Institute for Corean-American Studies

Desaix Anderson
Biographic Sketch

Desaix Anderson was appointed as the Executive Director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) on October 28, 1997, a position he currently holds.

Mr. Anderson, a 35-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, spent most of his career working on Asian issues. He was the first envoy to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, following establishment of diplomatic relations, serving as chargé d'affaires from August 1995 when the embassy opened until 1997.

Mr. Anderson was born in 1936, and raised on a farm in rural Mississippi. He received his B.A. in History from Princeton University, and did graduate work in European Literature at the University of California at Berkeley. He also served on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Navy (1958-60), after which he managed his family farm in Mississippi.

He entered the Foreign Service in 1962. His first assignment was in Kathmandu, Nepal, as general services officer (1963-64). Mr. Anderson was assigned to Vietnam as an A.I.D. provincial representative and later as an advisor to the revolutionary development programs in Vietnam. Following his assignment to the Vietnam Working Group in the State Department (1965-67), he was assigned as a political officer to the U.S. Embassy in Taipei (1970-73), and afterward to the U.S. Embassy Tokyo (1973-76). After a stint in the Political-Military Bureau, he was assigned as deputy political counselor and chief Indochina watcher in the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand (1977-80). He then was named Country Director for Vietnam, Laos, and Kampuchea in the Department of State (1980-83) and subsequently Country Director for Japan (1983-85). He then served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Tokyo under Ambassador Mike Mansfield (1985-89). He was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific, covering Japan, Korea, China, and Mongolia (1989-92). He was assigned as a diplomat-in-residence at Princeton and Rutgers Universities, where he lectured and wrote on East Asian political economies (1992-93). He served as the State Department Coordinator for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial and leaders meetings hosted by President Clinton in Seattle, Washington (1993-94). He subsequently was a Senior Member for Asia of the Policy Planning Council (1994-95).

Following his service as chargé in Hanoi, Mr. Anderson left the Foreign Service in May 1997. He served as State Department Special Envoy on Cambodia on August 1997. He taught on Contemporary Asian Political Economies at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University during the spring semester of 1998.

Mr. Anderson has contributed to such publications as "U.S. and Japan: Challenges and Opportunities?" in SAIS Review, summer-fall 1993/volume 13, number 2 and "APEC Focus: Accomplishment and Challenge?" in Pacific Rim Law Review and Policy Journal, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, spring review, 1995.

Mr. Anderson speaks French, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai.


ICAS Web Site Links for Desaix Anderson:

Bulletin of 2/27/1999
Bulletin of 12/16/1999
Winter 1999 Symposium
KEDO: Seed for Peace in the Korean Peninsula?
Winter 2000 Symposium
North East Asian Security: the North Korean Dilemma

This page last updated 3/5/2005 jdb

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