Term of Appointment:
James Keith was sworn in as the United States Ambassador to Malaysia on July 24. He was nominated by President Bush on April 25, 2007, and confirmed by the Senate on May 25. Previously he was the Deputy Coordinator of the State Department's Avian Influenza Action Group, a body designed to respond to and prepare for the threat of avian and pandemic influenza. He was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for China, Mongolia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau at the U.S. Department of State in Washington until August 2006. Prior to becoming Deputy Assistant Secretary, Mr. Keith was Consul General of the United States of America in Hong Kong from August 2002 to April 2005. Before serving in Hong Kong, Mr. Keith was the Director of the Office of Chinese Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Mr. Keith is a career Foreign Service Officer. He served numerous tours of duty in Washington working on Asian Affairs, and has also served at the U.S. Embassies in Beijing, Jakarta and Seoul. In addition to his Foreign Service postings, Mr. Keith was a member of the National Security Council under President Bush in the early 1990s and President Clinton in the late 1990s.
Mr. Keith was born in Roanoke, Virginia. While he was growing up he lived in Tokyo, Jakarta, Hong Kong, and Taipei. He 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. He has studied Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Malaysian and Indonesian.
Released on September 20, 2007