Robert Carlin

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Carlin Robert

Robert Carlin, MA

  • Affiliate
CISAC Stanford University Encina Hall, C245 - Desk 2 Stanford, CA 94305-6165
(650) 736-0290 (voice)


Bob Carlin is a Visiting Scholar at CISAC. From both in and out of government, he has been following North Korea since 1974 and has made 25 trips there. He recently co-authored a lengthy paper to be published by the London International Institute of Strategic Studies, entitled "Politics, Economics and Security: Implications of North Korean Reform."

Carlin served as senior policy advisor at the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) from 2002-2006, leading numerous delegations to the North for talks and observing developments in-country during the long trips that entailed.

From 1989-2002, he was chief of the Northeast Asia Division in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, U.S. Department of State. During much of that period, he also served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Special Ambassador for talks with North Korea, and took part in all phases of US-DPRK negotiations from 1992-2000. From 1971-1989, Carlin was an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, where he received the Exceptional Analyst Award from the Director of Central Intelligence.

Carlin received his AM in East Asian regional studies from Harvard University in 1971 and his BA in political science from Claremont Men's College.

In The News

KEDO cropped

A look back at the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization

KEDO’s profile on the North Korean landscape was unmistakable, its impact on Pyongyang profound. Yet real knowledge and understanding about the organization in public and official circles in South Korea, Japan, and the United States was terribly thin at the beginning, and remains so to this day. As a result, the lessons learned from KEDO's decade-long experience working with the North Koreans have been largely misunderstood.
Lewis Carlin North Korea policy copy

The Six-Party Talks: Outlining a true restart

CISAC's Robert Carlin, John Lewis argue in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that the U.S. needs a 'serious reality check' when it comes to dealing with North Korea
Lewis Carlin North Korea policy copy

Activating a North Korea policy

It is routine in U.S. foreign policy for a pot not boiling over to be moved to the back burner. Precisely because the North Korean issue is not boiling, however, might offer an all-too-rare chance to make progress with Pyongyang, CISAC's John Lewis and Robert Carlin argue in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.