Former US Ambassador to the Philippines and Pakistan; President Emeritus, Asia Society, New York
C.V. Starr Distinguished Visitor - Class of Spring 2005
Nicholas Platt is one of America’s most distinguished Asia experts. Having worked as both a diplomat in the US Foreign Service and in the non-governmental sector as the president of the Asia Society, he is knowledgeable of both US policy towards Asia and domestic politics within Asia. Ambassador Platt has worked on an independent task force on new priorities in South Asia with the Council of Foreign Relations, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan so as to recommend how US policy can both take advantage of the opportunities and address the dangers within these countries.
After being educated at Harvard College and the John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, Ambassador Platt began his 34-year Foreign Service career with assignments in Hong Kong (1964-68), Beijing (1973-74) and Tokyo (1974-77), and culminated with service as the US Ambassador to the Philippines (1987-1991) and Pakistan (1991-92). In 1972 he accompanied President Nixon on the historic trip to Beijing that signaled the resumption of relations between the United States and China. In addition to these foreign assignments, Platt also served in Washington as a 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 (1981-82), and Executive Secretary of the Department of State (1985-87).
In 1992, Platt became the president of the Asia Society. He is a member of the New York Council on Foreign Relations and a director of Fiduciary Trust Company International.