John Ordway (ambassador)

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John M. Ordway
John M Ordway.jpg
United States Ambassador to Kazakhstan
In office
May 12, 2004 – October 7, 2008
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Larry C. Napper
Succeeded by Richard E. Hoagland
United States Ambassador to Armenia
In office
November 5, 2001 – July 31, 2004
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Michael Craig Lemmon
Succeeded by John Marshall Evans
Personal details
Born 1950 (age 67–68)
Alma mater Stanford University;
University of California

John Malcolm Ordway (born 1950, in California) retired from the United States Foreign Service in 2008 as a Senior Foreign Service officer. Prior to his retirement, he served as the United States Ambassador to Kazakhstan from August 30, 2004 to October 7, 2008, and as the United States Ambassador to Armenia from November 2001 to August 2004.[1][2][3]


Following his retirement, the United States Department of State tapped Mr. Ordway to serve as interim Chargé d'Affaires at five United States embassies: Kathmandu, Nepal (December 2009 – January 2010), Sofia, Bulgaria (August 2009 – November 2009), Vienna, Austria (May 2009 – July 2009), Prague, Czech Republic (May 2010 – August 2010), and Astana, Kazakhstan (January 2011 – July 2011, and again from October 2013 - December 2014).

Mr. Ordway’s distinguished career with the Foreign Service began in 1975. He has an extensive background in Soviet and Russian affairs, as well as experience in European security affairs, conflict resolution, and peacekeeping operations. Prior becoming a Senior Foreign Service officer, Mr. Ordway served abroad at the U.S. Embassies in Prague (1978–1981), Moscow (1985–87), and in Brussels at the U.S. Mission to NATO (1993–1995). He was in Moscow from 1996 to 2001, serving the last two years as Deputy Chief of Mission. While in Moscow, he also was chairman of Anglo-American School Board during the successful construction of a new 1200-student facility.

In Washington, Mr. Ordway worked in the State Department’s Press Office, the Office of Southern African Affairs, and twice in the Office of Soviet Union Affairs. He served twice as Director of African Affairs for the National Security Council (NSC). During this period, he was a member of the U.S. negotiating team that achieved and then helped implement the agreement that led to Cuban withdrawal from Angola and the independence of Namibia. At the NSC, he was deeply involved in the decision-making process in 1992–1993 that led to American military participation in efforts to overcome starvation in Somalia.


Ordway graduated from Stanford University in 1972 and the University of California's Hastings College of Law in 1975. He speaks Russian, French, Italian, Czech, Kazakh, and Armenian.


External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Michael Craig Lemmon
United States Ambassador to Armenia
Succeeded by
John Marshall Evans
Preceded by
Larry C. Napper
United States Ambassador to Kazakhstan
Succeeded by
Richard E. Hoagland