Ambassador-designate Marc Knapper, the right diplomat at a crucial moment in history

I couldn’t be happier that President Joe Biden nominated experienced diplomat Marc Knapper to serve as the eighth U.S. ambassador to Vietnam.  In his July 13 testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the nominee established clear priorities for his term as ambassador, if confirmed.  Marc committed to strengthening U.S.- Vietnam security ties, building on trade and investment momentum, addressing war legacy and humanitarian challenges, and deepening ties between people, including through educational exchange.  
Marc spoke about both the South China Sea and the Mekong as areas where U.S.-Vietnam “share an interest in upholding international law and resisting provocative behavior,” and where cooperation benefits both nations and the region. 
Photo: Department of State.
Marc loves Vietnam.  Prior to serving in Hanoi as a diplomat from 2004 to 2007, he learned Vietnamese, and he is brushing up his language skills as he awaits Senate confirmation.  Proud to serve America, Marc does not hesitate to show the joy he feels to serve as a diplomat in Asia.  His enthusiasm will inspire Vietnamese and Americans to see that nothing is impossible in our relationship.
During his testimony, Marc spoke movingly about his late father, Marine Colonel Roger Knapper, a decorated Vietnam veteran who visited Vietnam three times during Marc’s previous tour as a diplomat.  Colonel Knapper fulfilled his “earnest wish to...see that beautiful country at peace and thriving.” 
Knapper earned a B.A. from Princeton and an M.A. from the Army War College.  He has been awarded numerous recognitions including the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, a Presidential Rank Award, and the State Department’s Linguist of the Year Award.  
With deep experience in Japan and Korea -- and with India as well -- Marc understands alliances and partnerships.  His appointment shows clearly that the Biden Administration places a high priority on deepening the U.S.-Vietnam friendship and partnership.  He is the right diplomat for an important job at a crucial moment in history.