New US Ambassador Marc Knapper Arrives in Vietnam
|Marc Evans Knapper's family arrive in Hanoi on Jan 27, 2022. Photo courtesy of the US Embassy|
“My family and I arrived safely last night and are now starting quarantine. We can’t wait to meet with our Vietnamese friends and partners soon!” said the US diplomat on the official Facebook page of the US Embassy in Hanoi.
The US Senate on December 18, 2021, approved a flurry of President Joe Biden’s nominations for overseas diplomatic posts, includingKnapper who was named as the US Ambassador to Vietnam.
Knapper is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, class of Minister-Counselor.
He earned his B.A. from Princeton University and his M.A. from the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He also studied at the University of Tokyo prior to joining the Foreign Service.
He is a recipient of the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, the nation’s highest diplomatic honor.
Among numerous State Department awards, Knapper has also earned the Linguist of the Year Award. His foreign languages are Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese.
|Marc Knapper (middle, sitting), Chargé d‘Affaires ad interim of the US Embassy in Seoul. Photo: Asia Society Korea|
Knapper has spent almost his entire career, spanning over 25 years, working on the policy issues of the East Asian region and studying its languages and culture.
Before his term in Vietnam starts, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Japan and Korea in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the Department of State.
In addition, Knapper was the Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Seoul, Korea, in 2017 and 2018, and prior to that he was the Embassy’s Deputy Chief of Mission.
Earlier, Knapper was Director of the State Department’s Office of India Affairs and Director of the State Department’s Office of Japanese Affairs.
He also led the political section of the US Embassy in Hanoi for three years. This extensive and substantive experience in the region, coupled with his demonstrated ability to lead large interagency teams as well as policy-oriented offices, makes him an excellent candidate to be the US Ambassador to Vietnam.
Knapper’s other assignments include leadership positions in the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, and the US Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.
Earlier in his career, Knapper served in the Office of China and Mongolia Affairs in the State Department, and he also had two previous assignments in the US Embassy in Seoul. He also served as Ambassador Walter Mondale’s Aide in the US Embassy in Tokyo.
Ambassador vows to realize full potential of Vietnam - US comprehensive partnership
|Vietnam-US trade ties have enjoyed impressive growth. Photo: laodong.com.vn|
In July 2021, when nominated for the Ambassador to Vietnam position, Knapper vowed to realize the full potential of Vietnam - US comprehensive partnership during his term, spanning across political, security, economic, and people-to-people ties, Reuters reported.
He said he would "advocate for a level playing field for US companies and investors, including by urging Vietnam to maintain equitable market access for US digital services and agricultural products."
Knapper, son of a Vietnam War veteran, said Hanoi and Washington are working to make great improvements, especially in peacekeeping and maintaining rightful claims of sea and island territories.
Knapper also shares positive outlook about trade ties between Vietnam and the US, saying bilateral trade with Vietnam had grown from nearly nothing in 1995 to more than US$90 billion in 2020.
"Right now, we have what we call a comprehensive partnership; we hope to raise it to a strategic partnership, and I will take steps to do that by strengthening even further our security relationships with Vietnam," he said./.
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