Miguel H. Díaz

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Miguel H. Díaz
Miguel H Díaz.jpg
United States Ambassador to the Holy See
In office
August 5, 2009 – November 5, 2012
President Barack Obama
Pope Benedict XVI
Preceded by Mary Ann Glendon
Succeeded by Ken Hackett
Personal details
Born (1963-09-29) September 29, 1963 (age 53)
Profession Diplomat
Religion Roman Catholic

Miguel Humberto Díaz (born September 29, 1963)[1] is an American theologian, diplomat and commentator who served as United States Ambassador to the Holy See. He was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 5, 2009 [2] He resigned on November 5, 2012 [3] and was immediately named University Professor of Faith and Culture [4] at the University of Dayton. He was the first Hispanic U.S. Ambassador accredited to the Holy See.

As ambassador, Díaz helped launch the Religion in Foreign Policy Working Group of the Secretary of State’s Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society. The Working Group facilitates regular dialogue between the U.S. foreign policy establishment and religious leaders, scholars, and practitioners worldwide on strategies to build more effective partnerships on issues such as conflict prevention, humanitarian assistance and national security.[3]

On May 5, 2014, several newspapers reported, including the Dayton Daily News, that Díaz had been investigated for sexual harassment at the University of Dayton in July 2013. Díaz was accused of sexually harassing a married couple who also are professors at the University of Dayton. According to the published story, Díaz was "found to have likely engaged in 'unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature' toward the married couple." The allegation was outlined in confidential letters to the alleged victims from University Provost Joseph Saliba and the University's general counsel.[5] confirmed that there was reasonable cause to believe, based on a preponderance of evidence, that federal law was violated.[6]

On May 20, 2014, Loyola University Chicago announced that they intended to hire Díaz as a professor despite the University of Dayton harassment allegation. A spokesman for Loyola said in an email, “We have reviewed the allegations raised against Miguel Diaz and our offer to him stands.” He will become a professor at Loyola on July 1, 2014.[7]

Early life and education[edit]

Díaz was born in Havana, Cuba, and he and his family departed for Spain when he was nine. Two years later, he immigrated to Florida. He comes from a modest background; his father worked as a waiter and his mother worked as a data entry clerk.[8][9] Díaz holds a B.A. from St. Thomas University and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame.[10]


Prior to his service as ambassador, he was a professor of theology at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University in Minnesota. Díaz is the co-editor of the book From the Heart of Our People: Explorations in Catholic Systematic Theology and author of On Being Human: U.S. Hispanic and Rahnerian Perspectives, named "Best Book of the Year" by the Hispanic Theological Initiative at Princeton Theological Seminary. Díaz has taught religious studies and theology at Barry University, the University of Dayton and the University of Notre Dame. From 2001 to 2003, he taught and served as academic dean at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida. He is a board member of the Catholic Theological Society of America (CTSA) and past president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS).

Conservative news outlet Newsmax claimed that Díaz was rejected by the Vatican several times for being "insufficiently pro-life".[11] However, Time magazine said that the story was false.[12]


Building on the work of Karl Rahner, Díaz has placed extensive emphasis on the role of the Trinity in history.[13] Along with theologians such as Catherine LaCugna, Díaz argues that the life of God cannot be considered apart from history, but must be conceived as "for us, and for our salvation." In this vein, he has also asserted that in the contemporary American context, God can be seen vividly "in the face of migrants," who face the dangers of economic insecurity, violence, and social marginalization in search of a better life.[14]


Díaz gave his first speech on U.S. soil as ambassador on Friday, February 5, 2010 at St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami, Fl.[15] He spoke at the seminary's 11th Annual Fides et Ratio Conference on the relations between the U.S. Government and the Holy See.[16] Ambassador Díaz attended St. John Vianney College Seminary and obtained a certificate in Pre-Theology.[17]

He received several honorary doctorates while serving as ambassador.[citation needed]

Since joining the University of Dayton, he has been sought for analysis and comment[18] by the national news media, especially upon the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI in February 2013.


  1. ^ College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University
  2. ^ Wan, William. "Drei neue Botschafter am Heiligen Stuhl". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  3. ^ a b "Ambassador Miguel Dìaz Departs Post". US Embassy to the Holy See. US State Department. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "Our Man From Rome". University of Dayton. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "Report: Miguel Diaz, UD prof, accused of harassment]". The Dayton Daily News. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  6. ^ "Former ambassador Vatican moves new university after sexual harassment investigation]" (PDF). Inside Higher ED. Retrieved 4 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Loyola Chicago will hire ex-vatican ambassador despite harassment allegations]". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Obama’s pick for Vatican ambassador described as devout scholar, leading theologian, Boston Herald, May 29, 2009, AP[dead link]
  9. ^ Eric Gorski Hispanic theologian chosen for Vatican ambassador AP, May 27, 2009[dead link]
  10. ^ "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts". The White House. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  11. ^ Pentin, Edward. Vatican Unhappy with Obama Ambassador Picks, Inside Cover, Newsmax.com, April 2, 2009, accessed March 28, 2014.
  12. ^ Sullivan, Amy. Obama's Vatican Ambassador Rejected? No, The Swampland, Time Magazine, April 9, 2009, accessed April 4, 2010.
  13. ^ Espín, Orlando (2009). Building Bridges, Doing Justice: Constructing a Latino/a Ecumenical Theology. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books. pp. 91–111. 
  14. ^ Díaz, Miguel (January 1, 2009). "On Loving Strangers: Encountering the Mystery of God in the Face of Migrants". Word and World. 29 (3): 234–242. 
  15. ^ Thomas Pringle"Fides et Ratio". Catholica Omnia. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  16. ^ Thomas Pringle"Fides et Ratio". Catholica Omnia. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  17. ^ "Alumnus-Turned-Ambassador Returns To St. John Vianney". The Florida Catholic. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  18. ^ "Pope Resigns". University of Dayton. Retrieved 23 February 2013. 

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of State website http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/index.htm (Background Notes).

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Mary Ann Glendon
U. S. Ambassador to the Holy See
Succeeded by
Ken Hackett