William J. Perry Fellow in International Security at the
Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University
Ambassador Karl Eikenberry is the Payne Distinguished Lecturer at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University; he joined The Asia Foundation Board of Trustees in 2012.
He was the US Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2009-2011 where he led the civilian surge directed by President Obama to set the conditions for transition to full Afghan sovereignty. He previously served in the US Army, retiring as a lieutenant general in 2009. During his military career, he had extensive experience in the Asia Pacific region including two command posts in Afghanistan, serving as the Director of Strategic Planning and Policy at US Pacific Command in Hawaii and Defense Attaché to the People's Republic of China, and several operational assignments in Korea. Ambassador Eikenberry graduated from West Point, and received an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Harvard and an M.A. in political science from Stanford. He earned the British Foreign Commonwealth Office's Interpreter's Certificate for Mandarin Chinese from the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence Chinese Language School in Hong Kong and has an advanced degree in Chinese history from Nanjing University. Ambassador Eikenberry serves as a Trustee for the International Institute for Strategic Studies, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Diplomacy, and the Council of American Ambassadors, and was previously the President of the Foreign Area Officers Association. His awards include the Department of State Distinguished Service Award, Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal, and the George F. Kennan Award for Distinguished Public Service.