Former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry named Perry Fellow

Former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry has been awarded a William J. Perry Fellowship in International Security at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), where he will continue to address emerging security challenges facing the United States.

Ambassador Eikenberry has an ambitious agenda for the coming academic year, which includes teaching and mentoring students, public speaking and working closely with former Secretary of Defense William Perry. He also will take part in activities at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC), such as the new China and the World research initiative.

“It’s a lifetime honor to receive the Perry Fellowship,” says Eikenberry. “I can’t think of an American in modern times who has better exemplified inspirational commitment to public service than Dr. William Perry. And I can’t think of a better institute of higher learning to be associated with than Stanford University.”

Ambassador Eikenberry has been at Stanford since September 2011 as the Frank E. and Arthur W. Payne Distinguished Lecturer and is an affiliated faculty member for CISAC, APARC and the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL), as well as research affiliate at the Europe Center – all policy research centers within Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute of International Studies.

Before coming to Stanford, Ambassador Eikenberry led the civilian surge directed by President Obama from 2009 to 2011 in an effort to reverse the momentum gained by insurgents, and set the conditions for a transition to Afghanistan sovereignty. He retired from his 35-year military career in April 2009 with the rank of U.S. Army Lieutenant General after posts including commander and staff officer with mechanized, light, airborne and ranger infantry units in the United States, as well as Korea, Italy and as the Commander of the American-led Coalition Forces from 2005-2007.

"Karl Eikenberry's record of public service amply demonstrates his unique qualities, not only as a leader of the American military at a challenging time, but as a strategic thinker and an insightful diplomat,” says CISAC Co-Director Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar. “He has a rare understanding of the profound challenges facing our world, and has been a tremendous asset to CISAC and Stanford.”

Ambassador Eikenberry’s research areas include U.S. strategy in the Asia-Pacific region; China’s evolving security strategy; the United States and NATO; the future of the U.S. military; Washington’s policies in Central and South Asia; and assessing the risks of military intervention.

The fellowship was established to honor Perry, the 19th U.S. secretary of defense and former CISAC co-director, and to recognize his leadership in the cause of peace. Perry is co-director of the Preventive Defense Project and the Nuclear Risk Reduction Initiative at CISAC and is an expert on U.S. foreign policy, national security and arms control. Perry Fellows spend a year at CISAC conducting policy-relevant research on international security issues. They join other distinguished scientists, social and political scientists and engineers who work together on problems that cannot be solved within a single field of study.

Ambassador Eikenberry is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, has master’s degrees from Harvard University in East Asian Studies and Stanford University in Political Science, and was a National Security Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He earned an Interpreter’s Certificate in Mandarin Chinese from the British Foreign Commonwealth Office while studying at the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense Chinese Language School in Hong Kong, and has an Advanced Degree in Chinese History from Nanjing University in the People’s Republic of China.