Trustee of The Asia Foundation

Oksenberg-Rohlen Fellow and Director, U.S.-Asia Security Initiative, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University
Former U.S. Ambassador, Afghanistan



Karl Eikenberry is Director of the U.S.-Asia Security Initiative at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University. He is also an affiliate with the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies’ Center for International Security and Cooperation; Center for Democracy, Development, and Rule of Law; and The Europe Center.

Prior to his arrival at Stanford, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2009 until 2011. Before appointment as Chief of Mission in Kabul, Ambassador Eikenberry had a thirty-five year career in the United States Army, retiring in April 2009 with the rank of Lieutenant General. He held various policy and political-military positions, including Deputy Chairman of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium; Director for Strategic Planning and Policy for U.S. Pacific Command at Camp Smith, Hawaii; U.S. Security Coordinator and Chief of the Office of Military Cooperation in Kabul, Afghanistan; Assistant Army and later Defense Attaché at the United States Embassy in Beijing, China; Senior Country Director for China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mongolia in the Office of the Secretary of Defense; and Deputy Director for Strategy, Plans, and Policy on the Army Staff.

He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, has earned master’s degrees from Harvard University in East Asian Studies and Stanford University in Political Science, and was a National Security Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. Ambassador Eikenberry earned an Interpreter’s Certificate in Mandarin Chinese from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office while studying at the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence Chinese Language School in Hong Kong and has an advanced degree in Chinese History from Nanjing University in the People’s Republic of China.