Last January, I asked the question, "Who will be the new United States Ambassador to the Republic of Korea?" At the time, I had no idea. As of today, the answer is Ambassador Alexander Vershbow. Ambassador Vershbow previously served as Ambassador to the Russian Federation and as Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The Ambassador and his wife, Lisa Vershbow, arrived yesterday in Seoul. After receiving his diplomatic credentials from Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, he began his duties as the new U.S. Ambassador to Korea. Korea is one of the U.S.’ most important allies and biggest trading partners, so it is very positive news that the new Ambassador has arrived. Korea also recently appointed a new Ambassador to the United States, Lee Tae-sik. Now, both men will be able to help strengthen U.S.-Korean bilateral relations.
Ambassador Vershbow earned his bachelor’s degree at Yale University and master’s degree at Columbia University. A career diplomat, he is an expert on Russian and Eastern European Affairs, a background that will help him as he focuses on the Korean Peninsula, home to one of the last vestiges of the Cold War. He is also an accomplished drummer and has jammed with several well-known musicians, including Tommy Ramone of the Ramones. Mrs. Vershbow is a professional jewelry designer and metalsmith, and her artwork is now on display at the Insa Art Plaza Gallery in Seoul. Welcome, Ambassador and Mrs. Vershbow!