Ambassador Pham Quang Vinh was appointed by President Truong Tan Sang as the fifth Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to the United States of America in July 2014. He has also been accredited as Senior Ambassador – the highest rank for a Vietnamese career diplomat. Born in 1958, Ambassador Vinh grew up in Hanoi, and still has vivid memories of surviving air strikes during what they call “the American War.” The bombing eventually grew so intense that his family scattered, fleeing to the countryside. Several of his friends were eventually drafted to serve in the Army. He later attended the University of Foreign Affairs in Hanoi, and became a career diplomat.
In this interview, Ambassador Vinh describes living through American air raids, seeking shelter during the school day, and enduring family separations. He talks about his college years, and becoming a diplomat. Finally, he discusses Vietnam’s historic ties to America, and addresses the evolving partnership between the two countries since normal relations were reestablished in 1995.