The Life and Times of James R. Lilley: An Appreciation
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The Honorable James Roderick Lilley (1928-2009) played an important, enduring, and indispensable role in America's postwar security policies in East Asia; indeed, he is widely regarded as one of the great Asia hands of his era. Lilley's career in Listen to Audio

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government spanned four decades and took him from covert intelligence operations in the Far East to senior policymaking positions in Washington, including at the National Security Council and the Department of Defense. Lilley served as U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Korea during South Korea's delicate but successful transition from authoritarian rule to democracy, and as ambassador to China during the Tiananmen Square massacre. He was also the U.S. representative to Taiwan before his assignments in Seoul and Beijing. Lilley's acute and unvarnished intelligence assessments, sound judgment in times of crisis, and cool counsel became coin of the realm for his colleagues--ultimately including American presidents and foreign heads of state.

We at AEI fondly recall our own association with Ambassador Lilley, who directed AEI's Asian Studies program for many years. On the first anniversary of his death, AEI will convene a tribute to his life. Please join us on this special occasion, at which distinguished policymakers and eminent scholars will offer their reminiscences and reflections upon the man, his contributions to America, and his role in shaping modern U.S.-Asian relations.


9:45 a.m.


KURT M. CAMPBELL, Department of State

Panel I: The Life of James Lilley

CHUCK DOWNS, U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea
JOSEPH R. DETRANI, National Counterproliferation Center
RICHARD P. LAWLESS, New Magellan Ventures
LARRY M. WORTZEL, U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission

Panel II: The Times of James Lilley

RICHARD C. BUSH III, Brookings Institution
AARON L. FRIEDBERG, Princeton University

12:00 p.m.

Event Summary

WASHINGTON, NOVEMBER 12, 2010--On the first anniversary of Ambassador James Lilley's death, the American Enterprise Institute convened a wide-ranging tribute to the life and career of the man who served as director AEI's Asian Studies Program for a decade. Both panelists and special guests highlighted his tenacity and influence on several generations of "Asia hands." After an introduction by AEI's Nicholas Eberstadt, Assistant Secretary of State for Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt M. Campbell gave a salute on behalf of the Obama administration. The first panel of distinguished speakers focused on Ambassador Lilley's life--as an intelligence officer, three-time ambassador, and family man. The second panel detailed the decades of Asia policy that he shaped, from his role in the democratization of South Korea to the elevation of Taiwan to more than just an "issue." Finally, former president George H. W. Bush gave a special tribute via video, in which he praised Ambassador Lilley as "an extraordinary American" and "one of the finest public servants I've ever met."


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Speaker biographies

Richard C. Bush III is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and director of its Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies (CNAPS). Mr. Bush joined Brookings in July 2002, after serving almost five years as the chairman and managing director of the American Institute in Taiwan, the mechanism through which the U.S. government conducts substantive relations with Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic relations. He began his professional career in 1977 with the China Council of the Asia Society. Beginning in 1983, he was on the staff of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, first for the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs and later for the full committee. In July 1995, he became national intelligence officer for East Asia and a member of the National Intelligence Council, which coordinates the analytic work of the intelligence committee. Mr. Bush is the author of a number of articles on U.S. relations with China and Taiwan, and his books include At Cross Purposes: U.S.-Taiwan Relations Since 1942 (M.E. Sharpe, 2004), Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait (Brookings Institution Press, 2005), A War Like No Other: The Truth About China's Challenge to America (Wiley Publishers, 2007, with Michael O'Hanlon), and Perils of Proximity: China-Japan Security Relations (Brookings Institution Press, 2010).

