Former US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs
Ambassador David B. Shear served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs from September 2014 to June 2016, and performed the duties of Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from June 2016 to January 2017. During this period he oversaw the strategic aspects of President Barack Obama’s “rebalance to Asia” alongside Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter. Ambassador Shear delivered a series of lectures in Sydney and Canberra in 2017 as a guest of the United States Studies Centre.
Prior to joining the Pentagon, Ambassador Shear served for 32 years in the American Foreign Service, most recently as the US Ambassador to Vietnam from 2011 to 2014. He has also served in Sapporo, Beijing, Tokyo, and Kuala Lumpur. In Washington, he has served in the Offices of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean Affairs, and as the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. He was Director of the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs in 2008-09 and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs in 2009-11.
Ambassador Shear was a Rusk Fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy 1998-99. He is the recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award and the Defense Department’s Civilian Meritorious Service Award for his work in US-Japan defence relations. He graduated from Earlham College and holds a Masters in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He has attended Waseda University, Taiwan National University, and Nanjing University, and speaks Chinese and Japanese.
Currently, Ambassador Shear is a Senior Advisor for McLarty Associates, a global strategic advisory firm.
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