Matthew Pottinger

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Person.png Matthew Pottinger   LinkedInRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Matthew Pottinger.png
Alma materMilton Academy, University of Massachusetts
ParentsJ. Stanley Pottinger
SpouseYen Pottinger
Member ofCouncil on Foreign Relations/Members 3, White House/Coronavirus Task Force
Interests • Covid-19
• China
National security Bilderberg and coronavirus task force

Employment.png United States Deputy National Security Advisor

In office
September 22, 2019 - January 7, 2021

Matthew Pottinger attended the Bilderberg for the first time in 2019. He is a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and "architect of the Chinese Cold War"[1] In late 2019 he told international leaders that he believed SARS-CoV-2 originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.[2]


Pottinger is the son of author and former Department of Justice official J. Stanley Pottinger, who was assistant attorney general under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He was educated at Milton Academy and is a schoolmate and childhood friend of fellow journalist John Avlon (managing director of The Daily Beast, later CNN. Pottinger graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with an undergraduate degree in Chinese studies; he is fluent in Mandarin. His language study choice, and his subsequent career in 'journalism' and national security points to him being recruited by spy services out of university.

Journalistic career

Before he joined the United States Marine Corps, Pottinger worked (under cover?) as a journalist for Reuters between 1998 and 2001. Then he moved to The Wall Street Journal until his retirement from journalism in 2005. He covered a variety of topics, including the SARS epidemic and the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. He spent seven years reporting in China. In China Pottinger was harassed, arrested and forced to flush notes down the toilet to prevent their seizure by Chinese police or counterintelligence.[3]

Military career

At the age of 32, in September 2005, Pottinger joined the Marine Corps and served as a military intelligence officer. He was over-aged when he officially joined.

He served three deployments: one in the occupation of Iraq from April to November 2007, and two in the occupation of Afghanistan from November 2008 to May 2009 and July 2009 to May 2010. On his second tour in Afghanistan, he met U.S. Army General Michael T. Flynn, with whom he co-wrote a report. The report, published in January 2010 through the Center for a New American Security, was titled Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan. After he left active service, Pottinger worked in New York City, including for the hedge fund Davidson Kempner Capital Management.

Political career

In 2017, he was hired as a member of the U.S. National Security Council of the administration of Donald Trump. Michael Flynn, whom Pottinger had worked for in the military, made him the NSC's Asia director, and he remained in his position under H. R. McMaster and John R. Bolton.

In his NSC position, Pottinger advocated a hard line stance on China which combined trade policy with intelligence psy-ops and military might.

In September 2019, newly-installed National Security Advisor Robert C. O'Brien named Pottinger as Deputy National Security Advisor.

He was a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Pottinger’s wife, Dr. Yen Pottinger, is a virologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and was one of the first public advocates for social distancing[4].

He resigned the day after the 2021 Washington D.C. Riots.[5] Pottinger moved over to the Hoover Institution as a distinguished Fellow and is a participant on its "China's Global Sharp Power Project" research team.[6]


Events Participated in

Bilderberg/201930 May 20192 June 2019Switzerland
The 67th Bilderberg Meeting
Bilderberg/202318 May 202321 May 2023Portugal
Pestana Palace Hotel
The 69th Bilderberg Meeting, held in Lisbon, with 128 guests on the official list. The earliest in the year since 2009.
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