Robert R. King


Robert R. King served as special envoy for North Korea human rights issues at the US Department of State. He was nominated by President Barack Obama, confirmed by the US Senate, and served in that position from November 2009 to January 2017. Ambassador King led US efforts to press North Korea for progress on its human rights, US humanitarian work in North Korea, and the treatment of US citizens being held in the North. He represented the United States in international organizations dealing with these issues. Earlier, Dr. King was staff director of the House Foreign Affairs Committee under Chairmen Tom Lantos and Howard Berman and prior to that was a senior professional staff member of the committee (1993–2009). He was concurrently chief of staff to Representative Tom Lantos (1983–2009). In the 1970s, as a White House fellow, he was a member of the National Security Council staff working with Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski in the Jimmy Carter administration. He was also assistant director of research and senior analyst at Radio Free Europe in Munich Germany (1970–1977). Dr. King holds a Ph.D. in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a B.A. in political science from Brigham Young University. An adjunct professor, he has taught courses in international relations and US foreign policy in a number of graduate and undergraduate programs. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross Order of Merit by the president of the Republic of Hungary.