Ambassador Young was born in Washington, D.C. and educated at Wesleyan University, where he received a B.A. (1973), and the University of Chicago, where he received an M.A. (1974) and a Ph.D (1980) in history.
Ambassador Young joined the State Department in 1980. Most recently, he was a member of the faculty at National Defense University’s Industrial College of the Armed Forces, located at Fort McNair in Washington, DC. His most recent overseas assignment was as Director of the American Institute in Taiwan. Ambassador Young was U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic from 2003 to 2005. He also served in Beijing and Moscow. Within the State Department, he was the Director of the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs; the Director of the Office of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh Affairs; and the Director of the Office of Caucasus and Central Asian Affairs. Ambassador Young speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese and Russian.
Ambassador Young is married and has three children.