RBG renewed our marriage vows

When we learned that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her daughter, Jane, would be visiting us in August 2015, a friend on our embassy team encouraged me to write and ask if she might officiate at a brief ceremony to renew Clayton’s and my marriage vows.

Vietnam & The US: Legacy and Partnership with Admiral Scott Swift and Ambassador Ted Osius

Admiral Swift (former PACOM) and Ambassador Osius discuss; 1) how legacy issues (cleaning up after Agent Orange, finding POW/MIA) have slowly laid the basis of trust; 2) how key visits and US gestures have led to breakthroughs; 3) the role of US veterans and of Vietnamese refugees in building ties; 4) managing sensitive issues (human rights and the long history between China and Vietnam).

Vice President Kamala Harris’s visit to Vietnam, by Ted Osius

The Biden-Harris Administration clearly views its partnership with Vietnam as significant, as the vice president’s visit followed that of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin by only a few weeks.

Highlights on CSIS discussion

The practice of Vietnamese diplomacy is to deliver on substance, not to be too loud about it. Their leadership in ASEAN is fairly quiet; not looking for headlines, they’re looking to move things forward, esp. on strategic issues like freedom of navigation & the Mekong.

Ambassador-designate Marc Knapper, the right diplomat at a crucial moment in history

I couldn’t be happier that President Joe Biden nominated experienced diplomat Marc Knapper to serve as the eighth U.S. ambassador to Vietnam.

A visit to Orange County, California

Every U.S. ambassador to Vietnam must meet with Vietnamese Americans living in Orange County, California, where shopping centers fly the yellow flag that once flew over South Vietnam. In Little Saigon, it’s easier to find phở than tacos.

The clean and improved monument of John McCain in Hanoi

When McCain visited in May 2015, I brought him and the other senators traveling with him to see the clean, improved monument. The Vietnamese pejorative prefix “Tên” before McCain’s name had been replaced with “phi cong” or “pilot.” McCain’s name was spelled correctly.

President Clinton's trip to Vietnam and the 2000 contested election

President Clinton’s trip followed the contested presidential election of November 2000 by a little more than a week. Each evening during the trip, we staffers raced to our hotel rooms to watch newscasters discuss hanging chads and butterfly ballots in Florida.

Nothing Is Impossible preorder bonuses

Preorder and apply the promo code RFLR19 to get a 30% discount for both the hard copy (and free shipping - only in America) and the ebook version.

Ambassador Pete Peterson's first arrival to Hanoi

May is the hottest month in Vietnam, but the sun was especially relentless on May 9, 1997, when an excited crowd waited on the tarmac at Nội Bài Airport for the arrival of the first U.S. ambassador assigned to Hanoi.

'Honoring people who died' and Biên Hòa Cemetery

Both our societies live with ghosts, with memories, and with legacies. With the aftermath.—Drew Gilpin Faust, Harvard University President from remarks delivered on March 23, 2017, at the Hồ Chí Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Three aspects of the U.S.-Vietnam economic partnership:

I discussed three aspects of the U.S.-Vietnam economic partnership: (1) Why has Vietnam vaulted into the shortlist of countries of the greatest interest to American investors? (2) Why does the smart handling of the COVID-19 pandemic mean prospects continue to be good? and (3) a few thoughts about the tech industry and digital transformation.

Đỗ Nguyễn Mai Khôi - 'Vietnam’s Lady Gaga'

The press had begun referring to Đỗ Nguyễn Mai Khôi as “Vietnam’s Lady Gaga.” A talented singer and songwriter, and a strong supporter of LGBT+ rights, Mai Khôi seemed to enjoy provoking the authorities. Commenting on her star power, ABC News said, “She’s been called the Lady Gaga of Vietnam, but Mai Khôi arguably has less in common with Gaga than the Russian activist group, Pussy Riot.”

Secretary Albright's visit to Vietnam

We began preparing for a visit by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright - her first trip to Vietnam - just six weeks after Ambassador Pete Peterson’s May 1997 arrival. This trip was important in its own right but also because we knew it could be paving the way for a visit by President Bill Clinton.

Samuel L. Jackson filmed 'Kong: Skull Island' in Vietnam

In 2016, when Hollywood director Jordan Vogt-Roberts asked to film Kong: Skull Island in three locations in Vietnam, the government in Hanoi encouraged him and offered support. Officials in Hạ Long Bay, Quảng Bình and Ninh Bình provinces made the filmmakers, cast and crew feel welcome.