|Intro||U.S. Foreign Service Officer|
|A.K.A.||John Francis Tefft|
|From||United States of America|
|Birth||16 August 1949, Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin, USA|
John F. Tefft (born August 16, 1949) is a career U.S. Foreign Service Officer since 1972. He was confirmed as the United States Ambassador to Russia on July 31, 2014. He has previously served as the United States' ambassador to Ukraine, Georgia, and Lithuania, as well as chargé d'affaires of the Embassy of the United States in Moscow.
Tefft is a career member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service, with the personal rank of Minister-Counselor. He joined the United States Foreign Service in 1972 and has served in Jerusalem, Budapest, Rome, Moscow, Vilnius, Tbilisi, and Kiev.
Until his appointment as ambassador to Georgia, he was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs since July 6, 2004. Tefft also served as International Affairs Advisor (Deputy Commandant) of the National War College in Washington, D.C. From 2000 to 2003, he was the United States Ambassador to Lithuania. He served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow from 1996-99 (when Pickering was Ambassador), and was chargé d'affaires at the Embassy from November 1996 to September 1997. Tefft served as Director of the Office of Northern European Affairs from 1992–94, Deputy Director of the Office of Soviet Union (later Russian and CIS) Affairs from 1989–92, and Counselor for Political-Military Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Rome from 1986-89. His other foreign assignments included Budapest and Jerusalem, as well as service on the U.S. delegation to the START I arms control negotiations in 1985.
He has served in a number of positions at the State Department in Washington, D.C. and held a fellowship, working in the United States Congress.
On September 30, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Tefft as the next ambassador to Ukraine and he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 20, 2009.
Tefft arrived in Ukraine on December 2, 2009 and President Viktor Yushchenko accepted Tefft's credentials of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary on December 7, 2009. The Ambassador expressed his hope for fruitful cooperation. Tefft delivered his speech in Ukrainian.
On February 26, 2013, President Obama nominated Geoffrey R. Pyatt to succeed Tefft as Ambassador of the United States to Ukraine. Pyatt was sworn in on July 30, 2013 and arrived in Ukraine on August 3, 2013.
In July 2014, President Obama nominated Tefft as the United States Ambassador to Russia in Moscow, after receiving Russia's approval. The Senate confirmed Tefft in a voice vote on July 31, 2014. The confirmation followed several attempts as a number of ambassadorial appointments were being held up at the time. Strained relations with Russia over pro-separatist activity in eastern Ukraine, the country's annexation of Crimea, and the alleged shooting down of a commercial airliner, prompted senators to finally approve the nomination. He presented his credentials to President Vladimir Putin on November 19, 2014 and left the position on September 28, 2017.
Tefft has received a number of awards, including the State Department Distinguished Honor Award in 1992 and the DCM of the Year Award for his service in Moscow in 1999. He received Presidential Meritorious Service Awards in 2001 and 2005.
Tefft is a native of Madison, Wisconsin and holds a B.A. degree (1971) from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a M.A. degree in history (1978) from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Tefft is married to Mariella Cellitti Tefft, a biostatistician and nurse. They have two daughters, Christine, a lawyer at the State Department in Washington, D.C., and Cathleen, a program analyst at the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, D.C.