Diana Villiers Negroponte

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Diana Mary Villiers Negroponte (born 1947) is an English-born American trade lawyer and adjunct professor of law at Fordham University whose professional name is Diana Villiers Negroponte. She is the wife of John Negroponte, the former United States Deputy Secretary of State and former U.S. Director of National Intelligence.

Biography[edit]

A descendant of Charles II's mistress Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland, and George Villiers, 4th Earl of Clarendon, who served as Queen Victoria's three-time Foreign Secretary, she was born in London. Her father was Sir Charles Villiers, a merchant banker who was the chairman of British Steel from 1974 until 1988; her mother was Sir Charles's second wife, the former Countess Marie Josée de la Barre d’Erquelinnes.[1]

While visiting her uncle, British Ambassador Sir Peter Wilkinson, in Vietnam in 1968, Diana Villiers met John Negroponte at a dinner given in her honor and he "explained the constitutional assembly throughout the whole meal!" she said. "I was terrified -- and bored. Terrified that he might ask me something I didn't know the answer to, and bored because I was just a 21-year-old."[2] She recalled, "The next day he's on the same Pan Am flight I am, going to Paris. When I got out 19 hours later in Paris, I was heads over heels in love with this guy."

They were married eight years later, on December 14, 1976. As Diana Negroponte recalled in an interview with The Washington Post, "I met his mother at a wedding in London. I asked her, 'How is your son doing?' She groans. John was 36 and unmarried. Mother got to work and mother pulled it off. Six months later we were married." The Negropontes have five adopted children, Marina, Alexandra, John, George and Sophia, all of whom were adopted from Honduras.

Diana Villiers Negroponte has a doctorate in government from Georgetown University and a JD from American University's Washington College of Law. She also studied at the London School of Economics. She served a term as an associate at Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and a teaching position at Fordham University in The Bronx. She is a member of the board of Freedom House, the Leadership Council of Habitat for Humanity's New York City chapter, the board of the Women's Foreign Policy Group, the advisory board of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholar's Mexico Institute, and the board of directors of Opportunity International.

She appeared on a C-SPAN Washington Journal.[3] to discuss US-Argentina relations in March 2008 and on the PBS Newshour.[4]

References[edit]