At a Glance
• Managing Director, Asia Practice
• Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for China and Director for China on the National Security Council
• Former US Ambassador to Malaysia and Consul General in Hong Kong
• Has lived in several different countries throughout East and Southeast Asia
James Keith, Managing Director, leads McLarty Associates’ Asia practice. He manages the firm’s client work throughout Asia, including an extensive network of senior advisors, associates, and board members.
During his 31-year career as a US diplomat, he became one of the US government’s top experts on China, serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for China, National Security Council Director for China, Consul General in Hong Kong, and as a Political Officer in the US Embassy in Beijing. He also has broad experience in Asia outside of China. From 2007 to 2010 he was the US Ambassador to Malaysia. He was previously posted in Seoul and Jakarta, as well as serving as NSC Director for Southeast Asia.
Ambassador Keith grew up across Asia, living in Tokyo, Jakarta, Hong Kong, and Taipei. He joined the US Foreign Service in 1980 after graduating with a BA degree in English from the College of William and Mary. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is Co-chair of the Malaysia-America Foundation.
In the News
James Keith on why he is optimistic about US-Chinese relations
April 10, 2017
James Keith on the need for US-China cooperation
February 21, 2017
James Keith on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia”
May 12, 2015
James Keith on the investigation of Malaysian Flight 370
March 13, 2014
From Wealth to Power: China’s New Economic Statecraft
The Washington Quarterly
April 12, 2017
James Keith: What should Asia ask of the Trump administration?
Nikkei Asian Review
November 21, 2016
James Keith: Obama trip shows value of US engagement in Asia
Nikkei Asian Review
May 26, 2016
James Keith: Hong Kong in the Balance
June 1, 2012