Seeds of Division Between Moscow and Beijing in Central Asia

David Merkel, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs

April 6, 2023  |  12:15 PM-1:30 PM
RLP 1.302B, Robert L. Patton Hall

On Thursday, April 6th, the Clements Center for National Security, the Asia Policy Program, and the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (CREEES) will host David Merkel, Managing Director of Summit International Advisors, LLC and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, for a talk on “Seeds of Division Between Moscow and Beijing in Central Asia” at 12:15 PM at RLP 1.302B, Robert L. Patton Hall. The Asia Policy Program is a joint effort of the Clements Center for National Security and the Strauss Center for International Security and Law


David A. Merkel is managing director of Summit International Advisors, LLC. He is a geo-strategist and former U.S. government official. He is an expert on Europe and Eurasia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Merkel held senior positions in government in the White House, Department of State and Treasury, both Houses of Congress, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2008, he was appointed by President George W. Bush as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. In this position he was responsible for Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Black Sea regional policy, and regional nonproliferation issues. He also served as Director for Europe and Eurasia and as Director for South and Central Asian Affairs at the National Security Council in the White House.

Previously, Merkel held the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Merkel also worked as International Counselor to the Chairman at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. David A. Merkel served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as Senior Professional Staff for Europe and Eurasia. Earlier, Merkel was Senior Foreign and Defense Policy Advisor for the United States House of Representatives Policy Committee. Most recently, he served at the International Institute for Strategic Studies as an Associate Fellow for Geo-economics and Strategy. He has previously held positions as a Senior Fellow with Johns Hopkins SAIS and the Atlantic Council. David Merkel is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). He was awarded the NATO Star by the President of Lithuania and received the Exceptional Service Award for his work at the U.S. Department of Treasury.

David A. Merkel has provided expertise to multiple political and government organizations, including the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the National Democratic Institute, and the International Republican Institute. Merkel provided electoral assistance and served as an international election observer in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America. Merkel was Director for the Eurasia Foundation and also worked as an election analyst for the Joint Election Observation Mission in Tajikistan. Merkel is a founding pro-bono member of the Board of Trustees of Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan and a member of the board of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies Social Science Foundation at the University of Denver, and President of the Advisory Board of the Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies at Arizona State University. He was a visiting faculty member at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy, specializing in the geopolitics of energy. Merkel received a B.B.A. in Economics and from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), a M.Sc. with Merit in International Strategy and Diplomacy. David A. Merkel is a regular contributor to publications including The National Interest, The Hill, The Jerusalem Post, and Modern Diplomacy.

For more information about this event, contact Elizabeth Doughtie at