Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

David Rank

Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Affairs

David Rank

Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
University of Wisconsin - Madison
1225 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1211

Dave Rank spent 27 years as a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State, including six assignments in China. His final assignment was deputy chief of mission and, following the 2016 election, charge’ d’affaires (acting Ambassador) at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

Rank also served at U.S. embassies in Kabul, Athens, and Port Louis (Mauritius). In Washington, he worked in the office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP), on the State Department Korea desk, as special assistant to the under secretary of state for political affairs and as a fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.

In 2015, Rank received the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award for his role in the release of the only U.S. servicemember held by the enemy in Afghanistan. He also received the American Foreign Service Association’s Sinclaire Award for the study of languages and their related cultures.

Rank is a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, the head of the China practice at The Cohen Group (a global business strategy consultancy), and teaches at the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He speaks Mandarin Chinese, French, Dari, and Greek.


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