Joseph M. DeThomas

Joseph M. DeThomas
Professor of Practice

M.P.A. John F. Kennedy School of Government
B.A. and M.A. The Pennsylvania State University

Professor Joseph DeThomas is a former American ambassador and spent 29 years as a member of the U.S. Foreign Service and 32 years in the U.S. State Department. His service abroad included tours in Austria, Ethiopia, Germany, Iran, and Mexico.  He was the U.S. Ambassador to Estonia from 2001 to 2004. He also held numerous positions in Washington over the course of three decades. This included two years of service as deputy assistant secretary of state for non-proliferation from 1999 to 2001 as well as a number of other positions that dealt primarily with proliferation sensitive countries including India, Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Pakistan.

DeThomas served on the faculty of the National War College from 2004 to 2006. He received Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards for non-proliferation innovations, humanitarian contributions, and management as well as a group award for valor for service in Tehran, Iran. 

After retiring from government service in 2006, he directed international science engagement programs in more than 20 countries at CRDF Global.

He returned to service in the U.S. Department of State from 2010 until February 2013 as an adviser. There, he worked primarily on Iran and North Korea, implementing sanctions and attempting to impede the weapons of mass destruction efforts of those two countries. 

He is also a distinguished graduate of the National War College.