Mark Tesone is a Principal at The Asia Group. In this role, he drives and supports the firm’s efforts to develop and execute client-service strategies across the region. Prior to joining the firm, he spent 22 years at the Department of State as a career diplomat and member of the Senior Foreign Service. Having on-the-ground experience in countries across Asia, Mark draws on decades of experience engaging business leaders and government stakeholders to bring our clients unmatched insight into the region’s key growth markets.
Mark’s diplomatic service involved multiple assignments across the Indo-Pacific, including tours in New Delhi, Shanghai, Beijing, and Dhaka, as well as senior positions in Washington, DC. Most recently, Mark was the Director of the State Department’s Office of Mainland Southeast Asian Affairs, where he oversaw U.S. relations with major emerging markets and developed a keen understanding of challenges facing U.S. and multinational businesses there. He previously served as the Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, India, where he oversaw one of the largest political sections in U.S. diplomatic missions across the world and worked closely with Vice Chairman and then-Ambassador to India Rich Verma to deepen the United States-India strategic partnership to historic levels. Mark also has experience in the broader South Asian region; as an officer in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Mark analyzed political and economic trends and worked to improve intellectual property rights protections and promote export opportunities for U.S. firms.
Mark’s experience in China also provides him with insight into the current factors driving developments in the U.S.-China relationship. In Shanghai, Mark served as the Deputy Consul General, during which he engaged local stakeholders to advance U.S. interests, promote U.S. exports, and support market-oriented reforms. At the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, he served as the Embassy officer in charge of the Six-Party Talks negotiations on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, managing a team responsible for analyzing China’s nonproliferation, export control, and military and security policies, as well as the country’s relations with its neighbors in the region.
Mark has also held a number of senior roles at the State Department’s headquarters in Washington. He has served as the Director of the Office of Maritime Southeast Asia, where he oversaw bilateral ties with countries such as Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei and worked on issues including maritime security and the South China Sea. He also served as Special Assistant to then-Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Dr. Kurt Campbell, and prior to that as the Special Assistant for East Asia to then-Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns. Earlier in his career, Mark served in Washington as the North Korea Desk Officer, and spent his first two tours abroad at the U.S. embassies in Canada and Haiti. In recognition of his contributions, Mark was the recipient of several State Department Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards.
Prior to joining the State Department, Mark worked as an international attorney in Washington, DC. As an attorney, he worked in commercial dispute resolution as well as trade and customs law, giving him an expert’s understanding of regulatory developments across the Indo-Pacific. Mark is a resident of Washington, DC and California. He has attended American University’s Washington College of Law (JD), Ohio University (BA; Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard University Extension School (Master of Liberal Arts, History, Expected May 2023). He is conversant in Mandarin Chinese.