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.


Marc I. Grossman (1951- )

Marc Grossman joined the Foreign Service in 1976 and quickly rose through the ranks during his 29-year career with early and midcareer overseas assignments to the U.S. Mission to NATO and Pakistan as well as high-visibility positions within the State Department. He became Executive Secretary of the Department of State in 1993. In that job, he successfully promoted greater Department efficiency by empowering desk officers and reducing cable and memo clearances. Subsequently, in 1997 following service as ambassador to Turkey, he became Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs. After a brief stint as Director General of the Foreign Service in 2000, Grossman served in the Department’s most senior position for an FSO, Under Secretary for Political Affairs, until his retirement as a career ambassador from the Department in 2005. In his last assignment, as the key U.S. negotiator trying to resolve the Turkish/Cyprus impasse, he led the U.S. effort supporting Turkey’s eventual entry into the European Union. In the latter stages of his career, Grossman was a leader in efforts to instill in new FSOs a sense of Foreign Service history. He also worked closely with Secretary of State Colin Powell in conceptualizing the Diplomatic Readiness Initiative that led to the recruitment of large numbers of minorities and other qualified junior officers into the Foreign Service.