When Biden’s presidential envoy Joseph Yun landed in the Marshall Islands in June 2022, he took every precaution.

Everyone involved wore teal N95 masks. Yun kept his distance from his Marshallese hosts, who exchanged handmade gifts without physical contact, the U.S. military base’s newspaper Kwajalein Hourglass reported. Concerns around COVID-19 had delayed Yun’s trip and related negotiations over pacts with the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau — strategic islands in the Pacific where the United States and China are vying for military dominance.

But the Biden administration has been less cautious about the ethical quandary presented by Yun’s role. At the same time that Yun was America’s chief negotiator in the Pacific, he was also listed as a senior adviser to The Asia Group, an ultra-connected Washington consulting firm composed of former government leaders who advise major corporations and military contractors. He led talks that are likely to deliver a lucrative advantage to the consulting firm where he currently works and the powerful defense contractor it represents in the Pacific.