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Harry Harris Headshot

Harry Harris

Former U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea (2018-2021)

Ambassador Harry Harris served as the U.S. Ambassdor to the Republic of Korea from July 2018 to January 2021. Prior to the ambassadofrship, he commanded the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM), now known as the Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), from May, 2015 to May,
2018. He is the first Asian-American to hold four-star rank in the U.S. Navy and the first to head USPACOM. Prior to USPACOM, he commanded the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Other operational commands include the U.S. 6th Fleet, Striking and Support Forces NATO, Joint Task Force Guantanamo, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 1, and Patrol Squadron 46.

From 2011 to 2013, Ambassador Harris served as the representative of the Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of State. In this role, he traveled to over 80 countries with the
Secretary and participated in most of the Secretary’s meetings with foreign leaders. He also served
as the U.S. Roadmap Monitor for the Mid-East Peace Process. Ambassador Harris’ personal decorations include the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, three Navy Distinguished Service Medals, three Defense Superior Service Medals, three Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars, and the Air Medal. He received the Republic of Korea’s Tong-il medal in 2014. He has also been decorated by the governments of
Australia, France, Japan, Mongolia, the Philippines, and Singapore.

Ambassador Harris was born in Japan and reared in Tennessee and Florida. He graduated from the
U.S. Naval Academy in 1978. He holds master’s degrees from Harvard’s Kennedy School of
Government and Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. He also did post-graduate work at Oxford University and completed the Seminar 21 fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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