U.S. Department of State

John Francis Maisto
Ambassador to Venezuela

John Francis Maisto was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela on February 28, 1997. He had been Ambassador to Nicaragua since 1993, and served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central American Affairs. 1992-93.

Mr. Maisto began his career with USIA in 1963, when he was assigned to the binational center in Cordoba, Argentina. After serving as director of another center, in Bolivia, he joined the Foreign Service in 1968. The following year, he became international relations officer in La Paz, followed by an assignment in the Operations Center, 1971-72.

In the latter years, he became a special assistant to the Counselor of the Department. Next he was desk officer for Colombia, 1973-75. He then held two assignments as political officer in San Jose, 1975-78, and Manila, 1978-82. In 1982, he became deputy director for the Philippines and then director of the same office for another two years. He went to Panama as deputy chief of mission in 1986. He served as deputy U.S. representative to the Organization of American States, 1989-92.

Mr. Maisto was born in Braddock, PA, on August 28, 1938. He received a B.S. from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in 1961 and an M.A. from the University of San Carlos, Guatemala in 1962. He speaks Italian and Spanish.

He is the author of numerous publications, including "Message on International Human Rights Day," which was published in several Nicaraguan newspapers last year, and a chapter in Rebuilding a Nation--Philippines Challenges and American Policy, 1987. His honors include Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards and Nicaragua's Pedro Joaquin Chamorro Award. He is married to Maria Maisto and has two daughters and a son.

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