Learn a brief history of Laos with a focus on economic development, foreign relations, and the current relationship with the U.S.
His Excellency Mai Sayavongs has been the ambassador since August 2015. Previously, Sayavongs had served as director general of the Department of Asia-Pacific and Africa in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; as minister counselor and deputy chief of mission to the U.S., and as deputy director general of the Department of Europe and America in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A career diplomat, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in January 1982, and his first overseas posting was in Washington, D.C. Sayavongs received an MA in international relations from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, completed an English Language Training Course at Canberra University in Australia, received a second MA in Asia and international studies from Griffith University in Australia, and completed a Higher Diploma Program on politics and public administration from the Lao National Academy of Politics and Public Administration in Vientiane. Born in Houaphanh, the northern province of Laos, his family evacuated to Vientiane to escape from the heavy bombardment by the U.S. warplanes during the war.