Examples of Excellence

From among the legions of outstanding diplomats who have served the United States since the middle of the 20th century, the following 25 individuals were chosen to exemplify the highest standards of the profession. The list is by no means intended to be exhaustive, or to suggest that others are not equally, if not more, deserving of such attention.


Arthur A. Hartman (1926- )

With a deep interest in European affairs spanning many decades, Arthur Hartman became a leading State Department authority on the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and the European Union. His early overseas assignments took him to Saigon, London and Brussels, and his first major assignment in Washington was to serve as special assistant to Under Secretary of State George Ball during the Johnson administration. He later became Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs during the Nixon and Ford administrations. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed him Ambassador to France and in 1981, President Ronald Reagan named him Ambassador to the Soviet Union, a post he held for more than five years. When asked in Moscow for his views regarding reports that Russia was using “spy dust” to track the movements of American diplomats, he responded (according to the New York Times of February 15, 1986): “It is unacceptable to subject Americans in Moscow to any substance that is not present in the general environment.” Hartman retired from public service in 1987 as a career ambassador, the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service.