List of Famous Diplomats

List of famous diplomats, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top diplomats in the world? This includes the most prominent diplomats, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable diplomats is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic diplomats were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned diplomats.

The list you're viewing contains people like John Quincy Adams and Hillary Clinton. Featuring great diplomats of history and the present, this list has it all. 

From reputable, prominent, and well known diplomats to the lesser known diplomats of today, these are some of the best professionals in the diplomat field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous diplomats ever?" and "What are the names of famous diplomats?" then you're in the right place. 
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  • Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (born Hillary Diane Rodham, October 26, 1947) is an American politician, diplomat, lawyer, writer and public speaker. She was First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001, a United States senator from New York from 2001 to 2009 and the 67th United States secretary of state from 2009 until 2013. Clinton became the first woman to be nominated for President of the United States by a major political party when she won the Democratic Party nomination in 2016. Raised in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, Clinton graduated from Wellesley College in 1969 and earned a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 1973. After serving as a congressional legal counsel, she moved to Arkansas and married future president Bill Clinton in 1975; the two had met at Yale. In 1977, she co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. She was appointed the first female chair of the Legal Services Corporation in 1978 and became the first female partner at Little Rock's Rose Law Firm the following year. Clinton was the first lady of Arkansas from 1979 to 1981 and again from 1983 to 1992. As first lady of the United States, Clinton advocated for healthcare reform. In 1994, her major initiative—the Clinton health care plan—failed to gain approval from Congress. In 1997 and 1999, Clinton played a leading role in advocating the creation of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, the Adoption and Safe Families Act and the Foster Care Independence Act. Her marital relationship came under public scrutiny during the Lewinsky scandal, which led her to issue a statement that reaffirmed her commitment to the marriage. In 2000, Clinton was elected as the first female senator from New York. She was re-elected in 2006. During her Senate tenure, Clinton advocated for medical benefits for first responders whose health was damaged in the September 11 attacks. In 2008, Clinton ran for president but was defeated by eventual winner Barack Obama in the Democratic primaries. Clinton served as U.S. secretary of state in the Obama Administration from 2009 to 2013. During her tenure, Clinton responded to the Arab Spring by advocating military intervention in Libya. She was harshly criticized by Republicans for the failure to prevent or adequately respond to the 2012 Benghazi attack. Clinton helped to organize a diplomatic isolation and a regime of international sanctions against Iran in an effort to force it to curtail its nuclear program; this effort eventually led to the multinational Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement in 2015. Her use of a private e-mail server during her time as Secretary of State was the subject of intense scrutiny; while no charges were filed against Clinton, the e-mail controversy was the single most covered topic during the 2016 presidential election. Upon leaving her Cabinet position after Obama's first term, she wrote her fifth book and undertook speaking engagements. Clinton made a second presidential run in 2016. After winning the Democratic nomination, she ran in the general election with Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate. Clinton lost the presidential election to Republican opponent Donald Trump in the Electoral College despite winning a plurality of the popular vote. Following her loss, she wrote her third memoir, What Happened, and launched Onward Together, a political action organization dedicated to fundraising for progressive political groups.
  • Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (; October 11, 1884 – November 7, 1962) was an American political figure, diplomat and activist. She served as the First Lady of the United States from March 4, 1933 to April 12, 1945 during her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt's four terms in office, making her the longest serving First Lady of the United States. Roosevelt served as United States Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 1945 to 1952.President Harry S. Truman later called her the "First Lady of the World" in tribute to her human rights achievements.Roosevelt was a member of the prominent American Roosevelt and Livingston families and a niece of President Theodore Roosevelt. She had an unhappy childhood, having suffered the deaths of both parents and one of her brothers at a young age. At 15, she attended Allenwood Academy in London and was deeply influenced by its headmistress Marie Souvestre. Returning to the U.S., she married her fifth cousin once removed, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in 1905. The Roosevelts' marriage was complicated from the beginning by Franklin's controlling mother, Sara, and after Eleanor discovered her husband's affair with Lucy Mercer in 1918, she resolved to seek fulfillment in leading a public life of her own. She persuaded Franklin to stay in politics after he was stricken with a paralytic illness in 1921, which cost him the normal use of his legs, and began giving speeches and appearing at campaign events in his place. Following Franklin's election as Governor of New York in 1928, and throughout the remainder of Franklin's public career in government, Roosevelt regularly made public appearances on his behalf, and as First Lady, while her husband served as President, she significantly reshaped and redefined the role of First Lady. Though widely respected in her later years, Roosevelt was a controversial First Lady at the time for her outspokenness, particularly on civil rights for African-Americans. She was the first presidential spouse to hold regular press conferences, write a daily newspaper column, write a monthly magazine column, host a weekly radio show, and speak at a national party convention. On a few occasions, she publicly disagreed with her husband's policies. She launched an experimental community at Arthurdale, West Virginia, for the families of unemployed miners, later widely regarded as a failure. She advocated for expanded roles for women in the workplace, the civil rights of African Americans and Asian Americans, and the rights of World War II refugees. Following her husband's death in 1945, Roosevelt remained active in politics for the remaining 17 years of her life. She pressed the United States to join and support the United Nations and became its first delegate. She served as the first chair of the UN Commission on Human Rights and oversaw the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Later, she chaired the John F. Kennedy administration's Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. By the time of her death, Roosevelt was regarded as "one of the most esteemed women in the world"; The New York Times called her "the object of almost universal respect" in an obituary.In 1999, she was ranked ninth in the top ten of Gallup's List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century.
  • Shirley Temple Black (April 23, 1928 – February 10, 2014) was an American actress, singer, dancer, businesswoman, and diplomat who was Hollywood's number one box-office draw as a child actress from 1935 to 1938. As an adult, she was named United States ambassador to Ghana and to Czechoslovakia, and also served as Chief of Protocol of the United States. Temple began her film career at the age of three in 1932. Two years later, she achieved international fame in Bright Eyes, a feature film designed specifically for her talents. She received a special Juvenile Academy Award in February 1935 for her outstanding contribution as a juvenile performer in motion pictures during 1934. Film hits such as Curly Top and Heidi followed year after year during the mid-to-late 1930s. Temple capitalized on licensed merchandise that featured her wholesome image; the merchandise included dolls, dishes, and clothing. Her box-office popularity waned as she reached adolescence. She appeared in 14 films from the ages of 14 to 21. Temple retired from film in 1950 at the age of 22.In 1958, Temple returned to show business with a two-season television anthology series of fairy tale adaptations. She made guest appearances on television shows in the early 1960s and filmed a sitcom pilot that was never released. She sat on the boards of corporations and organizations including The Walt Disney Company, Del Monte Foods, and the National Wildlife Federation. She began her diplomatic career in 1969, when she was appointed to represent the United States at a session of the United Nations General Assembly, where she worked at the U.S Mission under Ambassador Charles W. Yost. In 1988, she published her autobiography, Child Star.Temple was the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Kennedy Center Honors and a Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. She is 18th on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest female American screen legends of Classic Hollywood cinema.
  • Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 [O.S. January 6, 1705] – April 17, 1790) was an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, Freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. He founded many civic organizations, including the Library Company, Philadelphia's first fire department and the University of Pennsylvania.Franklin earned the title of "The First American" for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity, initially as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies. As the first United States Ambassador to France, he exemplified the emerging American nation. Franklin was foundational in defining the American ethos as a marriage of the practical values of thrift, hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism both political and religious, with the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment. In the words of historian Henry Steele Commager, "In a Franklin could be merged the virtues of Puritanism without its defects, the illumination of the Enlightenment without its heat." To Walter Isaacson, this makes Franklin "the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become."Franklin became a successful newspaper editor and printer in Philadelphia, the leading city in the colonies, publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette at the age of 23. He became wealthy publishing this and Poor Richard's Almanack, which he authored under the pseudonym "Richard Saunders". After 1767, he was associated with the Pennsylvania Chronicle, a newspaper that was known for its revolutionary sentiments and criticisms of British policies. He pioneered and was first president of Academy and College of Philadelphia which opened in 1751 and later became the University of Pennsylvania. He organized and was the first secretary of the American Philosophical Society and was elected president in 1769. Franklin became a national hero in America as an agent for several colonies when he spearheaded an effort in London to have the Parliament of Great Britain repeal the unpopular Stamp Act. An accomplished diplomat, he was widely admired among the French as American minister to Paris and was a major figure in the development of positive Franco-American relations. His efforts proved vital for the American Revolution in securing shipments of crucial munitions from France. He was promoted to deputy postmaster-general for the British colonies in 1753, having been Philadelphia postmaster for many years, and this enabled him to set up the first national communications network. During the revolution, he became the first United States Postmaster General. He was active in community affairs and colonial and state politics, as well as national and international affairs. From 1785 to 1788, he served as governor of Pennsylvania. He initially owned and dealt in slaves but, by the 1750s, he argued against slavery from an economic perspective and became one of the most prominent abolitionists. His colorful life and legacy of scientific and political achievement, and his status as one of America's most influential Founding Fathers, have seen Franklin honored more than two centuries after his death on coinage and the $100 bill, warships, and the names of many towns, counties, educational institutions, and corporations, as well as countless cultural references.
  • Henry Alfred Kissinger (; German: [ˈkɪsɪŋɐ]; born Heinz Alfred Kissinger; May 27, 1923) is an American politician, diplomat, and geopolitical consultant who served as United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under the presidential administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. A Jewish refugee who fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1938, he became National Security Advisor in 1969 and U.S. Secretary of State in 1973. For his actions negotiating a ceasefire in Vietnam, Kissinger received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize under controversial circumstances, with two members of the committee resigning in protest. Kissinger later sought, unsuccessfully, to return the prize after the ceasefire failed.A practitioner of Realpolitik, Kissinger played a prominent role in United States foreign policy between 1969 and 1977. During this period, he pioneered the policy of détente with the Soviet Union, orchestrated the opening of relations with the People's Republic of China, engaged in what became known as shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East to end the Yom Kippur War, and negotiated the Paris Peace Accords, ending American involvement in the Vietnam War. Kissinger has also been associated with such controversial policies as U.S. involvement in the 1973 Chilean military coup, a "green light" to Argentina's military junta for their Dirty War, and U.S. support for Pakistan during the Bangladesh War despite the genocide being perpetrated by his allies. After leaving government, he formed Kissinger Associates, an international geopolitical consulting firm. Kissinger has written over one dozen books on diplomatic history and international relations. Kissinger remains widely regarded as a controversial figure in American politics, and has been condemned as a war criminal by journalists, political activists, and human rights lawyers. According to a 2014 survey by Foreign Policy magazine 32.21% of "America's top International Relations scholars" considered Henry Kissinger the most effective U.S. Secretary of State since 1965.
  • Colin Luther Powell (April 5, 1937 – October 18, 2021) was an American statesman, diplomat, and four-star general who served as the 65th United States secretary of state from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African-American secretary of state. He served as the 16th United States national security advisor from 1987 to 1989 and as the 12th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989 to 1993. Powell was born in New York City in 1937 and was raised in the South Bronx. His parents, Luther and Maud Powell, immigrated to the United States from Jamaica. He was educated in the New York City public schools and received a bachelor's degree in geology from the City College of New York (CCNY). He also participated in ROTC at CCNY and received a commission as an Army second lieutenant upon graduation in June 1958. He was a professional soldier for 35 years, during which time he held many command and staff positions and rose to the rank of four-star general.