James R. Keith


I was sworn in as the United States Ambassador to Malaysia on July 24, 2007 under the Bush Administration.  I arrived in Kuala Lumpur from Washington, D.C.  where I had previously held several positions,  including Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for China, Mongolia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau at the U.S. Department of State.

Prior to becoming Deputy Assistant Secretary, I served numerous tours of duty in Washington working on Asian Affairs, and I had also served as U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong and at U.S. Embassies in Beijing, Jakarta and Seoul.  In addition to my Foreign Service postings, I was a member of the National Security Council under President Bush in the early 1990s and President Clinton in the late 1990s.  And now I am happy to continue serving as Ambassador to Malaysia under President Barack Obama.

I was born in Virginia and my family comes from Georgia and Florida. While I was growing up I lived in Tokyo, Jakarta, Hong Kong, and Taipei.  I  joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1980 after graduating with a B.A. degree in English from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia.  I have studied Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Indonesian and most recenty, Malay, so, “Apa khabar semua?”

And lastly, I am married to the former Jan Carter and we have six wonderful children.

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