Keynote Address – Opening Plenary Session

James B. Steinberg

Deputy Secretary of State,
United States Department of State

James B. Steinberg, Secrétaire d'État adjoint

James B. Steinberg is the Deputy Secretary of State, serving as the principal Deputy to Secretary Clinton. Appointed by President Obama, he was confirmed by the Senate on January 28, 2009 and sworn in by the Secretary the next day. Prior to his appointment in the Obama Administration, Mr. Steinberg served as dean of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, a position he assumed on January 1, 2006. He is currently on leave from the LBJ School. He had previously served as the vice president and director of Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. (2001-2005), where he supervised a wide-ranging research program on U.S. foreign policy.

From December 1996 to August 2000, Mr. Steinberg served as deputy national security advisor to President Bill Clinton. During that period he also served as the president's personal representative (“Sherpa”) to the 1998 and 1999 G-8 summits. Prior to becoming deputy national security advisor, he served as chief of staff of the U.S. State Department and director of the State Department’s policy planning staff (1994-1996), and as deputy assistant secretary for analysis in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1993-1994).

Mr. Steinberg has also been a senior analyst at RAND in Santa Monica, California (1989-1993), and a senior fellow for U.S. Strategic Policy at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London (1985-1987). He served as Senator Edward Kennedy's principal aide for the Senate Armed Services Committee (1983-1985); minority counsel, U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee (1981-1983); special assistant to the U.S. Assistant Attorney General (Civil Division) (1979-1980); law clerk to Judge David L. Bazelon, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1978-1979); and special assistant to the assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (1977).

Mr. Steinberg is the author of and contributor to numerous books and articles on foreign policy and national security topics, including Difficult Transitions: Foreign Policy Troubles at the Outset of Presidential Power, Protecting the Homeland 2006/2007 and An Ever Closer Union: European Integration and Its Implications for the Future of U.S.-European Relations.

Mr. Steinberg received his B.A. from Harvard in 1973 and J.D. from Yale Law School in 1978.

Mr. Steinberg was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1953. He is married to Ms. Sherburne B. Abbott, who is the Associate Director for Environment of the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. They have two children.