Ambassador Rust M. Deming retired from the Department of State in 2004, following a thirty-eight year career. In 2010, he was asked to return to the State Department as Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. From March to September 2011, he served as Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs, in which capacity he helped coordinate the U.S. Government response to the 3/11 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster in Japan. Mr. Deming served as American Ambassador to Tunisia from January 2001 until September 2003. Prior to that, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (June 1998 to August 2000). Ambassador Deming spent much of his career dealing with Japanese affairs, having served in Japan as Charge d’Affaires, ad interim, from December 1996 to September 1997 and as Deputy Chief of Mission under Ambassador Walter Mondale from October 1993 to December 1996. From September 1991 to August 1993, he was Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs in Washington.
He served as Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the American Embassy in Tokyo from August 1987 to July 1991. From 1985 to 1986, he was detailed to the National War College in Washington, DC. Other previous assignments include: Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University; Chief, External Political Affairs, American Embassy, Tokyo; Deputy Director, Office of Nuclear Policy, Department of State; Staff Officer, Office of the Secretary of State; Political Military Affairs Officer, Japan Desk, Department of State; Political Officer, American Embassy, Tokyo; Economic Officer, American Consulate General Osaka; and Political Officer, American Embassy Tunis. He completed his BA in 1964 at Rollins College and received his MA in East Asian Studies from Stanford University in 1981. He is also a 1986 graduate of the National War College. His foreign languages are Japanese and French. Throughout his career, Ambassador Deming has received numerous Senior Performance Awards and Superior Honor Awards. In 1997, he received the Department of Defense’s Medal for Distinguished Civilian Service, and in 2003 he was awarded the Secretary of State’s Career Achievement Award. In 2014, he received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays and Neck Ribbon from the government of Japan. He is chairman emeritus of the Japan America Society of Washington, DC and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Foreign Service Association, and the Stanford University Alumni Association.