David Straub was named associate director of the Korean Studies Program (KSP) at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (Shorenstein APARC) on July 1, 2008. Prior to that he was a 2007–08 Pantech Fellow at the Center. Straub is currently writing a book on recent U.S.-South Korean relations. He is also a member of the New Beginnings policy research group on U.S.-South Korean relations, which is co-sponsored by Shorenstein APARC and the New York-based Korea Society.
An educator and commentator on current Northeast Asian affairs, Straub retired in 2006 from his role as a U.S. Department of State senior foreign service officer after a 30-year career focused on Northeast Asian affairs. He worked over 12 years on Korean affairs, first arriving in Seoul in 1979.
Straub served as head of the political section at the U.S. embassy in Seoul from 1999 to 2002 during popular protests against the United States, and he played a key working-level role in the Six-Party Talks on North Korea's nuclear program as the State Department's Korea country desk director from 2002 to 2004. He also served eight years at the U.S. embassy in Japan. His final assignment was as the State Department's Japan country desk director from 2004 to 2006, when he was co-leader of the U.S. delegation to talks with Japan on the realignment of the U.S.-Japan alliance and of U.S. military bases in Japan.
After leaving the Department of State, Straub taught U.S.-Korean relations at the Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in the fall of 2006 and at the Graduate School of International Studies of Seoul National University in spring 2007. He has published a number of papers on U.S.-Korean relations. His foreign languages are Korean, Japanese, and German.