The Center on Global Energy Policy hosted a student-only roundtable with David Rank, former Charge d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Beijing. Rank retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in June 2017 after a 27-year career, following the administration's decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. He offered frank guidance and advice to students interested in a career in government service, including his reflections on the obligations, opportunities, and challenges faced by career diplomats when a new U.S. Administration comes into office intent on reversing previous policy on high-profile issues like the response to climate change.
David Rank also served as headliner for a separate public event organized by CGEP on US-China energy and climate issues the morning of November 9.
David Rank spent 27 years as a State Department Foreign Service Officer, including his final assignment as Deputy Chief of Mission and, following the 2016 election, as the Chargé d’Affaires (Acting Ambassador) at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. In addition to six Foreign Service assignments in greater China (three in Beijing, two at the American Institute in Taiwan, and one at the U.S. Consulate General in Shanghai), Rank served at the U.S. embassies in Kabul, Athens, and Port Louis (Mauritius). His domestic assignments included jobs as Director of the State’s Office of Afghanistan Affairs, Senior Advisor to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP), Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and Korea desk officer. From 2012-2013, he was a Dean and Virginia Rusk Fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. In 2015, he received the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award for his role in the release of the only American servicemember held by the enemy in Afghanistan. He is also the recipient of the American Foreign Service Association’s Sinclaire Award for the study of languages and their related cultures. Rank speaks Mandarin, French, Dari, and Greek.