Derek Mitchell

Ambassador Derek Mitchell is a Senior Advisor at ASG, where he draws on his extensive knowledge and experience in East Asia to advise clients with interest in the region.

Ambassador Mitchell joins ASG after serving nearly four years as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Burma), the first in 22 years. Previously, he was appointed as the U.S. Department of State’s first Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Burma, with the rank of ambassador.

Prior to this appointment, Ambassador Mitchell served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Asian and Pacific Security Affairs (APSA), in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In that capacity, he spent six months as acting APSA Assistant Secretary of Defense, and was responsible for overseeing the Defense Department’s security policy in Northeast, Southeast, South, and Central Asia. In recognition of his exemplary service, he received the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Distinguished Public Service in August 2011.

From 2001 to 2009, Ambassador Mitchell served as Senior Fellow and Director of the Asia Division of the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where he founded the CSIS Southeast Asia Initiative.

From 1997 to 2001, he served as Special Assistant for Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In this role he served alternately as Senior Country Director for China, Taiwan, Mongolia, and Hong Kong, Director for Regional Security Affairs, Country Director for Japan, and Senior Country Director for the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, and Singapore. Ambassador Mitchell was the principal author of the Department of Defense’s 1998 East Asia Strategy Report, and received the Office of the Secretary of Defense Award for Exceptional Public Service in January 2001.

Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Defense, Ambassador 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.  

Ambassador Mitchell has authored numerous books, articles, and opinion pieces on Asian security affairs. He is the coauthor of China: The Balance Sheet—What the World Needs to Know Now about the Emerging Superpower.

Ambassador Mitchell received an M.A. in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a B.A. from the University of Virginia. He speaks Mandarin Chinese proficiently.

He is based in Washington, D.C.