Mr. Marc Knapper, a member of the Senior Foreign Service of the U.S. Department of State, began his tenure as Chargé d’Affaires ad interim at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul on January 20, 2017. Prior to that, he was Deputy Chief of Mission in Seoul since April 2015. Before his arrival in the Republic of Korea, he was the Director of the Department of State’s Office of India Affairs, and before that he served as the Director of Japanese Affairs. Earlier assignments include serving as Political Counselor in the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad; as Deputy Chief of the Political Section at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo; and as Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi.
Mr. Knapper brings an extensive knowledge of the Republic of Korea and the Asia-Pacific region to his current assignment, having served twice at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul – first between 1993 and 1995, and again between 1997 and 2001. He has also completed assignments in the Department of State’s Office for Chinese and Mongolian Affairs, and during an early assignment in Tokyo, he served as aide to Ambassador Walter Mondale. Mr. Knapper has twice traveled to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for official purposes, once in 1997 as the State Department representative to the Spent Fuel Team at the Yongbyon nuclear facility, and again in 2000 as part of the advance team for then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s visit to Pyongyang.
Mr. Knapper is the recipient of a number of awards from the U.S. Department of State, including Linguist of the Year and three Superior Honor Awards. He is a summa cum laude graduate from Princeton University, with a BA in Politics and a minor in East Asian Studies. After graduation, he studied for two years at the University of Tokyo as a graduate research student. He is also a graduate of Middlebury College’s intensive Japanese program, the Army War College, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Seminar XXI course. Mr. Knapper speaks Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese.
A native of Los Angeles, Mr. Knapper is married to Suzuko Knapper and they have one son, Alex, who is 18.