IWP mourns the passing of Amb. Thomas Patrick Melady

January 6, 2014  |  PRESS RELEASES

Melady CapitolThe Institute of World Politics mourns the passing of longtime professor and Senior Diplomat in Residence Amb. Thomas Patrick Melady, who passed away on the morning of January 6.

Amb. Melady, who had been the US Ambassador to Burundi, Uganda, and the Holy See, had taught IWP's course on the Art of Diplomacy.  He served at the Institute for over a decade on a pro bono basis.  Amb. Melady was also a trustee of the Institute for several years, and among his many contributions to the school, he mentored numerous students and interns, helping many of them publish articles and term papers and find jobs.  In addition, he significantly expanded IWP's network in policy and philanthropic circles, building a community of people dedicated to serving the security interests of the United States.

"Tom was the epitome of the citizen-scholar and diplomat, dedicated to serving his country and the cause of peace in the world," comments John Lenczowski founder and president of the Institute. "He exposed our students to a rare diplomatic professionalism that was perfect for our students' study of this critical art of statecraft."

Pope and Melady

Amb. Melady was appointed by President Richard Nixon as Ambassador to Burundi in 1969, Senior Advisor to the US delegation to the UN General Assembly in 1970, and Ambassador to Uganda from 1972 to 1973.  His two diplomatic posts in Africa came during the height of the Cold War, when the intersection of diplomacy and intelligence were critical to the success of our diplomatic representation on that continent. 

His service at the Vatican came at another pivotal time: the impending collapse of the Soviet empire, which involved significant contributions by Pope John Paul II.  As one of America's most prominent lay Catholic leaders, Amb. Melady began this diplomatic appointment as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Holy See in 1989 at the request of President George H.W. Bush.  

In addition to his senior diplomatic posts, Amb. Melady served as President of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut and as Assistant Secretary for Post-secondary Education under President Ronald Reagan. 

Amb. Melady was the author of 16 books and over 180 articles. 29 universities have conferred honorary doctorates on him, and he has been honored by seven countries. He is survived by his wife Dr. Margaret Melady, two daughters, and seven grandchildren.

He will be greatly missed, especially by his students, friends, and colleagues at The Institute of World Politics. 

Requiescat in pace. 

Ambassador Melady's funeral mass is scheduled for Monday, January 13, at 10:00 AM. It will take place at the Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle (1725 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington DC).

Cards and flowers can be sent to Gawler's Funeral Parlor at 5130 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016.  Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent to the Federal Associaiton of the Order of Malta's Lourdes Endowment Fund.  

Please click here for an In Memoriam article by Owen T. Smith, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

Tom Melady and Ken Hackett

Above: Dr. Margaret Melady, Amb. Thomas P. Melady, current Ambassador to the Holy See Ken Hackett, and Mrs. Joan Hackett at IWP, September 2013.