The US Senate has confirmed Ted Osius as its ambassador to Vietnam after President Barack Obama nominated him for the position in May
Osius, most recently a professor at the National War College, was confirmed along with three other of President Obama's ambassadorial nominees during an oral vote on Monday night.
Ted Osius becomes the next US Ambassador to Vietnam. Photo via Twitter
Ernie Bower, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies called the confirmation “an important move by the Senate and underlines the Congress' understanding that Vietnam is a very important partner of the US.”
“It also recognizes that Mr. Osius is the right man for the job. He has experience in Vietnam and around Southeast Asia and India,” said Bower.
Bower said Osius will be an important advocate for strengthening trust and ties between the US and Vietnam at “a very important time.”
Osius said in June that his nomination to be the next Ambassador to Vietnam is “a dream come true.”
“Early in my career I had the privilege of supporting Pete Peterson, the first US Ambassador to Vietnam following normalization, as he laid the foundation for a new relationship between our two nations,” said Osius, ”I represented Vice President Al Gore on the team that prepared a bilateral trade agreement with Vietnam, and I accompanied President Bill Clinton on his historic visit there.”
Osius was most recently a professor at the National War College. He has served in Asia -- Indonesia, India, Thailand, Philippines, and Vietnam -- for most of his 25 years in the Foreign Service.
Osius said he has traveled all over the country and once rode a bicycle 1200 miles from Hanoi to Saigon.
The former senior adviser for international affairs during the Clinton Administration is openly gay and married to Clayton Bond, an officer with the US Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs.
Together they have a son.
David Shear, who concluded his mission as US Ambassador to Vietnam last August, will now serve as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs.
Ties between the US and Vietnam have grown significantly since they restored diplomatic relations in 1995. Their relations recently deepened, partly because Vietnam has sought to expand beyond China's influence at a time when the US hopes to contain it's bold efforts to expand.
Proof of the improved relations include the US’s recent easing of its long ban on lethal weapon sales to Vietnam and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which seems increasingly closer to final ratification.
Two-way trade has grown from US$451 million in 1995 to nearly $30 billion last year.