Joseph J. Sisco

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Joseph J. Sisco
10th President of American University
In office
Preceded byGeorge H. Williams
Succeeded byRichard E. Berendzen
8th Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
In office
February 19, 1974 – June 30, 1976
PresidentRichard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Preceded byWilliam J. Porter
Succeeded byPhilip Habib
10th Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs
In office
February 10, 1969 – February 18, 1974
PresidentRichard Nixon
Preceded byParker T. Hart
Succeeded byAlfred Atherton
7th Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
In office
September 10, 1965 – February 9, 1969
PresidentLyndon Johnson
Richard Nixon
Preceded byHarlan Cleveland
Succeeded bySamuel De Palma
Personal details
Born(1919-10-31)October 31, 1919
Chicago, Illinois
DiedNovember 23, 2004(2004-11-23) (aged 85)
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Cause of deathComplications of diabetes
Jean Churchill Head
(m. 1946; died 1990)
EducationKnox College (BA)
University of Chicago (MA, PhD)
ProfessionDiplomat, businessman
Military service
Nickname(s)"Jumping Joe"
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1942-1945
RankUS-O2 insignia.svg First lieutenant
Unit41st Infantry Division
Battles/warsWorld War II

Joseph John Sisco (October 31, 1919 – November 23, 2004) was a diplomat who played a major role in then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East. His career in the State Department spanned five presidential administrations.[1]

Diplomatic career[edit]

Sisco had served for a year as an officer of the Central Intelligence Agency before joining the State Department in 1951, where he served as a foreign affairs officer until 1965, when he was promoted to Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs by Dean Rusk. In 1969, he was promoted to Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. He left the government in 1976, and served as the President of American University until 1980.[2]

Private sector career[edit]

In June 1980, he joined CNN as a columnist, appearing occasionally on air as an expert on Middle Eastern and Asian affairs.

Personal life[edit]

Sisco's wife, Jean Head Sisco, whom he married in 1946 while they were students at the University of Chicago, died in 1990.[3]


  1. ^ "Joseph J. Sisco".
  2. ^ Stout, David (November 25, 2004). "Joseph Sisco, 85, Dies; Top Mideast Envoy". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-06-24.
  3. ^ Holley, Joe (24 November 2004). "Diplomat Joseph J. Sisco Dies at 85". Washington Post.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Harlan Cleveland
Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
September 1, 1965 – February 9, 1969
Succeeded by
Samuel De Palma
Preceded by
Parker T. Hart
Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
February 10, 1969 – February 18, 1974
Succeeded by
Alfred Atherton
Academic offices
Preceded by
George H. Williams
President, American University
Succeeded by
Richard E. Berendzen