C.S. Eliot Kang
|Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation|
January 27, 2017 – January 28, 2018
|Preceded by||Thomas M. Countryman|
|Succeeded by||Christopher Ashley Ford|
January 2009 – June 2009
|President||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Patricia A. McNerney|
|Succeeded by||Vann Van Diepen|
Choo Soon Kang
1962 (age 57–58)
|Alma mater||Cornell University (AB)|
Yale University (MA, MPhil, PhD)
C.S. Eliot Kang (born Choo Soon Kang in 1962) is an American diplomat and member of the Senior Executive Service. He is Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. From January to June 2009 and January 2017 to January 2018, Kang served as acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation and exercised the authorities of the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. Kang is one of the State Department's leading experts on nuclear affairs, including on nuclear safeguards, security, and safety matters as well as denuclearization, counterproliferation, and counter nuclear terrorism issues.
Early life and education
Kang is a son of Ho Ryun Kang, a former general officer and government minister in South Korea, who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Legion of Merit, and other medals by the U.S. Government for his actions during the Korean War. Kang's maternal great-grandfather, the late Heung Soon Yim, was the chairman of the National Defense Committee of the Korean National Assembly during the Korean War and served as the Mayor of Seoul in 1959 and 1960.
After graduating from Lakewood High School in Lakewood Township, New Jersey, Kang earned a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University in 1984. He then received his M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Yale University.
Before joining the State Department as a William C. Foster Fellow in 2003, Kang was a tenured professor of political science. He taught international security at the University of Pennsylvania and Northern Illinois University and has held fellowships at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution. He has published extensively; his writings have appeared in such publications as International Organization', World Affairs, and Comparative Strategy.
During the late 1980s, Kang worked on Wall Street as an investment banker. He specialized in corporate finance and mergers & acquisitions for Dillon, Read & Co., Inc. Kang is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He became a Term Member in 1997 and was elected a Life Member in 2002.
On January 22, 2017, Kang was appointed Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN), United States Department of State. Throughout 2017, he acted as ISN's Assistant Secretary and exercised the authorities of the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. He also served as the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation during the Presidential transition between George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He has held various senior positions in the State Department, including in the Bureau of Arms Control and Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.
Kang has led U.S. diplomatic efforts in various international nuclear fora and multinational negotiations. In 2009, as President Obama launched his Nuclear Security Summit process, Kang—serving as ISN's Acting Assistant Secretary—co-chaired the 2009 Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) in the Hague. He delivered a personal message from the President committing his full support for the Initiative and welcoming 75 nations that joined it. While serving as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Nuclear Affairs (2011–2016), in preparation for the February 2015 Diplomatic Conference for the Convention on Nuclear Safety, President Obama accorded Kang the personal rank of ambassador. The international community, divided on the future of nuclear energy, was slow to respond to acute nuclear safety concerns that arose following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. The leading international forum addressing nuclear safety, Convention on Nuclear Safety, was mired in diplomatic deadlock, as anti-nuclear energy political pressure began to build, especially in Europe. Leading the U.S. delegation to the Diplomatic Conference, Kang secured the swift adoption of a consensus approach to resolving the deadlock. The compromise made possible the adoption of the Vienna Declaration on Nuclear Safety, a milestone in the ongoing international efforts to improve nuclear safety as nuclear energy remains viable but continues to be controversial.
During the administration of President George W. Bush, Kang served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Threat Reduction, Export Controls, and Negotiations. He led U.S. efforts to tighten export controls against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery vehicles. Kang also served as the senior nonproliferation policy adviser on the U.S. delegations to the Six-Party Talks under the leadership of Christopher R. Hill. He participated in the sixth round of the Six-Party Talks that produced the 13 February 2007 Joint Statement, resulting in the closure Yongbyon nuclear facility invitation of IAEA inspectors to conduct monitoring and verification measures. In October 2008, he accompanied Christopher R. Hill on his last visit to North Korea He attempted to work out with the North Koreans a verification protocol for denuclearization as Hill tried to shore up the flagging momentum in the Six-Party Talks process.
Kang is a recipient of numerous State Department Superior Honor Award. He also received a congressionally established Presidential Rank Award, the most prestigious award in the Federal career civil service.
