L. Desaix Anderson (1935-2021) served for 35 years as a foreign service officer in the U.S. Department of State, working in Asia and on Asian issues. From 1985-1989, following postings in Nepal, Vietnam, Taipei, Tokyo and Thailand, Mr. Anderson served as deputy chief of mission in Tokyo under Ambassador Mike Mansfield. He then became principal deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific, covering U.S. relations with Japan, China, Korea and Mongolia. He opened the U.S. embassy in Hanoi after diplomatic relations were established in 1995, and served as chargé working for U.S.-Vietnamese reconciliation until 1997. He subsequently served as executive director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO) until 2001. Having taught on Asian issues at Princeton University in the 1990s, he inaugurated and conducted the Princeton Global Summer Seminar in Hanoi from 2007-2009. In his later years, Mr. Anderson wrote on Asian issues and painted from his studio in New York City.
Mr. Anderson received his BA in history from Princeton University, and pursued graduate study in European literature at the University of California at Berkeley. He also served on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1958-60.
Mr. Anderson attended his first meeting of the Mansfield Foundation Board of Directors in 1994 and went on to become the longest-serving board member in the organization’s history. He served as chairperson of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation from 2015-2019. He passed away on February 11, 2021.