|Alma mater||Milton Academy, University of Massachusetts|
|Parents||J. Stanley Pottinger|
|Member of||Council on Foreign Relations/Members 3, White House Coronavirus Task Force|
|Interests|| • Covid-19|
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. 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.
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.
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.
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 is a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Event Participated in
|Bilderberg/2019||30 May 2019||2 June 2019||Switzerland|
Hotel Montreux Palace
|The 67th Bilderberg Meeting|