Robert R. King

robert king

Robert R. King, Ph.D.

  • Koret Fellow, 2019-20
  • Visiting Scholar at APARC
Shorenstein APARCStanford UniversityEncina Hall E301Stanford, CA 94305-6055


Robert R. King was a Visiting Scholar, Koret Fellow at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC) during the 2019 fall term.  He is the former U.S. Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues at the U.S. Department of State (2009-2017).  He is Special Advisor to the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a non-resident Fellow at the Korea Economic Institute, and a member of the board of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. 

Ambassador King’s research interests include North Korea human rights, Northeast Asia, U.S. foreign policy, and the Congressional role in U.S. foreign affairs.  During his time at Shorenstein APARC, he researched the United States efforts to promote human rights in North Korea.

Before assuming his position at the Department of State, King was Staff Director and Minority Staff Director of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives (2001-2009).  He served as Chief of Staff to Congressman Tom Lantos of California (1983-2008).  He was a White House Fellow on the staff of the National Security Council (1977-1978), and Senior Analyst and Assistant Director of Research at Radio Free Europe in Munich, Germany (1970-1977).

King holds a PhD and an MALD in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a BA in political Science from Brigham Young University.


October 2021

The North Korean Conundrum

cover link The North Korean Conundrum
April 2021

Patterns of Impunity

cover link Patterns of Impunity

In The News

North Korea Conundrum Book cover

How to Solve the North Korean Conundrum: The Role of Human Rights in Policy Toward the DPRK

APARC's new edited volume, 'The North Korean Conundrum,' shines a spotlight on the North Korean human rights crisis and its connection to nuclear security. In the book launch discussion, contributors to the volume explain why improving human rights in the country ought to play an integral part of any comprehensive U.S. engagement strategy with the DPRK.
cover link How to Solve the North Korean Conundrum: The Role of Human Rights in Policy Toward the DPRK