Kurt M. Campbell has been assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs since June 2009. Previously, he was the CEO and cofounder of the Center for a New American Security, director of the Aspen Strategy Group, and chairman of the editorial board of the Washington Quarterly. Mr. Campbell was the founder of StratAsia and senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He was also associate professor of public policy and international relations at the John F. Kennedy School of Government and assistant director of the Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. Mr. Campbell has served in several capacities in government, including as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Asia and the Pacific, a director on the National Security Council staff, deputy special counselor to the president for the North American Free Trade Agreement, and White House fellow at the Department of the Treasury. For his service, he received the Department of Defense medals for distinguished public service and for outstanding public service. He was an officer in the U.S. Navy on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in the Chief of Naval Operations Special Intelligence Unit. He is the coauthor of Difficult Transitions: Why Presidents Fail in Foreign Policy at the Outset of Power (Brookings Institution Press, 2008, with Jim Steinberg), To Prevail: An American Strategy for the Campaign against Terrorism (Center for Strategic & International Studies, 2001, with Michele Flournoy), Hard Power: The New Politics of National Security (Basic Books, 2006, with Michael O'Hanlon), and The Power of Balance: America in iAsia (Center for a New American Security, 2008, with Nirav Patel).

Christopher DeMuth is the D. C. Searle Senior Fellow at AEI. He was president of AEI from December 1986 to December 2008. Previously, he was administrator for information and regulatory affairs in the Office of Management and Budget and executive director of the Presidential Task Force on Regulatory Relief in the Reagan administration; taught economics, law, and regulatory policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University; practiced regulatory, antitrust, and general corporate law; and worked on urban and environmental policy in the Nixon White House.

Joseph R. DeTrani was appointed director of the National Counterproliferation Center in January 2010 and serves as the principal adviser to the director of national intelligence on issues relating to both the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. Previously, Mr. DeTrani was the North Korea mission manager in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), where he was responsible for integrating collection and analysis on North Korea across the intelligence community, identifying and filling gaps in intelligence, and planning and ensuring the strategy implementation. Before joining ODNI, Mr. DeTrani was special envoy for the Six-Party Talks with the rank of ambassador. He also served throughout the Central Intelligence Agency, including as executive assistant to the director of central intelligence, director of European operations, director of technical services, director of public affairs, director of the crime and narcotics center, and director of East Asia operations. Mr. DeTrani spent a number of years living in East Asia and the Middle East and speaks Chinese and French.

Chuck Downs is the executive director of the United States Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. His career in defense and national security issues spans four decades, and he wrote Over the Line: North Korea's Negotiating Strategy (AEI Press, 1999) while serving as associate director of the Asian Studies Program at AEI. While at AEI, he coauthored some thirteen articles with James Lilley, as well as the book Crisis in the Taiwan Strait (NDU Press, 1997). Mr. Downs spent the majority of his career in the Pentagon, as deputy director for regional affairs and congressional relations in the Pentagon's East Asia office. He was responsible for drafting the Department of Defense's East Asia strategy documents and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal (1996) and Defense Civilian Service Medal (1993).  From 2001 to 2008, he served with Mr. Lilley on the board of the United States Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. 

Nicholas Eberstadt is the Henry Wendt Scholar in Political Economy at AEI. A political economist and demographer by training, Mr. Eberstadt is also a senior adviser to the National Board of Asian Research, a member of the visiting committee at the Harvard School of Public Health, and a member of the Global Leadership Council at the World Economic Forum. He researches and writes extensively on economic development, foreign aid, global health, demographics, and poverty. He has written over a dozen books and monographs, including The Poverty of Communism (Transaction, 1988), The Tyranny of Numbers (AEI Press, 1995), The End of North Korea (AEI Press, 1999), Korea's Future and the Great Powers (University of Washington Press, 2001), The North Korean Economy: Between Crisis and Catastrophe (Transaction, 2007), Europe's Coming Demographic Challenge: Unlocking the Value of Health (AEI Press, 2007), The Poverty of "The Poverty Rate": Measure and Mismeasure of Want in Modern America (AEI Press, 2008), and Policy and Performance in Divided Korea during the Cold War Era: 1945–91 (AEI Press, 2010). His most recent book is Russia's Peacetime Demographic Crisis (National Bureau of Asian Research, 2010).

