The Leaderboard: Pham Quang Vinh

The Leaderboard profiles the people behind the policies of the Asia-Pacific.Who is he?

Mr. Pham Quang Vinh is a veteran Vietnamese diplomat and currently deputy minister responsible for ASEAN in Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has led the Vietnamese delegation to ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meetings for the past seven years. During this time, he contributed to the strengthening of relations between ASEAN and its key partners such as China, Japan, Russia, and the United States.

From 2003 to 2007, Vinh served as minister-counselor at the Vietnamese embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, following a three-year tenure as deputy director-general in the Ministry’s Department of International Organizations. From 1996 to 1999, he was deputy representative of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.

Why is he in the news?

Vietnamese president Truong Tan Sang on July 16 appointed Vinh the next ambassador of Vietnam to the United States. He will replace the current ambassador, Nguyen Quoc Cuong, when Cuong finishes his term near the end of 2014.

What can we expect?

As the next Vietnamese envoy to the United States, Vinh will seek to strengthen economic and security ties between the two countries under the U.S.-Vietnam comprehensive partnership. Some of the key bilateral issues he will need to address include Vietnam’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement currently being negotiated and how to take the bilateral defense relationship to the next level. Expect Vinh to take an active stance on issues connected to maritime security and China’s increasing assertiveness in the South China Sea.


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