Posted: 3:22 am ET
Reports broke on Twitter on Monday that David Rank, the chargé d’affaires of the US Embassy in Beijing, has left the State Department over the Trump administration’s decision to quit the 2015 Paris agreement to fight climate change. Reuters later confirmed his resignation citing the spokesperson from the EAP Bureau:
“He has retired from the foreign service,” said Anna Richey-Allen, a spokeswoman for the department’s East Asia Bureau. “Mr Rank has made a personal decision. We appreciate his years of dedicated service to the State Department.”
A senior US official confirmed the account given in the tweets but added that after Rank announced his intention to retire on Monday in Beijing, he was told by the State Department to leave his post immediately.
David H. Rank is the Chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy Beijing. He assumed the position when Ambassador Max Baucus departed post. Prior to assuming the position of Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy Beijing in January 2016, he served as the Director of the State Department’s Office of Afghanistan Affairs and as a Senior Advisor to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. From 2011-2012, Dave was the Political Counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Since joining the State Department in 1990, he has also served in Washington, DC; Beijing, Taipei, Shanghai, Athens and Port Louis, Mauritius. In Washington, he worked in the Office of Korean Affairs, served as the Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and was a Dean Rusk Fellow at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy.
Dave has received numerous Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor Awards, as well as the American Foreign Service Association’s Sinclaire Award for the study of languages and their associated cultures (Greek, 2004). In 2015 he received the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award for his role in securing the return of the only American service member held by the enemy in Afghanistan. Dave speaks Mandarin Chinese, French, Dari and Greek. He and his wife, Mary, have three children – Mary Margaret, Robert and Ellen.
If true that his resignation is over the Paris Agreement withdrawal, this would be the first resignation by a career Foreign Service officer over a policy disagreement. In March 2017, a Foreign Service specialist, DS Agent TJ Lunardi resigned over his belief that President Trump is “a threat to our constitutional order” (see Diplomatic Security Agent With 17-Year Service Resigns Over Trump). If there are other resignations we should know about, email us!