Charles Freeman is an American diplomat, author, and writer. He has served for the State and Defense Departments in many different capacities in the past thirty years, with the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs calling his career "remarkably varied".
Charles Freeman holds the Freeman Chair in China Studies at CSIS. He concentrates on the political economy of China and other parts of East Asia and on U.S.-China relations, particularly trade and economic relations. A second-generation “China hand,” he has lived and worked between Asia and the United States for his entire life. During his government career, he served as assistant U.S. trade representative (USTR) for China affairs. In this capacity, he was the United States’ chief China trade negotiator and played a primary role in shaping overall trade policy with respect to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, and Mongolia. During his tenure as assistant USTR, he oversaw U.S. efforts to integrate China into the global trading architecture of the World Trade Organization. Freeman also served as the United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1989 to 1992, where he dealt with issues related to the Persion Gulf War. He is a past president of the MiddleEast Policy Council, co-chair of the U.S. China Policy Foundation, and vice-chair of the Atlantic Council. Earlier in his government career, he served as legislative counsel for international affairs in the Senate.
Outside of government, as a lawyer and business adviser, he has counseled corporations and financial institutions on strategic planning, government relations, market access, mergers and acquisitions, corporate communication, and political and economic risk management in China. He currently is a senior adviser to McLarty Associates, the global strategic advisory firm based in Washington, D.C., and serves on the boards of directors of the National Committee of U.S.-China Relations and the Harding Loevner Funds mutual fund complex.
Freeman received his J.D. from Boston University School of Law, and earned a B.A. from Tufts University in Asian studies, concentrating in economics. He also studied Chinese economic policymaking at Fudan University in Shanghai.