J. Stapleton Roy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
J. Stapleton Roy
Roy Stapleton.jpg
United States Ambassador to China
In office
August 20, 1991 – June 17, 1995
PresidentGeorge H.W. Bush
Bill Clinton
Preceded byJames R. Lilley
Succeeded byJim Sasser
Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research
In office
November 19, 1999 – January 13, 2001
PresidentBill Clinton
Preceded byPhyllis E. Oakley
Succeeded byCarl W. Ford Jr.
Personal details
Born1935 (age 85–86)
Nanking, China
EducationPrinceton University (A.B.)
OccupationDiplomat, ambassador

J. Stapleton Roy (Chinese: 芮效俭; pinyin: Ruì Xiàojiăn; born 1935) is a former senior United States diplomat specializing in Asian affairs. A fluent Chinese speaker, Roy spent much of his career in East Asia, where his assignments included Bangkok (twice), Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing (twice), Singapore, and Jakarta. He also specialized in Soviet affairs and served in Moscow at the height of the Cold War. Ambassador Roy served as Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research from 1999 to 2000.

Early life and education[edit]

Roy was born in Nanking, China, where his father, Andrew Tod Roy, was a Presbyterian missionary and teacher who stayed on in China until he was denounced by the new government and expelled in 1951. His brother was David Tod Roy, a noted scholar and translator of Chinese literature.[1] While in Shanghai, he attended Shanghai American School (SAS), but left China and SAS when the school was closed in 1949 following the Communist takeover of Shanghai. He attended Mount Hermon School (now Northfield Mount Hermon) and Princeton University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and graduated magna cum laude with an A.B. in history in 1956 after completing a senior thesis titled "The Revisionists and the Coming of the War to America."[2]


Roy rose to become a three-time ambassador, serving as the top U.S. envoy in Singapore (1984–86), the People's Republic of China (1991–95), and Indonesia (1996–99). In 1996, he was promoted to the rank of career ambassador, the highest rank in the United States Foreign Service.

Roy was Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates, Inc., Chairman of the Hopkins-Nanjing Advisory Council[3] established to assist Hopkins' in its partnership with Nanjing University that jointly manages the Hopkins-Nanjing Center (a graduate degree granting institution on the Nanjing University campus in Nanjing, China), and a director of ConocoPhillips and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc. He is also a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Co-Chair of The United States - Indonesia Society (USINDO).[4]

In August 2008, Roy was named director of the Kissinger Institute for Chinese-U.S. Studies at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. He sits on the advisory board for Washington, D.C.-based non-profit America Abroad Media.[5]

Every spring since 2014, The J Stapleton Roy Award is awarded to two upperclassmen who embody a passion for social sciences, exhibited in and outside the classroom, throughout their SASPX career. Recent award winners include Victor Vogelsang and Shelly Huang(2018) and Donna Qi and Matthew Song(2019).

In a September 2020 guest lecture Roy told students at Pomona College that protesters in Tiananmen Square and Hong Kong had gone “too far.” He also said what is happening in Xinjiang was not a genocide, and China had a major problem with Uighur separatism.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Obituary, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 7, 2004 Archived April 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Roy, James Stapleton (1956). "The Revisionists and the Coming of the War to America". Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-04-03. Retrieved 2005-06-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-02. Retrieved 2012-09-02.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-16. Retrieved 2014-06-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ https://www.pomona.edu/events/pomona-college-model-united-nations-presents-stapleton-roy
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Harry E. T. Thayer
United States Ambassador to Singapore
Succeeded by
Daryl Arnold
Preceded by
James R. Lilley
US Ambassador to China
Succeeded by
Jim Sasser
Government offices
Preceded by
Phyllis E. Oakley
Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research
November 19, 1999 – January 13, 2001
Succeeded by
Carl W. Ford Jr.