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Heino Klinck

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia


Heino Klinck performed the duties of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia from August 12, 2019 to January 19, 2021. In this role, he oversaw all U.S. defense policy throughout the region, advancing U.S. national security interests through defense strategy development, security cooperation, contingency planning, and program oversight. He brings more than three decades of private sector and military experience to this position including 8 years living and working in the Indo-Pacific Region.

As a business executive, Mr. Klinck was responsible for international strategy and business development activities for the Northrop Grumman Corporation focused on providing solutions to air and missile defense challenges encountered by U.S. allies and partners worldwide. Previously, Mr. Klinck was the founder and principal of Klinck Global LLC where he provided strategic insights and solutions to a variety of U.S. companies and institutions while also serving on the board of a non-profit organization.

During his military career, Colonel (retired) Klinck served in various tactical, operational, diplomatic, and strategic assignments in the U.S., Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. As the Director of Army International Affairs in the Pentagon, he was the senior advisor on geo-political, foreign affairs, and international security cooperation issues to the U.S. Army’s leadership. He led bilateral staff talks and counterpart consultations with partners and allies globally including with Australia, Japan, and South Korea.

As an Army Foreign Area Officer (FAO), his Asia-focused assignments included military attaché duty in Beijing and Hong Kong as well as positions on the Army Staff, Joint Staff, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and Headquarters, U.S. Army Pacific. His non-FAO assignments included command and staff positions in armor, armored cavalry, and military intelligence units including during combat operations in Kuwait and Iraq.

Mr. Klinck has a BA and MA in International Relations from Boston University; an MBA from the University of London (UK); an MS in Global Strategy and Security from the University of Rome (Italy); and an MS in Strategic Studies from the University of Milan and LUISS University (Italy). He was a Visiting Scholar in East Asian Studies at Stanford University’s Asia-Pacific Research Center and attended Capital Normal University in Beijing. He has varying levels of fluency in Chinese (Mandarin), German, Italian, and Spanish.