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.


John E. Reinhardt (1920- )

John Reinhardt joined the Foreign Service in 1957 as an FSO of the U.S. Information Agency, one of the first African Americans to join the diplomatic service in that era. He served first in Kyoto, Japan, the Philippines, and Iran, before becoming USIA’s Area Director for Asia and the Far East in 1970. The next year, Reinhardt was made ambassador to Nigeria, and he subsequently served as Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. In recognition of his distinguished record, President Jimmy Carter made Reinhardt Director of USIA, the first time a career professional had ever ascended to that position. While there, he presided over the integration of the former Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the State Department and the existing USIA to form a new agency known during those years as the U.S. International Communications Agency (or USICA), but reverting later to USIA.