Dennis Jett, professor of international affairs at Penn State, is a former U.S. Ambassador with extensive expertise in international relations, foreign aid administration, and American foreign policy. He spent 28 years in the U.S. foreign service, a number of those in Africa, serving as the deputy chief of mission in the U.S. Embassy in Malawi, where he assisted in the response to an influx of more than 500,000 Mozambican refugees, and then as deputy chief of mission in the U.S. Embassy in Liberia, where he was the second ranking officer during the Liberian Civil War. For his service in Liberia during this tumultuous time, he received the State Department's Distinguished Honor Award for “exceptional service, superb leadership, keen perception and adroitness in the formulation and execution of U.S. foreign policy.”
Professor Jett served as U.S. ambassador to Mozambique (1993-1996) and Peru (1996-1999). As ambassador to Mozambique, Professor Jett helped bring about the successful conclusion of one of the world's largest peacekeeping operations, and received the American Foreign Service Award Association's Christian Herter Award. Professor Jett was the Diplomat in Residence at the Carter Center in Atlanta from 1999 to 2000, and prior to joining Penn State, was the dean of the University of Florida’s International Center. He is the author of Why American Foreign Policy Fails: Unsafe at Home and Despised Abroad , (Palgrave Macmillan 2008). American Ambassadors: The Past, Present, and Future of America’s Diplomats , Palgrave/Macmillan, December 2014 . Why Peacekeeping Fails , New York: Palgrave St. Martin's Press, 2000 . The Iran Nuclear Agreement - Bombs and Bureaucrats and Billionaires, October 2017, Palgrave Macmillan.