check out his resume:
He completed high school at International School Bangkok, Thailand, and then attended Dartmouth College, graduating with a B.A. in government and Asian studies in 1983. After, he obtained an M.A. in International Economics and East Asian Studies from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in 1985. He has studied Japanese and Chinese and has lived in East Africa, India, Thailand, China, and Japan.
I suppose that when you’re in the midst of a global economic meltdown, it helps to have someone on your team with a little IR cred, especially with respect to China.