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David B Shear

David B. Shear

Senior Advisor, Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies

Adjunct Lecturer

  • Campus Location: Washington DC


David Shear was the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs from September, 2014 to June, 2016. He served as Ambassador to Vietnam 2011 to 2013.

Ambassador Shear served for 32 years in the American Foreign Service. 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 2008-2009 and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs in 2009-2011.

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 U.S.-Japan defense relations.

Ambassador Shear graduated from Earlham College and has a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He has attended Waseda University, Taiwan National University, and Nanjing University. He and his wife Barbara have a first degree rank in the practice of Kendo, or Japanese fencing. He speaks Chinese and Japanese.