David Lambertson was a Foreign Service Officer for 32 years, with assignments in Saigon, Medan (Indonesia), Paris (Vietnam Peace Talks), Tokyo, London, Canberra, Seoul and Bangkok. In Washington, he was Deputy Director of Japanese Affairs, Director of Korean Affairs, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State with responsibility for Southeast Asia. Lambertson was Ambassador to Thailand from 1991 to 1995.
In the years since his retirement from the State Department in 1995, Lambertson has been an adjunct faculty member at the University of Kansas, Claremont-McKenna College (California), and the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth. He was also a part-time representative in North Korea of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization from 2000 to 2005.
Lambertson is a graduate of the University of Redlands (California) and the Royal College of Defence Studies in London.