Kenneth B. Pyle is the Henry M. Jackson Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington and Founding President of The National Bureau of Asian Research.
He is the author and editor of numerous books on modern Japan and its history, including Japan in the American Century (2018), Japan Rising: The Resurgence of Japanese Power and Purpose (2007), From APEC to Xanadu: Creating a Viable Community in the Post-Cold War Pacific (1997), The Making of Modern Japan (1996), The Japanese Question: Power and Purpose in a New Era (1992), The Trade Crisis: How Will Japan Respond? (1987), and The New Generation in Meiji Japan (1969). He founded the Journal of Japanese Studies in 1974 and continued to serve as its editor until 1986. Among his many articles and book chapters, he has co-authored with Michael Armacost, former ambassador to Japan and former president of the Brookings Institution, studies of Japan and the unification of Korea (1999) and of Sino-Japanese relations and the challenges posed for U.S. policy coordination (2001).
From 1978 to 1988 Dr. Pyle was Director of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. He was appointed by President Bush to chair the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission (1992–95), a federal agency that administers a $50 million trust fund to support Japanese studies in the United States and American studies in Japan. Concurrently he served as Co-Chairman of the U.S.-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange, the official bilateral organization established to oversee cultural and educational relations between the two countries.
He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation (1983–present) and was a founding board member of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation (1981–88).
Professor Pyle is a graduate of Phillips Academy, Andover (1954), took his BA magna cum laude from Harvard College (1958), and his PhD from Johns Hopkins University (1965), where he was the Walter Hines Page Fellow in International Relations. He held a Ford Foundation Fellowship at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Studies in Tokyo (1961–64).
In 1999 the government of Japan decorated Professor Pyle with one of its highest imperial honors, the Order of the Rising Sun, for his contributions to scholarship and cultural exchange.