy that supported American firms across Asia. He was the Senior
Vice President, director of the International Security Program, and Henry A.
Kissinger Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Campbell
was also Associate Professor of public policy and international relations at
the John F. Kennedy School of Government and assistant director of the Center
for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. He was also the
Vice Chairman of the Pentagon Memorial Fund and has served on the Board of
Directors of Metlife, Inc of New York.
Dr. Campbell previously served as Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Asia and the Pacific, Director on the National
Security Council Staff, Deputy Special Counselor to the president for the North
American Free Trade Agreement in the White House, and White House fellow at the
Department of the Treasury. He was an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserves,
serving on surface ships, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and in the Chief of Naval
Operations Strategic Advisory Unit. For his service, he received Georgetown University’s
Asia Service Award, the State Department Honor Award, the Republic of Korea
medal for service, and the Department of Defense Medals for Distinguished
Public Service and for Outstanding Public Service.
He is the author or editor of ten books including the
recently published The Pivot: The Future of American
Statecraft in Asia. He’s also the
co-author of Difficult Transitions: Why Presidents
Fail in Foreign Policy at the Outset of Power, and Hard Power: The New Politics of
National Security. Dr. Campbell was a contributing writer to The New York Times and has
written a regular column for the Financial Times. Dr.
Campbell is a member of the Aspen Strategy Group, the Council on Foreign
Relations, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and the
He received his B.A. from the University of California,
San Diego, a Certificate in music and political philosophy from the University
of Erevan in Soviet Armenia, and his Doctorate in International Relations from
Brasenose College at Oxford University where he was a Distinguished Marshall
Scholar. Campbell received his varsity blue in tennis at Oxford and rowed in
the first eight in his college crew at Brasenose College when they won the
London Hammersmith Regatta. He is married to Dr. Lael Brainard, Governor on the
U.S. Federal Reserve Board and former Undersecretary of Treasury for
International Affairs. Together they live in Washington, D.C. with their three
daughters. They also maintain Iron Bell Farm, a vintage Civil War era retreat
in Rappahannock County, VA.
The Asia Group, LLC
Rexon Y. Ryu is a Partner of The Asia Group, LLC (TAG). Drawing
on two decades of experience working in global diplomacy, national
policymaking, and executive leadership, Rexon offers companies in-depth
strategic and political insight across the Asia-Pacific region and a nuanced
ability to translate geopolitical and economic trends, events, and
relationships into results-oriented business development campaigns, advocacy,
and government relations strategy. Having served three Presidents at the
highest levels of the U.S. government since first entering public service in
1994, Rexon has worked extensively with both Republicans and Democrats,
navigating political complexities to achieve actionable results. At The Asia
Group, Rexon supports clients in strategic sectors through market entry and
expansion strategies, efforts to address political-level policy decisions that
carry market implications, and strategic communications outreach.
At the White House, the
State Department and the Pentagon, Rexon has worked on the major foreign policy
and national security challenges facing the United States, notably in Asia and
the Middle East. Through his work, Rexon has helped to expand strategic alliances
and relationships, project U.S. influence globally, employ U.S. power against
adversaries, prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and plan
for future challenges and opportunities.
Rexon most recently
served as Chief of Staff to Secretary of Defense, and former Republican Senator
from Nebraska, Chuck Hagel. Rexon helped lead and manage the Department of
Defense, the world’s largest organization of nearly three million personnel
with a budget exceeding $500 billion. He worked closely with the Secretary and
the Department’s civilian and military leaders on all priority issues,
including combatting terrorism in the Middle East, the strategic rebalance to
Asia, accomplishing far-reaching institutional reform, and advancing the U.S. military’s
innovation and technology advantage.
Rexon also worked on the
President’s National Security Council staff from 2009 to 2011, during which
time he was focused on nonproliferation, Iran, and North Korea. In this
capacity, he served on the U.S. delegation for several rounds of multilateral
negotiations with Iran. Rexon served as the Deputy to the U.S. Ambassador to
the United Nations from 2011 to 2014, where he directed the Ambassador’s
Washington office under both Susan Rice and Samantha Power. In this position,
Rexon played a direct role in formulating, deciding, and implementing nearly
all consequential national security decisions as a standing member of the
National Security Council’s Deputies Committee.
Rexon served for four
years in the U.S. Senate as the foreign policy adviser for then-Senator Hagel.
He began his public service career at the State Department, where he served
abroad in both Cairo and Jerusalem, and as special assistant to then-Deputy
Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
Rexon also holds the
following positions: nonresident senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace, a member of the International Advisory Board for the
Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, and member of the
Board of Trustees for HALO USA. Rexon is a life member of the Council on
Foreign Relations. He holds a Master of Public Policy from Princeton University
and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government from the University
of California, Berkeley.
Rexon lives in
Washington, DC with his wife and two daughters.