jump over navigation bar
Embassy SealUS Department of State
U.S. Embassy Beijing, China - Home flag graphic
Understanding the USA
  About the USA Information Resource Center Special Features Celebrating Black History Month 30th anniversary of US-China relations Anniversary Events News Educational Exchange Sports Diplomacy Chronology of Bilateral Relations U.S. - China High Level Visits & Speeches U.S. Ambassadors to China Resources 2008 U.S. Election The Olympics and U.S. Sports Studying in the U.S.


U.S. Ambassadors to the People's Republic of China (1979 - Present)


Leonard Freel Woodcock (伍德科克)
State of Residency: Michigan
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Feb. 27, 1979
Presentation of Credentials: Mar. 7, 1979
Termination of Mission: Left post Feb 13, 1981.

Leonard Freel Woodcock (February 15, 1911 – January 16, 2001) was an American labor union leader who was the president of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) from 1970 to 1977. In 1977 he retired from the union and was named head of the U.S. liaison mission in the People’s Republic of China by U.S. President Jimmy Carter. Woodcock played a pivotal role in negotiating the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the U.S. and China during the Carter administration. Woodcock was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China in 1979 and helped open the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in 1979. He was the United States' first ambassador to China since World War 11, and served in that capacity until 1981. Woodcock later taught political science at the University of Michigan.


Arthur W. Hummel, Jr. (恒安石)
State of Residency: Maryland
Foreign Service officer
Appointment: Jul 30, 1981
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 24, 1981
Termination of Mission: Left post Sep 24, 1985

Arthur W. Hummel, Jr. (June 1, 1920 – February 6, 2001) was born in China to American missionary parents. Hummel earned a master's degree in Chinese studies from the University of Chicago, then joined the Department of State in 1950, and in the course of his long career served as Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs and in a number of ambassadorial stints, including to Burma, Ethiopia, and Pakistan. He was appointed Career Ambassador in 1981, and the highlight of his career came with his assignment from 1981-1985 as Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. Ambassador Hummel was Chief negotiator of the US-China Joint Communiqué on US Arms Sales to Taiwan in 1982, under which the United States stated its intention to reduce arms sales to Taiwan gradually and reaffirmed its view that ''there is but one China.'' After his retirement, Hummel served as chairman of an advisory council at the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies, based in Washington.

Winston Lord (洛德)
State of Residency: New York
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Nov 6, 1985
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 19, 1985
Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 23, 1989

Winston Lord (born on August 14, 1937) currently serves as Co-Chairman of the International Rescue Committee. He was Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 1993 to 1997 under Clinton administration. Before assuming his duties as Assistant Secretary of State, Winston Lord had been chairman of the National Endowment for Democracy, vice-chairman of the International Rescue Committee, and chairman of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's National Commission on America and the New World.

Winston Lord served as the United States Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China from 1985 to 1989, a time of dynamic change in the world’s most populated country.

From 1977 to 1985, Winston Lord was president of the Council on Foreign Relations. He also has been a member of the Asia Society, the American Academy of Diplomacy, the America-China Society, and the Aspen Institute of Distinguished Fellows. He served as Director of Department of State’s Policy Planning Staff from 1973 to 1977. Prior to holding that position, he was a member of the National Security Council Staff and Special Assistant to the National Security Advisor from 1969 to 1973. Winston Lord served the Department of Defense from 1967 to 1969 as a member of the Policy Planning Staff for International Security Affairs. Also, he held a number of assignments with the Department of State from 1961 to 1967. Winston Lord graduated magna cum laude from Yale University in 1959; he obtained an M.A. at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in 1960.

James Roderick Lilley (李洁明)
State of Residency: Maryland
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Apr 20, 1989
Presentation of Credentials: May 8, 1989
Termination of Mission: Left post May 10, 1991

James R. Lilley was born in Qingdao, China on January 15, 1928. He was the Director of the American Institute in Taiwan from 1981 to 1984. He was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian Affairs in 1985. He was also the U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Korea from 1986 to 1989 and to the People's Republic of China from 1989 to 1991. He is the only American to have served as head of US missions in China and Taiwan. In 2004 he published a memoir titled “China Hands: Nine Decades of Adventure, Espionage and Diplomacy in Asia.” Prior to his career with the State Department, Lilley served in the CIA in Laos, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. James R. Lilley is currently serving as a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

James R. Lilley earned his M.A. in international relations at George Washington University and his B.A. at Yale University.


