John T. Hennessey-Niland is the former U.S. Ambassador to Palau. He is one of the most experienced “Pacific hands” in the Department of State. He has served previously at the White House as the National Security Council, as a UN War Crimes Investigator in the former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda and at a number of posts in Europe and in the Pacific, where he has served in Fiji, in Australia, as well as in Hawaii where he was the “POLAD”, the foreign policy advisor, to the Commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific (MARFORPAC). His last boss there is the current Commandant of the Corps, General David Berger. John was recognized by State as the POLAD of the Year while with the Marines. The Ambassador is a trail blazer. He was entrusted by the White House to be the first U.S. Ambassador to visit Taiwan since 1979 and is an advocate for expanding U.S. engagement with Taipei. He is also a leader on climate. His efforts – working closely with Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Secretary Kerry - helped ensure the annual Our Ocean Conference (OOC) was held in 2022 for the first time in the Pacific and in an island nation. The Ambassador’s success in advancing U.S. priorities across the Indo-Pacific has made headlines around the world. He has a distinguished record and is a proven foreign policy and national security leader with 35 years of diplomatic experience as a member of the U.S. Foreign Service. His other great passion, besides his family, is soccer. He is a FIFA qualified coach and played collegiate soccer at Tufts University.
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