Joseph Yun, a deputy assistant secretary of state, has been appointed U.S. ambassador to Malaysia.
Once the Senate approves his appointment, he will become the second Korean-American ambassador after Sung Kim, the envoy in Seoul.
Diplomatic sources in Washington on Monday said Yun is to replace Paul Jones, who leaves Kula Lumpur in September.
Traditionally, the U.S. government appoints new ambassadors about six months in advance.
Yun went to the U.S. in 1963 when he was in elementary school because his father worked for the World Health Organization. After graduating from the University of Wales and the London School of Economics, Yun worked as an economist for Data Resources.
He joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 1985. An Asia expert, he built his career in Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and Hong Kong. He served twice in Seoul as the counselor for political affairs and the minister-counselor.
Currently, he is in charge of Southeast Asia at the State Department. He is also working as acting assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs, a vacant post since Kurt Campbell retired.