J. Stapleton Roy (芮效俭)
State of Residency: Pennsylvania
Foreign Service officer
Appointment: Jul 2, 1991
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 20, 1991
Termination of Mission: Left post Jun 17, 1995

J. Stapleton Roy was born in Nanjing, China of American missionary parents in 1935. He retired from the Foreign Service in January 2001 after serving the U.S. Department of State for 45 years. He has spent much of his career in East Asia, where his assignments included Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing, Singapore, and Jakarta. He is a three time ambassador, acting as the top U.S. envoy in Singapore (1984-1986), the People's Republic of China (1991-1995), and Indonesia (1996-1999). In 1996 he was promoted to the rank of career ambassador, the highest rank in the Foreign Service. Ambassador Roy's final post with the State Department was as assistant secretary for Intelligence and Research. After his retirement from the State Department, Ambassador Roy joined Kissinger Associates, Inc., a strategic consulting firm, as Managing Director in 2001.

In 1956, J. Stapleton Roy graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, where he majored in history and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.


James Ralph Sasser (尚慕杰)
State of Residency: Tennessee
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Dec 19, 1995
Presentation of Credentials: Feb 14, 1996
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 1, 1999

James Ralph Sasser (born in 1936) was an attorney with the Nashville law firm of Goodpasture, Carpenter, Woods, and Sasser from 1961-1977. He served eighteen consecutive years from 1977-1995 as the junior and later the senior Senator in the U.S. Senate. After leaving the Senate, Sasser became a Fellow in the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in 1995. He was appointed ambassador to the People’s Republic of China by President Clinton in September 1995 and served until 1999. 

James Ralph Sasser graduated from Vanderbilt University and received the B.A. degree in 1958. He graduated with the J.D. degree from Vanderbilt Law School in 1961.


Joseph W. Prueher (普理赫)
State of Residency: Tennessee
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Nov 16, 1999
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 15, 1999
Termination of Mission: Left post May 1, 2001

Joseph W. Prueher (born in 1942) served as the U.S. Ambassador to the People's Republic of China from November 1999 to May 2001. Prior to assuming duties in China he served as a Consulting Professor and Senior Advisor to the Stanford-Harvard Preventive Defense Program and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Naval Analysis. Admiral Prueher completed 35 years of service in the United States Navy in May 1999, and was Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Command from 1996 until his retirement from the Navy.

Joseph W. Prueher received a M.S. in International Relations from the George Washington University and a B.S. in Naval Science from the US Naval Academy.


Clark T. Randt, Jr. (雷德)
State of Residency: Connecticut
Non-career appointee
Appointment: Jul 12, 2001
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 28, 2001
Termination of Mission: January, 2009

Clark T. Randt, Jr., is the longest serving United States Ambassador to the People's Republic of China. He was a resident of Beijing from 1982 through 1984 where he served as First Secretary and Commercial Attaché at the U.S. Embassy. He then lived in Hong Kong for 18 years, most recently as a partner with the international law firm of Shearman & Sterling where he headed the firm's substantial China practice. He is a member of the New York and Hong Kong bars and is a recognized expert on Chinese law.

In 1974, Mr. Randt was the China representative of the National Council for United States-China Trade and, from 1968 to 1972, he served in the United States Air Force Security Service.

Mr. Randt graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in 1968 and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan in 1975. He also attended Harvard Law School where he was awarded the East Asia Legal Studies Traveling Fellowship to China.

back to top ^

Page Tools:

Printer_icon.gif Print this article

- chinese version -


- Ambassador Clark T. Randt, Jr. -

July 2001 to January 2009

 "To serve our great nation
and our President as the
representative of the United
States of America to China,
the world's most populous 
and fastest-growing developing
country, is both a rare privilege 
and honor, as well as a
humbling responsibility.” 

- U.S. Representatives to China, 1843 - -




    This site is managed by the U.S. Department of State.
    External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

Embassy of the United States