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The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institution based in Seattlemarker, Washington, with a branch office in Washington, D.C.marker The organization’s mission is to inform and strengthen Asia-Pacific policy. NBR brings together specialists, policymakers, and business leaders to examine economic, strategic, political, globalization, health, and energy issues affecting U.S. relations with East, Central, Southeast and South Asia and Russia. The organization’s research is disseminated through briefings, publications, conferences, Congressional testimony, and online forums, and by collaborating with other institutions worldwide. Richard J. Ellings is the current president. Roy D. Kamphausen is Senior Vice President for Political and Security Affairs, and Director of the Washington, DC, office.

Early History

In the late seventies, Senator Henry M. Jackson raised the need for a "National Sino-Soviet Center" in conversations with Kenneth B. Pyle, Director of the University of Washington Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. He enlisted Edward Carlson, President and CEO of United Airlines, and Thornton Wilson, CEO of the Boeing Company, to assist in creating an institution that would bridge the gap between those responsible for foreign policy decision making and the specialists located in universities and research institutes in the U.S. and abroad. The Senator’s vision was finally realized in 1989, seven years after his death, when The National Bureau of Asian and Soviet Research was established with grants from the Henry M. Jackson Foundation and The Boeing Company. The organization’s founding president was Kenneth B. Pyle. In 1992 the organization dropped "and Soviet" to become The National Bureau of Asian Research.

Centers and Chairs

The Center for Health and Aging

The Center for Health and Aging was established in 2003. Michael P. Birt, then Director of NBR’s Center for Health and Aging, George F. Russell, Jr., Chairman of The National Bureau of Asian Research, Leland H. Hartwell, President of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and William H. Gates, Sr., co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, met in 2004 to discuss the need for prevention, detection, and treatment of illness early enough to reduce the human and financial cost of disease. Plans to organize and host a Pacific Health Summit in Seattle, Washington, emerged from those discussions. George F. Russell, Jr. and William H. Gates, Sr. co-chaired an advisory group, provided the seed funding for the Pacific Health Summit, and were keynote speakers at the inaugural Pacific Health Summit, which was convened in 2005 by two co-sponsoring organizations, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and NBR’s Center for Health and Aging. Subsequent annual Pacific Health Summits were co-presented by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and The National Bureau of Asian Research, which has served as the Summit’s secretariat from its founding. The world health leaders and top corporate executives attending this invitation-only event have been referred to as "global health luminaries." In June 2009, the Center for Health and Aging convened the inaugural meeting of the Forum for Personal Health with the goal of launching targeted projects designed to meet the challenges of improving personal health.

The Kenneth B. and Anne H.H. Pyle Center for Northeast Asian Studies

In 2006, NBR created the Kenneth B. and Anne H.H. Pyle Center for Northeast Asian Studies, named in honor of NBR’s founding president and his wife. The Pyle Center conducts research on Northeast Asia to advance the comprehensive study of the region, particularly as it pertains to its security, political, and economic dynamics. Inaugural events for the Center included the international conference "Pursuing Security in a Dynamic Northeast Asia," at which Kenneth B. Pyle delivered the keynote address, and a gala at Seattle’s Benaroya Hallmarker at which the keynote address was delivered by Pulitzer Prize winning columnist George F. Will.

The John M. Shalikashvili Chair in National Security Studies

In 2006, NBR endowed the John M. Shalikashvili Chair in National Security Studies. The Chair recognizes General John Shalikashvili, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for his 39 years of military service to the United States, years of leadership on the NBR Board of Directors, and his role as Senior Advisor to NBR's Strategic Asia Program. The stated mission of the Chair is to provide a "distinguished scholar in the national security field with an opportunity to inform, strengthen, and shape the understanding of U.S. policymakers on critical current and long-term national security issues related to the Asia-Pacific." The inaugural holder, Dennis C. Blair, was appointed in 2009 by President Obama to serve as the Director of National Intelligence.


NBR publishes books, a peer-reviewed journal, and occasional reports. Since 2001, NBR has published the annual edited volume Strategic Asia, which incorporates assessments of economic, political, and military trends and focuses on the strategies that drive policy in the region through a combination of country, regional, and topical studies authored by Asia studies specialists and international relations experts. Ashley J. Tellis, a senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, has served as the research director for the Strategic Asia Program. Since January 2006, NBR has published the biannual journal Asia Policy, which presents academic research on the Asia-Pacific with a focus on policy conclusions for the United States. Tom Plate, internationally syndicated columnist, author, university professor and founder of the Asia Pacific Media Network at UCLA and the Pacific Perspectives Media Center in Beverly Hills, California, has described the Asia Policy board of editorial advisers as a "virtual Who's Who in the field of Asian policy scholarship."


NBR’s three main research groupings are:

Research initiatives conducted by these groups are organized as follows:

Annual conferences and summits include the following:

Online Forums include:


Board of Directors

  • Chairman: George F. Russell, Jr.
  • Treasurer: David K. Y. Tang (1999-present)
  • Stephen E. Biegun (2007-present)
  • James R. Blackwell (2009-present)
  • Charles W. Brady (1993-present)
  • William Castell (2006-present)
  • Lawrence W. Clarkson (1993-present)
  • Bill Colton (2009-present)
  • Rich Ellings
  • Herb Ellison (1993-present)
  • Thomas Fisher (1999-2004)
  • R. Michael Gadbaw (2006-present)
  • John Gass (2006-2009)
  • Shephard Hill (2008-present)
  • Gary Kaplan (2005-present)
  • Joachim Kempin (1999-2002)
  • Clark Kinlin (2000-present)
  • Maria Cattaui (2005-present)
  • Pamela Passman (2004-present)
  • Kenneth B. Pyle
  • Neal Schmale (2007-present)
  • John Shalikashvili (1998-present)
  • Arnold Wellman (2001-present)

Congressional Members of the Advisory Board

Members of the Board of Congressional Advisors periodically participate in NBR activities and call on NBR for information, research reports, and expertise on security and economic policy in the region.

Current members are:

NBR Board of Advisors

External links


  1. NBR 15th Anniversary Book
  2. Pacific Health Summit History
  3. 2005 Pacific Health Summit Keynote Address (Audio)
  4. ICBC Newsletter (7/1/2005)
  5. Global Health Luminaries Descending on Seattle, KPLU (6/15/2009)
  6. CGP Japan Foundation Intellectual Exchange Grant Listings (JFY 2006)
  7. "Reading the New Era in Asia: The Use of History and Culture in the Making of Foreign Policy", Asia Policy 3 (1/2007)
  8. Dennis Blair bio (DNI)
  9. NBR Publications List
  10. "North Korea's evolution", The Seattle Times (8/10/2006)
  11. Asia Policy Editorial Board

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