Dr. Robert R. King became the Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues in November 2009 following confirmation by the United States Senate.
Prior to his appointment, Ambassador King worked on Capitol Hill for 25 years – 24 of those years as Chief of Staff to Congressman Tom Lantos (D-California). Ambassador King was heavily involved in the planning and conduct of Lantos’ human rights agenda, including the establishment and supervision of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, (which recently became the Tom Lantos Congressional Human Rights Commission). Dr. King traveled with Congressman Lantos to North Korea and played a key role in the passage of the 2004 North Korean Human Rights Act. He was concurrently Staff Director of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U. S. House of Representatives (2007-2008), Democratic Staff Director of the Committee (2001-2007) and held various professional staff positions on the Committee since 1993.
Prior to his service on Capitol Hill, Ambassador King served on the National Security Council Staff as a White House Fellow during the Carter Administration. He was Assistant Director of Research and Analysis at Radio Free Europe in Munich, Germany. Ambassador King holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and has authored five books and some 40 articles on international relations.