Office of Citizen Exchanges and leads the U.S. State Department’s public diplomacy efforts in youth, culture & arts, sports, and professional fellows.
Robert Ogburn is director of the Office of Citizen Exchanges and leads the U.S. State Department’s public diplomacy efforts in youth, culture & arts, sports, and professional fellows. He was formerly visiting scholar at the George Washington University 2017-2018 and was minister-counselor for public affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul 2014-2017. He joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1987 and has served in Iraq, Korea, Vietnam, Washington and Egypt. In Seoul, he was the chairman of one of the world’s largest bi-national Fulbright Commissions and also introduced the State Department’s first-ever FabLab Fellow and other innovative sports and cultural diplomacy programs. He also led the creation of the first special Fulbright scholar category for North Korean defectors residing in the Republic of Korea. Prior to Seoul, Robert was deputy consul general at the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City from 2011–2014. In 2009–2010, Robert was the State Department’s senior advisor for rule of law at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. In Korea Robert also worked as spokesman and counselor for public affairs and was press and cultural attaché in Ho Chi Minh City from 2001 to 2005; briefing coordinator and Middle East/South Asia program officer for the Foreign Press Center in Washington, D.C.; and deputy embassy spokesman in Cairo. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, Robert worked in broadcasting, investment banking and law enforcement. Robert was adopted from Korea to American parents and is married to with two children.