JASH Board Members alongside NAJAS Secretary Dr. Bill Duncan welcomed to Houston Ambassador David B. Shear.

Ambassador Shear, Senior Advisor for Asia Pacific and Southeast Asia Practices with McLarty Associates, is the recently elected Chairman of the National Association of Japan America Societies (NAJAS). During his Foreign Service career, he served as US Ambassador to Vietnam, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs and as a Foreign Service officer in Japan. See below for his bio.

Ambassador Shear was in Houston for the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA's inaugural event in The Alliance Working in America Series, which focused on the U.S.-Japan Partnership on Energy, Business and the Challenges of China and North Korea.

Ambassador Shear provided insight into the security environment in the Asia Pacific in the face of growing threats from North Korea and marked how U.S.'s "alliance with Japan is an island of certainty" in a sea of insecurity and unpredictability.


David Shear performed the duties of Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy from June, 2016 to January 2017. He was the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs from September, 2014 to June, 2016.

Prior to his confirmation in July 2014, Mr. Shear served for 32 years in the American Foreign Service, most recently as the United States Ambassador to Vietnam. He has also served in Sapporo, Beijing, Tokyo, and Kuala Lumpur. In Washington, he has served in the Offices of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean Affairs and as the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs. He was Director of the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs in 2008-2009 and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs in 2009-2011.

Ambassador Shear was a Rusk Fellow at Georgetown University’s institute for the Study of Diplomacy 1998-99. He is the recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award and the Defense Department’s Civilian Meritorious Service Award for his work in U.S.-Japan defense relations.

Ambassador Shear graduated from Earlham College and has a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He has attended Waseda University, Tai-wan National University, and Nanjing University. He and his wife Barbara have a first degree rank in the practice of Kendo. He speaks Japanese and Chinese.