Larry M. Wortzel has served on the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission since December 2002. A graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and the US Army War College, Wortzel earned his bachelor’s from Columbus College, Georgia, and his MA and PhD from the University of Hawaii.
After three years in the Marine Corps, Wortzel enlisted in the Army in 1970. His first assignment with the Army Security Agency took him to Thailand, where he focused on Chinese military communications in Vietnam and Laos. Within three years, he graduated Infantry Officer Candidate School, as well as both Airborne and Ranger schools. After serving four years as an infantry officer, he shifted to military intelligence and served in the US Pacific Command as a political-military affairs analyst from 1978 to 1982.
The following year, he attended the National University of Singapore, where he studied advanced Chinese and traveled in China and Southeast Asia. Wortzel subsequently worked for the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, developing counterintelligence programs to protect emerging defense technologies from foreign espionage. In addition, he managed programs to gather foreign intelligence for the Army Intelligence and Security Command.
From 1988 to 1990, Wortzel was Assistant Army Attaché at the American Embassy in China, where he reported on the Tiananmen Massacre. After assignments as an Army strategist and managing Army intelligence officers, he returned to China in 1995 as the Army Attaché. In December 1997, he became a faculty member of the US Army War College, serving as director of the Strategic Studies Institute. He retired from the Army as a colonel, after 32 years in the service.
Wortzel served as the director of the Asian Studies Center and vice president for foreign policy at the Heritage Foundation from 1999 to 2005.