The U.S. Rebalance to Asia: The Importance of U.S. Engagement with ASEAN and Southeast Asia

Date & time

Feb 21, 2014, 4:00-5:30 pm EST


Weill Hall

Christian M. Castro, Director, Office of Multilateral Affairs, Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Department of State

About the Speaker:
Christian Castro assumed duties as Director of the Office of Multilateral Affairs (EAP/MLA) in the State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs in August 2011. His office is in charge of U.S. multilateral engagement in East Asia, focusing on U.S. political, economic and socio-cultural relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its ten member states (Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam). His office also coordinates U.S. involvement in the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI), and coordinates regional maritime security issues, with a particular focus on the South China Sea. His office is the primary Washington channel to the U.S. Mission to ASEAN and the U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN based in Jakarta.

In Washington, Mr. Castro has served as Special Assistant to Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and later to Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick. He also served as Senior Advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Foreign Assistance Programs. His other U.S. assignments have included Country Officer for the Philippines and Political Advisor at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.

Overseas, he was most recently Principal Officer at the American Institute in Taiwan's Kaohsiung Office, which represents U.S. interests in southern Taiwan. He has also served at the U.S. Embassy in Oslo, Norway; the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels, Belgium; and the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai, China.

Mr. Castro hails from Boston, Massachusetts. He received a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and was awarded a Georgetown University Sun Yat-Sen Graduate Fellowship to study International Law and Diplomacy at National Chengchi University in Taiwan. He received a Master's Degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College and earned Distinguished Graduate honors.

He has received five individual State Department Superior Honor Awards, two individual Meritorious Honor Awards and participated in five Superior Honor Group Awards.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies and the International Policy Center at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.