John Hubert Kelly

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John Kelly
John Hubert Kelly and Ronald Reagan.jpg
1987, right
Personal details
Born(1939-07-20)July 20, 1939
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
DiedSeptember 15, 2011(2011-09-15) (aged 72)
Atlanta, Georgia
Alma materEmory University

John Hubert Kelly (July 20, 1939 – September 15, 2011) was a United States diplomat.[1][2]


John Hubert Kelly was born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, on July 20, 1939. He attended Emory University, receiving a B.A. in 1961. He spent 1962 through 1965 working as a teacher, first in Danville, Virginia, then in Niles, Michigan.[3]

Kelly entered the United States Foreign Service in 1965. His first posting was in Turkey, first in Adana, then in Ankara, where he worked from 1965 to 1967. He spent 1968 in Thai language instruction and was then posted to Songkhla from 1969 to 1971. He spent 1971–72 as a student at the Armed Forces Staff College. He spent 1972–73 working on political-military affairs in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. In 1973, he was detailed to the United States Department of Defense as an expert on Thailand, and then spent 1974 working in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs. He spent 1975–76 as Special Assistant to Counselor of the United States Department of State Helmut Sonnenfeldt. He returned to the field in 1976 and spent the next four years as a political-military officer in Paris. In 1981–82 he was the Una Chapman Cox Fellow and Diplomatic Associate at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at Georgetown University and worked on French defense and international terrorism.[3][4]

Returning to the State Department, Kelly spent 1982–83 as Senior Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs and 1983–85 as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs. From 1985 to 1986, he was Short Terms Project Specialist in the Office of the Under Secretary of State for Management.[3]

On July 17, 1986, President of the United States Ronald Reagan nominated Kelly as United States Ambassador to Lebanon, a post he held for the next two years.[3][5] He returned to Washington, D.C. in 1988 to become Deputy Director of Policy Planning.

President George H. W. Bush then nominated Kelly as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs and Kelly held this office from June 16, 1989, until September 30, 1991.[5] Bush next nominated Kelly as United States Ambassador to Finland; he presented his credentials on December 20, 1991, and held this position until July 5, 1994.[2][5]

Kelly later founded John Kelly Consulting, Inc., a consulting firm that provided its American clients with strategic, marketing and business advice for their overseas operations.[1][4]


  1. ^ a b Bernstein, Adam (September 30, 2011). "John H. Kelly, ambassador". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  2. ^ a b "John Kelly Obituary: View John Kelly's Obituary by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution". Retrieved 2011-11-18.
  3. ^ a b c d "Nomination of John Hubert Kelly To Be United States Ambassador to Lebanon". US Department of State (Through the Reagan Library). July 17, 1986. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Faculty & Staff John H. Kelly". Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgetown University. Retrieved November 19, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c "John Hubert Kelly". US Department of State Office of the Historian. Retrieved November 19, 2011.

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Reginald Bartholomew
United States Ambassador to Lebanon
Succeeded by
John Thomas McCarthy
Government offices
Preceded by
Richard W. Murphy
Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
June 16, 1989 – September 30, 1991
Succeeded by
Edward Djerejian
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
John Giffen Weinmann
United States Ambassador to Finland
December 20, 1991 – July 5, 1994
Succeeded by
Derek Shearer