Jamie Metzl is a Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council, novelist, blogger, syndicated columnist, media commentator, and expert in Asian affairs and biotechnology policy. He previously served as Executive Vice President of the Asia Society, Deputy Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senior Coordinator for International Public Information at the U.S. State Department, Director for Multilateral Affairs on the National Security Council, and as a Human Rights Officer for the United Nations in Cambodia. He is a former Partner and current Advisory Board member of a New York-based global investment firm, serves on the Advisory Council to Walmart’s Future of Retail Policy Lab, was Chief Strategy Officer for a biotechnology company, and ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District in Kansas City in 2004. He has served as an election monitor in Afghanistan and the Philippines, advised the government of North Korea on the establishment of Special Economic Zones, and is the Honorary Ambassador to North America of the Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy.
Jamie appears regularly on national and international media discussing Asian economic and political issues and his syndicated columns and other writing on Asian affairs, genetics, virtual reality, and other topics is featured regularly in publications around the world. He has testified before Congress outlining emergency preparedness recommendations after 9-11 and on the national security implication of the biotechnology and genomics revolutions. Jamie is the author of a history of the Cambodian genocide and the novels The Depths of the Sea and Genesis Code, which deals with issues of human genetic enhancement in the context of a future US-China rivalry. His new novel, Eternal Sonata, exploring issues related to extreme human life extension, was published by Arcade in October 2016.
A founder and Co-Chair of the national security organization Partnership for a Secure America, Jamie is a board member of the International Center for Transitional Justice and the American University in Mongolia, a member of the Advisory Board of the Brandeis International Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public Life and 92Y’s Center for Innovation and Social Impact, and a former board member of Park University and of the Jewish refugee agency HIAS. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and former White House Fellow and Aspen Institute Crown Fellow, Jamie holds a Ph.D. in Asian history from Oxford, a JD from Harvard Law School, and is a magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Brown University. He has completed thirteen Ironman triathlons, twenty-nine marathons, and twelve ultramarathons.Download Bio
Eternal SonataA Thriller of the Near Future
In 2025 America, it’s hardly news when a renowned octogenarian scientist dying of cancer disappears from a local hospice, but when Kansas City Star reporter Rich Azadian begins to dig, he discovers that other elderly scientists around the world have also vanished recently—all terminally ill and receiving the same experimental treatment from a global health company. His only hope to stop the killing is to mobilize his network of brilliant misfits and infiltrate the vast and lethal race—among cutthroat corporations, national intelligence services, rogue scientists, and a mysterious international organization—to control the new technologies and perhaps the secret of life itself.
Genesis CodeA Thriller of the Near Future
Blue Magic, the latest designer drug linked to a rash of overdoses, might explain the needle mark on the arm of a young woman found dead in her Kansas City apartment. But when Star reporter Rich Azadian digs deeper, the clues point to a far more explosive story. In 2023 America—bankrupt, violently divided by the culture wars, and beholden to archrival China—the rules of the game are complicated. With the danger mounting, the dead bodies of young women piling up, Chinese agents circling, and the US Department of National Competitiveness moving in to quash his investigation, Azadian’s only option is to go rogue, assemble a team of brilliant misfits like himself, and begin the fight of his life to find out who is killing these women and why, and if any others like them may still be alive.
The Depths of the SeaA Novel
St. Martin's Press
It's 1979 and Morgan O'Reilly, a dispirited CIA desk officer, is desperately trying to bury his memories. Sent to Cambodia as a Marine and then as a CIA operative during the Vietnam War, he had been given the unlikely task of pulling together a secret spy unit of orphaned street children.O'Reilly's search takes him deeper and deeper into the politics of the Thai-Cambodian border and finally into the deadly Khmer Rouge zone - a place where all foreigners are forbidden from entering and where cruelty and death are omnipresent.
This study examines Western responses to human rights abuses in Cambodia between 1975 and 1980, years which included the murderous rule of the Khmer Rouge regime, a Vietnamese invasion, a civil war, and a famine. It argues that the Vietnamese invasion of December 1978 forced Western states to choose between the conflicting principles of promoting the individual human rights of the Cambodian people and furthering the geostrategic interests of the Western states.
The Unfolding Crisis in North Korea As the North Korea crisis unfolds by the day, the Trump administration and governments around the world are struggling to respond. But can anything be done to stop North Korea from achieving full nuclear weaponization and what would a fully nuclear armed North Korea mean for the United States, Asia, and the world? Asia expert, former White House official, and CNN regular contributor Jamie Metzl has travelled extensively throughout North Korea, advised both the North and South Korean governments, and has just returned from extensive consultation with Chinese North Korean experts meeting on the China-North Korea border. In this inside view tour de force talk, he explains the crisis, the often conflicting interests of the key players, the options going forward, and the implications of all of this for the region and world.
Rising China and the Changing Geopolitics of Asia Fast-rising China is not just changing Asia, it is fundamentally transforming the global order and is a growing challenge to the US-led global system created in the aftermath of the Second World War. But with China's investment and manufacturing-based growth strategy losing steam, China itself will need to find a new model if it is to avoid stagnation. Living in a post-American world will have enormous consequences and touch every aspect of our lives. In this exciting talk, Metzl gives explores the key drivers of our fundamentally transforming world, what it will mean for global politics, economics, and culture, and how businesses and other organizations can best prepare.
