Ambassador Derek Mitchell, special representative and policy coordinator for Burma, will visit Burma and northern Thailand from Monday to Thursday. He will meet with officials in Naypyitaw and Rangoon to follow up on U.S. Secretary Clinton’s December visit. Mitchell will also travel to Bagan to see microfinance programs and other development work in central Burma.
He will travel to northern Thailand to meet with local officials and assistance groups working with refugees in the border region.
Luis CdeBaca, ambassador at large to monitor and combat human trafficking, will visit Burma from Monday to Wednesday to assess the human trafficking situation firsthand and to explore opportunities to strengthen the government’s anti-trafficking efforts. While visiting the capital, Ambassador CdeBaca will join Ambassador Mitchell in meetings with officials to discuss recent steps to address transnational sex trafficking and improve labour conditions for workers.
Mitchell was also the special assistant for Asian and Pacific affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defence from 1997 to 2001, when he received the Office of the Secretary of Defence Award for Exceptional Public Service. He was the principal author of the Department of Defence 1998 East Asia Strategy Repo.
He knows Burma very well and is capable of strengthening the U.S. sanctions policy on Burma’s regime by coordinating within the US bureaucracy and with the European Union, Canada and Australia
Until April 2009, Mitchell served as senior fellow and director for Asia in the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), which he joined in January 2001. Beginning in January 2008, he concurrently served as director of CSIS’s Southeast Asia Initiative.
Prior to joining DoD, Mitchell served as senior program officer for Asia and the former Soviet Union at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in Washington, D.C.
In 1989, Mitchell worked as an editor and reporter at the China Post (Taiwan). From 1986 to 1988, Mitchell served as assistant to the senior foreign policy adviser to Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Mitchell received an M.A. in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1991, and a B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1986.