In the next 20 years, the middle class in Asia is projected to swell from 600 million to 3.2 billion. If managed successfully, this could not merely be the single largest reduction in poverty in human history, but it could also substantially improve the fortunes of many non-Asian nations, especially the U.S. Ambassador Bleich’s remarks will discuss the planning of America’s economic, diplomatic, and security rebalance to Asia, its progress to date, and the challenges that will ultimately determine whether Asia rises peacefully and successfully or whether it fails to meet its promise or worse. Ambassador Bleich will address in particular the choice of Australia as the focal point for the rebalance, and how the U.S. alliance with Australia and leveraging of that relationship with other allies and partners in Southeast Asia are critical elements of ensuring a successful Indo-Pacific century.
Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich served as United States Ambassador to Australia from 2009-2013. His tenure in Australia was marked by a commitment to expanding Australia and the United States’ broad alliance by promoting security, advancing free trade, promoting human rights and expanding collaboration in education, space, energy and technology. He recently received the State Department's highest award for a non-career ambassador, the Sue Cobb Prize for Exemplary Diplomatic Service. Immediately prior to his nomination for ambassador in 2009, Ambassador Bleich served as Special Counsel to President Obama in the White House.
Ambassador Bleich recently rejoined Munger Tolles & Olson as a partner resident in the San Francisco office and will focus on international and domestic litigation and counseling, with a particular focus on privacy and data security, investigations, trade and cross-border disputes.
Ambassador Bleich received his law degree in 1989 from the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, where he was editor-in-chief of the California Law Review and Order of the Coif. He graduated from Amherst College magna cum laude with a B.A. in political science and holds a masters degree from Harvard University’s School of Government. He has also been awarded honorary doctorates from both U.S. and Australian universities.