During his 31-year career as a US diplomat, he became one of the US government’s top experts on China, serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for China, National Security Council Director for China, Consul General in Hong Kong, and as a Political Officer in the US Embassy in Beijing. He also has broad experience in Asia outside of China. From 2007 to 2010 he was the US Ambassador to Malaysia. He was previously posted in Seoul and Jakarta, as well as serving as NSC Director for Southeast Asia.
Ambassador Keith grew up across Asia, living in Tokyo, Jakarta, Hong Kong, and Taipei. He joined the US Foreign Service in 1980 after graduating with a BA degree in English from the College of William and Mary. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is Co-chair of the Malaysia-America Foundation.