Philip Barton became deputy chief of mission of the British Embassy in April. Barton most recently served as the director for foreign policy and Afghanistan/Pakistan coordinator at the Cabinet Office’s Foreign and Defence Policy Secretariat. He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1986, and has served in Venezuela, India, Cyprus and Gibraltar. From 1997 to 2000, he served as private secretary to Prime Ministers John Major and then Tony Blair, and from 2008 to 2009, he was the FCO’s additional director for South Asia. Barton, who is married with two children, succeeds Dominick Chilcott, who was deputy chief of mission for the last three years.
Nguyen Quoc Cuong presented his credentials to the State Department to become the ambassador of Vietnam to the United States on May 2. A career diplomat, Ambassador Cuong previously served as deputy foreign minister, in charge of the Press and Information Service and relations between Vietnam and European countries, as well as negotiations with the Vatican (2008-11). In addition, he was director-general and executive assistant to the deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, later becoming assistant minister of foreign affairs (2005-07), and deputy director-general of the Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation and head of the Political and Security Section of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Vietnam 2006 Secretariat (2005-07). He also worked as an officer at the China Department and researcher at the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1981. During his 30-year career, Ambassador Cuong was posted twice to Vietnam’s missions abroad, once as minister counselor, deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Vietnam in Canada (2002-05) and the other as second secretary in China (1990-93). Ambassador Cuong graduated from the University of Foreign Affairs in Vietnam and earned a master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He also took a course on public administration at the Maxwell School of Public Administration at Syracuse University in 1998 and participated in the Vietnam Executive Leadership Program at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government in 2009. He speaks fluent English and is married with a daughter and a son.