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TCFR Board Member Bio

james carouso.jpeg

Senior Adviser and Chairman of the Advisory Council to the Australia Chair, Center for Strategic & International Studies

James Carouso

Senior Foreign Policy Advisor

Jim Carouso has been at the forefront of economic diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific for much of his career. His 25 years with the U.S. Department of State included postings as senior foreign policy adviser to the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, deputy chief of mission and chargé d’ affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, and chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Mission to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In addition, Jim served in a variety of economic and commercial roles in the Dominican Republic, South Africa, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Cyprus, including acting as a member of the U.S. teams negotiating free trade agreements with Australia and Thailand.


While director of the State Department office responsible for relations with the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and East Timor, Jim conceived and made real U.S.-ASEAN Connect, a new means of economic interaction between the two economies that was announced by President Obama at the 2016 Sunnylands summit. In 2019, he received the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award. Prior to joining the State Department in 1995, Jim worked in international banking and finance. Since retiring as a diplomat, Jim has served as managing director of strategic consultancy Bower Group Asia in Singapore and currently serves as a senior adviser to that firm. He holds a degree in economics from Hamilton College and a master’s degree in international finance from the American Graduate School of International Management.

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