Mintaro Oba

Mintaro Oba


Mintaro Oba once wrote that he wanted to become either a comedian or a diplomat. He may be the only person in Washington who’s accomplished both.

At West Wing Writers, Mintaro pulls these two strands together. A central member of the firm’s humor team, Mintaro has written jokes that have helped some of the nation’s leading politicians command audiences at the Gridiron Club, the Alfalfa Club, and other venues. Mintaro also brings the sensibilities of a diplomat to his work, thinking strategically and communicating creatively to advance the ideas of CEOs, startup entrepreneurs, and nonprofit leaders on everything from artificial intelligence to the future of finance. His work at West Wing Writers has been published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and TIME Magazine

In his previous role at the United States Department of State, Mintaro’s work brought him to the White House Situation Room, the United Nations General Assembly, and beyond. At Foggy Bottom, Mintaro advised senior officials on North and South Korea, coordinated with foreign diplomats on issues from managing a rising China to fighting global epidemics, and shaped US messaging for high-stakes diplomatic conversations and public engagements. His words have been delivered by President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and other top US officials. Mintaro’s expert commentary on North Korea policy has been featured in The New York Times, BBC, and other major media outlets. 

Mintaro is an active standup comedian at the DC Improv Comedy Club and other staples of the DC comedy scene. His comedy has been described as “clever, irreverent, and a touch surreal.” 

Mintaro earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from American University’s School of International Service.

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