Jeff Bader

Jeff BaderJeff Bader, one of the country’s leading experts on China and an architect of President Obama’s pivot to the Pacific during his first administration, died on Oct. 22 from complications of pancreatic cancer. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called him “one of the most knowledgeable and insightful East Asia hands of his generation,” adding, “his intellect was matched only by his heart and his decency.”

“He really was the quintessential effective diplomat,” said UC-San Diego Professor Susan Shirk, who worked alongside him in the Clinton administration. “He was the sharpest operations person.”

Bob Miller, Pete Acly and I were lucky to have Jeff as a Bingham Hall floormate in Freshman year” says John Morris. “Throughout the next four years he remained a brilliant, humorous and considerate friend. Although I regret losing touch after he attended my wedding, I was able to follow his important role as a major foreign policy advisor to the 2008 and 2012 campaigns. I was not surprised to hear that his advice was always respected because unlike many advisors, he had no axe to grind other than the truth.”

“The news that Jeff has died hit me especially hard,” says Charlie Carter. “As his career took off he was among those I most hoped to run into at reunions; but for one reason or another, I never did. The loss of Jeff and Martin Purvis in so short a time is doubly sad. Both were classmates I knew at Yale and whom I came to cherish more the older I got. I recommend that those of us who survive them watch the film Martin made of them because it captures vividly in my mind who they were not long after we left Yale.”

Jeff during a White House briefing session in the Obama administration