Deputy Chief of Mission
Mark A. Taplin
Mark Taplin assumed his duties as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Paris in July 2010.
He is a career Foreign Service Officer with the rank of Minister Counselor. He joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1980.
From 2008-2010, Taplin was the Public Diplomacy Fellow at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, on loan from the U.S. Department of State. In addition to teaching public diplomacy, he helped organize a number of events at the university, including a conference on the 50th anniversary of the Nixon-Khrushchev “Kitchen Debate” and the 1959 American National Exhibition at Moscow’s Sokolniki Park; a program on “smart power” and public diplomacy that included a joint appearance by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates; and a conference on Iran, new media and citizen diplomacy.
From 2005-2008, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, Romania. During his tenure, he helped promote a close partnership between the U.S. and Romania. In April 2008, he served as the overall U.S. control officer for the visit of President Bush to Romania and for the Bucharest NATO summit, the largest ever held by the Alliance.
From 2002-2004, Taplin served as Director for Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus at the U.S. Department of State. He helped develop U.S. policy towards Ukraine in the run-up to the 2004 Ukrainian presidential elections.
He served as Deputy Director of the Office of Press and Public Diplomacy in the State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (2001-2002) and Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine (1999-2001).
Taplin’s past overseas assignments also include two tours at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow (as assistant cultural affairs officer from 1984-87 and as assistant information officer in 1994), as well as public diplomacy assignments in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; and Port Louis, Mauritius. He speaks French, Romanian, Portuguese, Russian, and Ukrainian.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities and international affairs from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (1978) and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth (1982). He is the author of Open Lands: Travels Through Russia’s Once Forbidden Places , published by Steerforth Press, 1997, 1998; Canongate Books (U.K.), 1999.