Prior to becoming deputy national security advisor, Steinberg served as director of the State Department’s policy planning staff, and as deputy assistant secretary for analysis in the bureau of Intelligence and Research. Previously, Steinberg was Senator Edward Kennedy’s principal aide for the Senate Armed Services Committee and minority counsel, U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee.
The Oksenberg Lecture, held annually, honors the legacy of Professor Michel Oksenberg (1938–2001). A senior fellow at Shorenstein APARC and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Professor Oksenberg served as a key member of the National Security Council when the United States normalized relations with China, and consistently urged that the United States engage with Asia in a more considered manner. In tribute, the Oksenberg Lecture recognizes distinguished individuals who have helped to advance understanding between the United States and the nations of the Asia-Pacific.
At times beginning in 2009 the decision was made to expand this series from its original lecture format to a workshop in order to bring scholars and policy makers together to discuss the ever-changing role China is playing in today's world. This new format allows for the exchange of ideas and opinions amongst today's top experts.