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.


Ronald I. Spiers (1925- )

Ronald Spiers became interested in foreign affairs at a young age when he and his family lived in Peru, London, Paris and Brussels. In 1954 Spiers joined the State Department’s Foreign Service and entered its Bureau of International Organization Affairs. Over the course of his 38-year career, he focused his attention on intelligence and research and arms control, serving as a negotiator for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva for the statute of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Spiers also served as U.S. representative to a series of arms negotiations with the Soviet Union, including the Partial Test Ban, Nuclear Non-Proliferation, first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) and Anti-Ballistic Missile treaties. Spiers was also Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs, deputy chief of mission to London, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research, Under Secretary of State for Management and Under Secretary General of the U,N. for Political Affairs. He held ambassadorships to the Bahamas, Turkey and Pakistan. By his retirement in 1992, Spiers had received two Presidential Distinguished Executive Service Awards and was accorded the personal rank of career ambassador.