Ambassador J. Stapleton Roy is Founding Director Emeritus of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Center. He retired from the Foreign Service in 2001 after a career spanning forty-five years with the U.S. Department of State. A fluent Chinese speaker, he spent much of his Foreign Service career in East Asia, where his assignments included Bangkok (twice), Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing (twice), Singapore, and Jakarta. He also specialized in Soviet affairs and served in Moscow at the height of the Cold War. Before taking up Russian studies, he was one of the first two Foreign Service Officers to study Mongolian. Ambassador Roy rose to become a three-time ambassador, serving as the top U.S. envoy in Singapore (1984-86), the People’s Republic of China (1991-95), and Indonesia (1996-99). In 1996, he was promoted to the rank of Career Ambassador, the highest rank in the Foreign Service. Ambassador Roy’s final post with the State Department was as Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research.

Ambassador Roy was born in Nanjing, China to American missionary parents. In 1956, he graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, where he majored in history and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Last Updated: May 2, 2014

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12.23.13

[Transcript] One Year Later, China’s New Leaders

J. Stapleton Roy, Susan Shirk & more
Nearly a year to the day after seven new leaders ascended to their posts on the Standing Committee of China’s Politburo, the Asia Society held a public conversation with The New Yorker’s Evan Osnos; Dr. Susan Shirk of the University of California,...

Viewpoint

11.08.13

China, One Year Later

J. Stapleton Roy, Susan Shirk & more
In November 2012, seven men were appointed to the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s supreme governing body. At the time, economic headwinds, nationalist protests, and the Bo Xilai scandal presented huge challenges for the regime. Would the...

Conversation

06.06.13

What Would the Best U.S.-China Joint Statement Say?

Winston Lord, Orville Schell & more
As we approach the June 7-8 meeting in California of U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping we are holding a small contest. We have asked ChinaFile Conversation regulars and a few guests to envision their ideal Sunnylands...

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Brookings Institution
11.19.12

Panel discussion with Li Cheng, Kenneth Lieberthal and Ambassador Stapleton Roy

Topics: Politics