Stapleton Roy


Biography of Stapleton Roy

J. Stapleton Roy (born 1935) was a senior United States diplomat specializing in Asian affairs. A fluent Chinese speaker, Roy spent much of his 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. Ambassador Roy served as Assistant Secretary of State for intelligence and research from 1999 to 2000.

Ambassador Roy was born in Nanjing, China, where his father, Andrew Tod Roy, was a Presbyterian missionary and teacher who stayed on in China until he was denounced by the new government and expelled in 1951. His brother is David Tod Roy, a noted scholar and translator of Chinese literature. While in Shanghai, he attended Shanghai American School (SAS), but left China and SAS when the school was closed in 1949 following the Communist takeover of Shanghai. He attended Mount Hermon School (now Northfield Mount Hermon), and in 1956, graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, where he majored in history and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

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 United States Foreign Service.

Roy is currently Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., Chairman of the Hopkins-Nanjing Advisory Council established to assist Hopkins' in its partnership with Nanjing University that jointly manages the Hopkins-Nanjing Center (a graduate degree granting institution on the Nanjing University campus in Nanjing, China), and a director of ConocoPhillips and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. He is also a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Co-Chair of The United States - Indonesia Society (USINDO). Roy's assessments of trends in China and U.S.-China relations are in great demand. He delivered one such keynote address in April 2007 on U.S.-China ties at the USC U.S.-China Institute. His views were also part of the institute's Election '08 and the Challenge of China documentary.

In August 2008, Ambassador Roy was named director of the Kissinger Institute for Chinese-US Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

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