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Dec 19, 2021 / 15:43

Marc Evans Knapper becomes US Ambassador to Vietnam

Knapper described his term in Vietnam as a return to “old home.”

The US Senate on December 18 confirmed Marc Evans Knapper as the ambassador to Vietnam. Knapper served as a political counselor at the US Embassy in Hanoi from 2004 to 2007.

The confirmation, through direct voting, was made months after President Biden nominated him as ambassador to Vietnam in mid-April.

Marc Evans Knapper, new US Ambassador to Vietnam. Photo: US Department of State 

The new US Ambassador to Vietnam, who can speak Vietnamese, considers his term in the Southeast Asian country a return to “old home”, US media reported. 

At the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s hearing held on July 13, 2021, Knapper set out his plan to develop the US-Vietnam relationship across four areas with security the priority together with trade and investment, war legacy and humanitarian issues, and people-to-people ties.

He said the two countries have significantly expanded security cooperation, including through US support to strengthen Vietnam’s maritime capabilities.

He emphasized that his top goal when he was approved as an ambassador to Vietnam would be the promotion of Vietnam-US relations, which were normalized in 1995 and have been bolstered under the framework of comprehensive partnership.

Knapper believes that Vietnam-US relations can go further and he is willing to make efforts for this goal.

Marc Evans Knapper, of California, is a veteran official in the US State Department, currently the deputy assistant minister in charge of Japan and Korea in East Asia and Pacific Bureau, fluent in Japanese and Korean.

He graduated from Princeton University and holds a master’s degree from the US Army War College, which provides graduate training for military officers and elite citizens to prepare them for missions and leadership positions. Before entering the US State Department, he studied at the University of Tokyo in Japan.

Knapper has more than 25 years of professional experience in foreign policy and diplomacy, in which he has spent many years on policy issues and cultural and linguistic research in East Asia.

In addition to the period working in Vietnam, Knapper has worked and held leadership positions in US diplomatic missions abroad. He was appointed deputy US ambassador to Korea, became chargé d’affaires in 2017 and 2018. Before that, he held a number of leadership positions at the US embassies in Iraq and Japan.