Kurt M. Campbell, the State Department’s former top Asia diplomat, has joined the Advisory Council of the 100,000 Strong Foundation to help champion the nonprofit’s mission to enhance the US-China strategic relationship through study abroad.


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Erin Billings



Dr. Campbell served four years as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs under Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. At State, Campbell led the 100,000 Strong Initiative, which Secretary Clinton launched in 2010 and from which the 100,000 Strong Foundation was born. The Initiative was created to dramatically expand and diversify the number of US students studying in China; the Foundation now seeks to build on the success of the State Department’s Initiative through a national public policy and educational campaign involving top business people, philanthropists, US-China experts, educators and students.


“We are thrilled to welcome Kurt to the Advisory Council,” said Carola McGiffert, president of the 100,000 Strong Foundation. “Kurt is one of this country’s preeminent Asia experts. He will be an invaluable addition to our team, providing critical strategic guidance and supporting our efforts to build stronger US-China ties through study abroad and Mandarin study.”


Campbell joined Secretary Clinton on Jan. 24 at the State Department for the formal launch of the 100,000 Strong Foundation. Of joining the Foundation’s Advisory Council, Campbell said, “The mission of this organization is not only important, it’s personal. I am absolutely convinced that the future of the US-China relationship rests with our young people who must know one another, understand each other and be able to work together to confront our global challenges.”


Campbell joins a distinguished group of opinion leaders on the Foundation’s Advisory Council including Coca Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, Citigroup Vice Chairman Lewis Kaden, Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman and Committee of 100 Co-Founder Henry Tang, among others. The Advisory Council provides strategic direction in pursuit of the organization’s mission.


The 100,000 Strong Foundation, housed at American University in Washington, DC, aims to strengthen the US-China strategic relationship through study abroad. The effort is backed by the Chinese government, which is offering 20,000 scholarships for students to study in China in support of the effort.


Campbell is a former Naval officer and academic. He holds a doctorate in international relations from Oxford University, and has taught at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He was the founder and former CEO of the Center for a New American Security. In addition to his time at the State Department, Campbell has served in numerous other governmental roles including Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia and the Pacific and Director on the National Security Council Staff.