C. S. Eliot Kang, Ph.D., serves as ISN’s Assistant Secretary. He is a career member of the Senior Executive Service. He served previously as Acting Assistant Secretary from January 2021 to March 2022, January 2017 to January 2018 and January to June 2009. He also exercised the authorities of the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security from January to July 2021 and January 2017 to January 2018. From January 2017 to March 2022, he was ISN’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, a role in which he had also served in an acting capacity from 2009 to 2011. Previously, from September 2011 to December 2016, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Affairs. Before that, he was ISN’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Threat Reduction, Export Controls, and Negotiations; he also served as the bureau’s Special Adviser for North Korean Denuclearization. In February 2015, President Obama accorded Kang the personal rank of ambassador to serve as the United States representative to the Diplomatic Conference for the Convention on Nuclear Safety.
Kang joined the State Department in 2003 as a William C. Foster Fellow and served in the Bureaus of Political-Military Affairs and Arms Control. He is a recipient of numerous State Department Superior Honor Awards and also received a congressionally established Presidential Rank Award, the most prestigious award in the Federal career civil service.
A former tenured professor, Kang taught international security at the University of Pennsylvania and Northern Illinois University and has held fellowships at the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution. His writings have appeared in such publications as International Organization, World Affairs, and Comparative Strategy.
Kang received his Ph.D. from Yale University. He also studied at Princeton University and received his A.B., summa cum laude, from Cornell University. His professional background includes working as an investment banker specializing in corporate finance and mergers & acquisitions for Dillon, Read & Co., Inc. He was elected to life membership in the Council on Foreign Relations in 2002. He is married to Michelle M. Ho and has two sons, Gregory and Wesley.