John D. Negroponte joined the Foreign Service in 1960 and went on to serve as ambassador to Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines and Iraq. He was also Director of National Intelligence and Deputy Secretary of State.
On joining the Foreign Service . . . “I took the exam in my senior year, in December 1959. I thought I had flunked. I was despondent, but it turned that the five percent extra you got for knowing a foreign language.” (Negroponte knew French).
On Iraq . . . “If your military mission is to remove Saddam Hussein and defeat the Iraqi army, that is a relatively well defined objective and with the strength of the United States and the proper organization and the proper plan you are going to be able to do that. . . . The ensuing period involves helping them rebuild their national institutions, rebuild destroyed infrastructure, organize politically and socially again to operate a functioning society. In most countries that is the work of generations, not days or weeks.”
Explore Ambassador Negroponte’s full oral history here.
Table of Contents
Born, London, England, 1939
Hong Kong 1961-1963
Bureau of African Affairs, Washington, DC
Vietnamese Language Training 1963-1964
Saigon, Vietnam 1964-1968
Paris, France 1968-1969
Stanford University, Hoover Institution 1969-1970
National Security Council Staff 1970-1973
Quito, Ecuador 1973-1975
Thessaloniki, Greece 1975-1977
Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs 1977-1979
East Asia and Pacific Bureau 1980-1981
Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs 1985-1987
National Security Council 1987-1989
America Republics Affairs Bureau 1996-1997
McGraw Hill Companies 1997-2001
Permanent Representative to the United Nations 2001-2004
Director of National Intelligence 2005-2007
Deputy Secretary of State 2007-2009