- "Nuclear Weapons, International Security, and Non-proliferation in the 2020s," in Maiani L., Jeanloz R., Lowenthal M., Plastino W. (eds) International Cooperation for Enhancing Nuclear Safety, Security, Safeguards and Non-proliferation, (Springer Proceedings in Physics, Vol 243), pp. 35–39.
- “Japan and Inter-Korean Relations” in ed. Samuel Kim, Inter-Korean Relations: Problems and Prospects (Palgrave, 2004), pp. 97–116.
- “Restructuring the US-South Korea alliance to deal with the second Korean nuclear crisis,” Australian Journal of International Affairs Vol. 57, No. 2 (July 2003), pp. 309–324.
- “The Developmental State and Democratic Consolidation in South Korea,” in ed. Samuel Kim, Korea’s Democratization (Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 220–244.
- “Institutionalizing the Regulation of Inward Foreign Direct Investment,” in eds. Andrew P. Cortell and Susan Peterson, ALTERED STATES: International Relations, Domestic Politics, and Institutional Change (Lexington Books, 2002), pp. 169–193.
- (Lead author, with Y. Kaseda) “Korea and the Dynamics of Japan’s Post-Cold War Security Policy,” World Affairs Vol. 164, No. 2 (Fall 2001), pp. 51–59.
- “North Korea and the U.S. Grand Strategy,” Comparative Strategy Vol. 20, No. 1 (January–March 2001), pp. 25–43.
- “Segyehwa Reform of the South Korean Developmental State,” in ed. Samuel S. Kim, Korea’s Globalization (Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 76–101.
- “The Four-Party Peace Talks: Lost Without a Map,” Comparative Strategy Vol. 17, No. 4 (October–December 1998), pp. 327–344.
- “US politics and greater regulation of inward foreign direct investment,” International Organization Vol. 51, No. 2 (Spring 1997), pp. 301–333.
- Official U.S. Department of State biography. https://2009-2017.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/bureau/122719.htm
- "Ho Ryun Kang, 64, Ex-South Korean Aide". The New York Times. 1990-03-13. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- "Lakewood graduates hear student speakers at ceremony". Asbury Park Press. June 18, 1981. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- "2001-2009 Archive for the U.S. Department of State". 2008-05-23. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- "CFR Membership Roster". Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Fiske, Fred (May 17, 2009). "Altered State; Obama-Clinton team charts bold new directions for foreign policy". The Post-Standard. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- "Biography: C.S. Eliot Kang, Ph.D. - US Department of State". 2008-05-23. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Olson, Conrad. "The Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism: Progress to Date". Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- "Enhancing International Partnerships". Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Chang, JS (2015-01-28). "Korean-American diplomat awarded rank of ambassador". Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Tirone, Jonathan (October 23, 2014). "U.S. Said to Join Russia in Blocking Nuclear Safety Moves". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Dahl, Fredrik (2014-10-23). "US, Europeans row over post-Fukushima nuclear safety step". Reuters. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Tirone, Jonathan. "Swiss Abandon Nuclear-Safety Push Amid U.S.-Russian Opposition". Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Donovan, Jeffrey (2015-02-10). "Vienna Declaration on Nuclear Safety Is Adopted at Diplomatic Conference". Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Adelman, Oliver (February 23, 2015). "CNS statement better approach than Swiss amendment: US officials". Platts Inside NRC. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Nasralla, Shadia (2015-02-09). "U.S. derails amendment to toughen nuclear safety pact: diplomats". Reuters. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- "Biography: C.S. Eliot Kang, Ph.D." 2008-05-23. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- "The EXBS Program: Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance" (PDF). Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Hill, Christopher (2014). Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4516-8591-6.
- Cooper, Helene (October 4, 2007). "North Koreans Agree to Disable Nuclear Facilities". The New York Times. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- "US envoy ends North Korea visit". 2008-10-03. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- States News Service (October 3, 2008). "Remarks with Korean Special Representative Kim Sook". LexisNexis. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Davidson, Joe (December 14, 2018). "Federal senior executives honored with presidential awards for 'extraordinary, outstanding' service". Washington Post.
- "2018 Presidential Rank Awards". U.S. OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT.
- "Weddings; Michelle Ho and Eliot Kang". The New York Times. 1992-08-23. Retrieved June 19, 2018.