Charles Freeman, senior vice president for Asia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has been helping companies navigate complex markets in the Asia-Pacific for 25 years. His career included senior stints in government, business, law, and academia, giving him a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities in the world’s most dynamic region.
During his government career, Freeman was assistant U.S. trade representative for China affairs, serving as principal U.S. trade negotiator with China. He also was legislative counsel in the U.S. Senate, where he concentrated on East Asian economic and trade issues.
After leaving government, Freeman consulted on Chinese and other Asia-focused business and policy matters for some of the world’s leading companies during market entry, expansion, and crises phases alike. He also served as PepsiCo’s vice president for global public policy and government affairs for Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
In addition, Freeman was chair of China studies at Washington, D.C.-based think tank the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Earlier, he was based in Hong Kong with The Asia Foundation and the International Herald Tribune and worked as a securities lawyer and venture capitalist investing in emerging markets in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and China.
He is on the board of directors of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and Harding Loevner Funds, an internationally focused mutual fund. He is also senior nonresident fellow with the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and a senior adviser to CSIS.
Freeman earned his doctor of law degree from Boston University’s School of Law and his bachelor’s degree in Asian studies and economics from Tufts University. He did postgraduate work at Fudan University in Shanghai and studied Mandarin Chinese at the Taipei Language Institute.