Aaron L. Friedberg is a professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University, where he has taught since 1987, and codirector of the Woodrow Wilson School's Center for International Security Studies. Mr. Friedberg was deputy assistant for national security affairs and director of policy planning in the Office of the Vice President from 2003 to 2005. After leaving government, he was appointed to the Defense Policy Board and the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion. He has been a consultant to various agencies of the U.S. government, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council, and the Office of Net Assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Mr. Friedberg is the author of two books, The Weary Titan: Britain and the Experience of Relative Decline, 1895–1905 (Princeton University Press, 1989) and In the Shadow of the Garrison State: America's Anti-Statism and its Cold War Grand Strategy (Princeton University Press, 2000) and coeditor of three volumes in the National Bureau of Asian Research's annual "Strategic Asia" series. His new book, A Contest for Supremacy: China, America, and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia, will be published in 2011 by W.W. Norton. His articles and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, and International Security. He is a member of the editorial boards of Joint Forces Quarterly and the Journal of Strategic Studies and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Richard P. Lawless is president and CEO of New Magellan Venture Partners LLC. Before retiring from government service in 2007, Mr. Lawless worked in the U.S. government for over twenty years, most recently as deputy undersecretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs. In this capacity, he was responsible for formulating U.S. security and defense policy in the Asia-Pacific region, including East and Southeast Asia, South Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia. He continues to serve the nation in an advisory role to the secretary of defense, with a focus on U.S. alliance transformation in Asia. As deputy undersecretary of defense, Mr. Lawless organized and managed an Asia-wide negotiating process for realigning U.S. force structure throughout the region, which resulted in historic alliance-transformation agreements with Japan and the Republic of Korea. Before his appointment at the Department of Defense, he cofounded and served as chairman and CEO of the U.S. Asia Commercial Development Cooperation from 1987 to 2002. U.S. Asia specialized in telecommunications and information-technology investment and market-entry strategies in East Asia. Mr. Lawless was a career employee in the Clandestine Service of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1972 to 1987, serving in Washington, D.C., the Far East, and Europe. He specialized in subjects related to high technology, nuclear proliferation, and Far East security issues. 

James Mann, author-in-residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, is a former Washington reporter, columnist, and foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. Mr. Mann's newspaper reporting was awarded the Edward Weintal Prize in 1999 for distinguished coverage of foreign policy and the Edwin M. Hood Award for diplomatic reporting. He has also contributed to National Public Radio, the Atlantic Monthly, the New Republic, and the Washington Post. He is the author of five books: Beijing Jeep (Simon & Schuster, 1989), About Face: A History of America's Curious Relationship with China, from Nixon to Clinton (Knopf, 1999), the New York Times bestseller Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet (Viking, 2004), and The China Fantasy (Viking, 2007). His latest book is The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan: A History of the End of the Cold War (Viking, 2009). His book Beijing Jeep was included in Fortune magazine's list of the seventy-five all-time "Smartest Books We Know." About Face won the New York Public Library Award for book of the year and was a finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize. Rise of the Vulcans was a finalist for the Council on Foreign Relations' Arthur Ross Book Award. The China Fantasy was listed as one of the best books of 2007 by the Washington Post and one of that year's ten best books about Asia by the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Mann's writing was also included in The American Idea: The Best of the "Atlantic Monthly" (a collection of the magazine's best articles from the past 150 years). Mr. Mann is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Larry M. Wortzel is a retired U.S. Army colonel who spent much of his thirty-two-year military career in the Asia-Pacific region. He was assistant Army attaché at the American embassy in Beijing during the Tiananmen Square Massacre, when James Lilley was ambassador. Between his duty in China from 1988 to 1990 and a second tour as Army attaché from 1995 to 1997, Mr. Wortzel was a strategist on the Army staff in the Pentagon and managed Army intelligence officers. His last military position was director of the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College, where he worked with Mr. Lilley on the annual Chinese People's Liberation Army conferences. After retiring from the Army in 1999, Mr. Wortzel was Asian studies director and vice president for foreign policy and defense studies at the Heritage Foundation. He is now one of twelve commissioners appointed by the congressional leadership to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He has written or edited ten books about China as well as numerous policy papers and journal articles.

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