The Leaderboard: Daniel J. Kritenbrink

Who is he?

Mr. Daniel Kritenbrink is a career diplomat with the U.S. Foreign Service, who served until recently as the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Beijing. Kritenbrink spent much of the last decade in positions focusing on China, including as the minister-counselor for political affairs at the U.S. embassy in Beijing and director of the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs at the Department of State.

Kritenbrink holds a master’s degree from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. He speaks Chinese and Japanese.

Mr. Daniel Kritenbrink. Source: U.S. Embassy China, U.S. Government Work.

Mr. Daniel Kritenbrink. Source: U.S. Embassy China, U.S. Government Work.

Why is he in the news?

Kritenbrink succeeds Evan Medeiros as the senior director for Asian affairs on the National Security Council. Medeiros served in this capacity from July 2013 to June 2015.

What can we expect from him?

Kritenbrink’s first major tasks after assuming office in late June will include the upcoming U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue and the visit of Vietnamese Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong to Washington in July. His expertise on China will be useful to the White House’s efforts to address growing Chinese assertiveness and reclamation activities in the South China Sea. Expect Kritenbrink to help reaffirm the staying power of the U.S. rebalance to the Asia Pacific during the rest of President Barack Obama’s term.

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