Back to Officials


Name: Shear, David
Current Position: Previous Ambassador

It took almost eight months after his nomination, but veteran Foreign Service officer David B. Shear officially became the ambassador to Vietnam, on August 4, 2011. Shear’s appointment was held up after Senators from both parties placed multiple holds on the diplomat’s confirmation, to protest problems that Americans have had with adopting orphans from Vietnam.

Shear graduated from Earlham College in 1975 and has a master’s degree in international affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in 1983. He has attended Waseda University, Taiwan National University and the Johns Hopkins Nanjing Center (1987)
He joined the Foreign Service in 1982 and his assignments have concentrated heavily on Asia.
Shear was a Rusk Fellow at Georgetown University’s institute for the Study of Diplomacy 1998-1999.
He has served in Sapporo and Tokyo (2001-2005), Japan, Beijing, China, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he was deputy chief of mission from 2005 to 2008.
In Washington, he has worked in the State Department’s 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 2008-2009 and served as deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs in 2009-2011.
Shear has a first degree rank in the practice of Kendo, or Japanese sword fighting. He speaks Chinese and Japanese. He and his wife, Barbara (who also has has a first degree rank in Kendo), have one daughter.
Official Biography (State Department)
Bookmark and Share