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The Charge d’Affaires ad interim

Mark A. Taplin

Mark Taplin (DOS photo)

Mark Taplin (DOS photo)

Mark Taplin is the Charge d’Affaires a.i. at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, France.  In that role, he leads the U.S. Mission to France, promoting a close U.S.-French partnership and furthering the longstanding friendship between the French and American people.  The U.S. Mission is staffed by nearly 1,000 employees, from over 40 U.S. government departments and agencies, who work in Paris and at constituent posts in Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Rennes, Strasbourg, and Toulouse.

Taplin served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy beginning in July 2010 during the tenure of former U.S. Ambassador to France Charles H. Rivkin, who departed Paris in November 2013.  

A career Foreign Service Officer with the rank of Minister Counselor, Taplin 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 conferences on the 50th anniversary of the Nixon-Khrushchev “Kitchen Debate”; the concept of “smart power” in U.S. foreign and security policy; and the rise of new media and citizen diplomacy in Iran.

From 2005-2008, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, Romania.  During that time, he was overall coordinator of the 2008 visit of President Bush to Romania for the Bucharest NATO summit.

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 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; and Canongate Books (U.K.), 1999.