John D. Feeley

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John D. Feeley
John D. Feeley.jpg
United States Ambassador to Panama
In office
December 9, 2015 – March 9, 2018
PresidentBarack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded byJonathan D. Farrar
Succeeded byRoxanne Cabral, chargé d’affaires
Personal details
Born1961 (age 58–59)
EducationRegis High School
Alma materGeorgetown University School of Foreign Service
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Marine Corps
Years of service1983–1990

John D. Feeley (born 1961)[1] is an American diplomat. He was the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Panama from 2015 until his resignation took effect on March 9, 2018.

Early life and education[edit]

Feeley's mother was a professor of English. He is an Eagle Scout.[2] He graduated from Regis High School in 1979,[3] and earned B.S. at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1983. Feeley served in the United States Marine Corps from 1983 to 1990. He flew amphibious assault helicopters in and over Lebanon in the mid-1980s following the 1983 bombing of the Marine Barracks in Beirut. He also flew them from Navy ships in the Atlantic and the Caribbean.[4] He earned his M.A. from the National War College in 2004. Feeley is married to Cherie Feeley, who is also a U.S. diplomat, and they have two children. He speaks fluent Spanish.


Feeley joined the U.S. Department of State in 1990. He is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. His career includes extensive experience in Latin American affairs, either at the Department of State in Washington, D.C., and on assignments overseas. From 2004 to 2006, he was a Deputy Executive Secretary in the Office of the Secretary of State, where he managed information flow for Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. He was Deputy Chief of Mission in Mexico from 2009 to 2012. He has also held the positions of Director for Central American Affairs and Deputy Director for Caribbean Affairs. He served as the Summit of the Americas Coordinator, overseeing preparation for U.S. participation in the 2012 Cartagena Summit. Then as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs he had responsibility for the daily management of policy implementation and the supervision of 53 diplomatic posts.[5] Other overseas postings have included the Dominican Republic and Colombia.

In September 2014, he assessed the development of LGBT rights in Latin America saying "It is the cultural heritage of machismo, which is a bad thing in many ways ... not just in the manifestation of anti-LGBT attitudes". He added: "We have seen in some places — Argentina, Uruguay — some very progressive, advanced thinking". He expressed support for Wally Brewster, whose nomination to be Ambassador to the Dominican Republic was encountering opposition because he was in a same-sex marriage.[6]

President Obama nominated him to be Ambassador to Panama on July 28, 2015,[7] and the United States Senate approved the nomination on December 9, 2015.[8] He presented his credentials to Juan Carlos Varela, President of Panama, and Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on February 16, 2016.[9]

Feeley resigned on December 27, 2017, effective March 9, 2018, due to policy differences with the Trump administration.[10][11][12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "John D. Feeley - People - Department History - Office of the Historian".
  2. ^ "Statement of John D. Feeley, December 1, 2015". Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  3. ^ Anderson, Jon Lee (May 28, 2018). "The Diplomat who Quit the Trump Administration". The New Yorker. Retrieved May 26, 2018.
  4. ^ "Veterans Month 2015: John D. Feeley". U.S. Department of State. November 1, 2015. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  5. ^ "John D. Feeley". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  6. ^ Lavers, Michael K. (September 30, 2014). "State Dept. official: Latin America LGBT movement faces challenges". Washington Blade. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  7. ^ "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts" (Press release). The White House. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  8. ^ Ferrechio, Susan (December 9, 2015). "Senate confirms bevy of U.S. ambassadors". Washington Examiner. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  9. ^ "Ambassador John D. Feeley Presents Credentials" (Press release). Embassy of the United States to Panama. February 16, 2016. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  10. ^ Labott, Elise; Cohen, Zachary; Sciutto, Jim (January 13, 2018). "US ambassador resigns, saying he can no longer work with Trump". CNN. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  11. ^ Santus, Rex. "U.S. ambassador to Panama just quit because he can't serve under Trump". VICE News. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  12. ^ Carter, Brandon (January 12, 2018). "US ambassador to Panama resigns, saying he can no longer work under Trump: report". The Hill. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  13. ^ Partlow, Joshua; Morello, Carol (March 9, 2018). "A top U.S. diplomat in Latin America leaves in protest, swelling an exodus". Washington Post. Retrieved March 10, 2018.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Jonathan D. Farrar
United States Ambassador to Panama
Succeeded by
Roxanne Cabral
chargé d’affaires