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March 11-13, 2001  |  The Taj West End Hotel  |  Bangalore, India

Ambassador Nicholas Platt


President, Asia Society

Nicholas Platt, the fifth president of the Asia Society, has spent most of his life working on relations between the US and Asia. He assumed his current position in 1992 after a thirty four-year career as an American diplomat in Asia which culminated in service as US Ambassador to the Philippines (1987-1991) and Pakistan (1991-1992).

Ambassador Platt's involvement with Asia began as a student of the Chinese language in Taiwan in the early sixties, and continued with Foreign Service assignments in Hong Kong (1964-68), Beijing (1973-74) and Tokyo (1974-77). In 1972 he accompanied President Nixon on the historic trip to Beijing that signaled the resumption of relations between the United States and China. He was one of the first members of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing when the United States established a mission there in 1973.

In the course of his government service, Ambassador Platt served in several capacities in Washington, including China analyst, Director of Japanese Affairs, National Security Council Staff Member for Asian Affairs, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (responsible for politico-military relations with Japan, Korea, China and Southeast Asia), Acting Assistant Secretary of State for UN Affairs (1981-1982), and Executive Secretary of the Department of State (1985-1987).

Born in 1936, Ambassador Platt graduated from Harvard College in 1957 and earned an MA from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in 1959. He is a member of the New York Council on Foreign Relations, a director of Fiduciary Trust Company International, and a member of the international advisory board of the Financial Times. He and his wife Sheila have three grown sons: Adam, a writer; Oliver, an actor and Nicholas Jr., a publishing executive.


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