Thomas P. Melady

Senior Diplomat in Residence; Former Ambassador to Burundi, Uganda, and the Vatican

Pope and MeladyThomas Patrick Melady (b. March 4, 1927 in Norwich, Connecticut) served as an American ambassador under three presidents and as a sub-cabinet officer for a fourth, and remains active in foreign affairs and international relations. Since 2002, he is Senior Diplomat in residence at The Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC.

After his graduation from high school he served in the U.S. Army from 1945-1947, then graduated from Duquesne University in 1950 (B.A.) and The Catholic University of America in 1955 (M.A., Ph.D.). He was an adjunct professor at St. John's University and president of the Africa Service Institute in New York, from 1959 to 1967. From 1966 to 1969 he was adjunct professor at Fordham University.

A former consultant for the National Urban League in New York and chairman of Seton Hall University, he was appointed by President Richard M. 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.

In 1989 he was appointed by President George H.W. Bush as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Holy See. After completing his assignment to the Holy See during the first year of the administration of President Bill Clinton, he served as Distinguished Visiting Professor at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. According to the Associated Press, his first instruction, since declassified, was to influence the Vatican to recognize the state of Israel, something which was done a few years later in 1993. [1]

He served as President of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut from 1976 to 1986, when he became the University's President Emeritus. While on leave from the University, he was a consultant to the U.S. Secretary of Education and was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve as Assistant Secretary for Post-secondary Education.

Melady is an authority on Afro-Asian and Central European Affairs. He is the author of 16 books and over one hundred-eighty articles, including Western Policy and the Third World, Uganda: The Asian Exiles, The United States and the Vatican in World Affairs, and "Bosnia and Herzegovina: The Future? Part II". Twenty-nine universities have conferred honorary doctorates on Ambassador Melady and he has been honored by seven countries. He is married, and has two adult daughters and seven grandchildren.  

Professional Experience

  • Consultant to the U.S. government
  • Formerly ambassador to Burundi (1969-1972)
  • Formerly ambassador to Uganda (1972-1974)
  • Formerly ambassador to the Vatican (1989-1993)
  • President, Sacred Heart University
  • Chairman, Department of African and Asian Affairs, Seton Hall University
  • Assistant Secretary for Post-Secondary Education

Dr. Melady is the author of numerous books, including Faces of Africa and Development: Lessons for the Future.


  • B.A., 1950, Duquesne University
  • M.A., 1952, The Catholic University of America
  • Ph.D., 1954, The Catholic University of America


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