What You Need to Know About Asia in One Hour and One Slide Asia’s rapid rise is reversing a current of westernized globalization that has flown for five hundred years. Understanding how Asia is transforming itself and the world is no longer just a matter of curiosity for outsiders, it is essential to making smart decisions. In this wide-ranging talk spanning thousands of years and multiple cultures, Asia expert Metzl draws on history, culture, science, technology, and politics to explain the background, drivers, and implications of Asia’s rise.
Homo Sapiens 2.0: Genetic Enhancement, Life Extension, and the Future of Humanity After four billion years of evolution through the Darwinian principles of random mutation and natural selection, our species is about to take control of our evolution. The genetic revolution will allow us to eliminate genetic diseases which have plagued our ancestors for millennia, live longer healthier lives, and transform how we make babies and ultimately the nature of the babies we make. The genetics revolution will be the greatest opportunity of our era, and also the greatest challenge. Metzl brings the science to life and explains what people and companies can and should be doing now to prepare for this revolutionary future that will fundamentally reorganize modern societies and have monumental business implications.
Hacking immortality: The science and science fiction of extreme human life extension Jamie Metzl explores the latest technological breakthroughs in the science of human life extension and their implications on the personal and societal levels. While the quest for immortality has been the stuff of fairy tales, the new science of life extension is very real and will soon be pushing the limits of aging and unlocking human potential. Metzl brings the science to life and explains what people can and should be doing now to prepare for this revolutionary future that will fundamentally reorganize modern societies and have monumental implications for businesses and other organizations.
Global Geopolitics in an Age of Trump The "America First" foreign policy of the Trump administration is hastening the demise of the post-War international system that was already in a state of crisis. But how will global peace, security, and stability be maintained in a world that has become dependent on American internationalism? In this talk spanning five hundred years of history, Jamie Metzl explores how our world today is structured in response to the destruction of the two World Wars and what it will mean to return to a world defined by strong states in a balance of power system.
— CNN Today (@cnntoday) May 14, 2017
My CNN interview on North Korea src= https://t.co/Ecj91Ceuo0
— Jamie Metzl (@JamieMetzl) April 24, 2017
Read Jamie Metzl’s recent CNN op-eds, 12 things Trump should know about North Korea and Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, made for each other?
Watch Jamie Metzl discuss what the U.S. can expect from China in dealing with North Korea on CBS.
Watch Jamie Metzl discuss the mounting tensions between the U.S. and North Korea on Bloomberg Markets.
Read Jamie Metzl’s article on why Korean reunification is in China’s strategic national interest.
Listen to Jamie Metzl discuss the future of genetic engineering at SXSW.
Read more of Jamie Metzl’s most recent articles here.
Browse Jamie Metzl’s Youtube channel for more clips and exclusive content.
Learn more about Jamie Metzl on his website.
— Courtney Doggart, President, Network 20/20
“Jamie is a fantastic authority and resource on all things related to China. I hired Jamie as a panelist and keynote speaker in 2016 after hearing Jamie speak at an Atlantic Council event. He was extremely knowledgeable, flexible and a pleasure to work with on our event programming. I was particularly impressed by Jamie’s presence and command of the topics and his ability to engage with the audience in a meaningful way. Throughout our preparation, Jamie was always accessible and provided constructive ways to improve our program. Jamie is at the top of my list for my speaking engagement needs.”
"IVY hosts dozens of incredible lectures led by leading minds around the country each year, but I've never seen our members as engaged with the speaker and the subject matter as they were with Dr. Metzl. He captivated the room with the intricacies of the future of science and humanity. After the lecture members lingered for more than two hours discussing the implications of the future of genetic engineering and debating what, if anything, should be done about it."
“Jamie Metzl spoke to a captivated audience about a fascinating and complicated subject. Bio-engineering and its impact upon the future of mankind was the topic Dr. Metzl aptly articulated in an enthralling yet relatable style. From the start, he built a genuine rapport with the audience as he communicated so that each person understood as clearly as possible the subject matter. Jamie’s presentation was amazingly fluid and perfectly paced as he spoke effortlessly without notes or prompts. ‘Jamie is the best speaker we’ve ever had.’ ‘This event was a home run because of Jamie Metzl!’ ‘Jamie is engaging and smoothly breaks it down.’ These are just a few samples of the positive comments received from the audience after the presentation. Our community is excited about Jamie’s return for an encore!”
-Kansas City Jewish Federation
“Jamie spoke to the senior most lay leadership of our non-partisan, nonprofit organization on U.S. foreign policy and, particularly, as it relates to the Asia Pacific region—a topic that is difficult to address, both because it is inherently complex and politically sensitive. Jamie overcame these challenges and adeptly and tactfully addressed the issues, giving historical context and his own perspective in a clear and effective manner. His breadth of knowledge is impressive. Jamie is very personable, and his intelligence, confidence and personal charm were extremely well received. Many people commented after his presentation and the ensuing discussion that he is one of the best speakers they have heard in a very long while—and this is a group that is accustomed to hearing many high-level speakers. We look forward to the next opportunity to host Jamie as a speaker again.”
-Shira Loewenberg, Director, AJC Asia Pacific Institute (API)