David Adelman

Adjunct Professor


David Adelman served as the 15th United States Ambassador to Singapore, concluding his service in 2013. He led eight regional trade missions as U.S. Ambassador to India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam including a 2012 mission to Nepyidaw which was the first American business delegation to the capital of Myanmar. David launched the U.S.-Singapore Strategic Partnership Dialogue and established a Third Country Training Program to address health, educational and environmental issues in South East Asia. He successfully worked for Singapore’s accession to the Hague Convention on International Child Abductions and negotiated the U.S. – Singapore Preventing and Combatting Serious Crime Agreement.

David was awarded the U.S. State Department Superior Honor Award for his diplomatic leadership. Also during his time as U.S. Ambassador, he negotiated the terms for the forward deployment of U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ships to Singapore for which he was awarded the United States Navy Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest award granted by the U.S. Navy to non-military personnel.

Subsequent to his time as a diplomat David served on the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Capital Markets Committee and the Executive Board of the Hong Kong Treasury Markets Association. He is a former member of the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

David is a frequent commentator on international relations appearing on networks such as Bloomberg, BBC, CNN, and NBC as well as various regional media outlets in Asia and in publications including the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.  He previously was an instructor in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia where he taught in the Honors Program.  David served as a Georgia State Senator for eight years. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

David is a partner in the global law firm Reed Smith LLP in New York frequently working from the firm’s offices in Hong Kong and Singapore. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, master’s degree from Georgia State University and law degree from Emory University.


Emory University

Georgia State University

University of Georgia

Areas of Research

  • Diplomacy
  • Asia-Pacific International Relations

External Affiliations

  • Reed Smith LLP, Partner
  • Hong Kong Treasury Markets Association
  • U.S. Department of State
  • Council on Foreign Relations


Courses Taught

  • Asia-Pacific International Relations (INTRL-GA 1759)