Donald J. Planty
Ambassador to Guatemala
planty photoDonald J. Planty was sworn in as the United States Ambassador to Guatemala on July 18, 1996. Ambassador Planty was formerly Director of the Office of Brazilian and Southern Cone Affairs in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, U.S. Department of State. He is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service of the United States, class of Minister-Counselor.

From July 1989 to May 1992, Ambassador Planty served as Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Oslo, Norway. From January 1986 to June 1989, Ambassador Planty was Counselor for Political-Military Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain. During his Madrid assignment, Ambassador Planty was Executive Secretary of the U.S. delegation for the negotiations which concluded the 1988 Agreement of Defense Cooperation between the United States and Spain. He also chaired one of the principal working groups during the negotiations.

Ambassador Planty was appointed a Foreign Service Officer of the United States in 1970. He has served as Third Secretary of Embassy in Panama City 1970-1971, Second Secretary in Santiago 1971-1974, and Second Secretary in Mexico City 1974-1976.

In 1976, Ambassador Planty was assigned to Advanced Economic Studies at the Foreign Service Institute of the Department of State. After concluding his studies, he served from 1977-1978 as staff officer for operations in the Executive Secretariat (S/S-S) of the Department of State.

From 1978-1979, Ambassador Planty was assigned as Officer-in-Charge of Spanish Affairs in the Bureau of European Affairs of the Department of State. During his tenure as Officer-in-Charge, he served as the Department's representative on the U.S. negotiation team for the renewal of the Treaty of Friendship, Defense and Cooperation between the United States and Spain. During the negotiations he was Chairman of the Status-of-Forces Working Group. He was awarded the Department's Superior Honor Award in November 1982, for his work on the negotiations.

From 1983-1984, Ambassador Planty served first as Deputy Personal Representative of the President and then as Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See. In 1983, he negotiated the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and the Vatican.

From 1984-1985, Ambassador Planty was assigned to the National War College in Washington, DC.

Don Planty was born in Lowville, New York on January 16, 1945. In high school he was active in forensics, advancing to national finals for extemporaneous competition in Baltimore (1961) and Miami (1962). He was a New York State American Legion Oratorical Finalist in 1962 and an 1962 New York State Regents Scholarship winner.

Ambassador Planty received an A.B. in Inter-American Relations and Culture from Fordham University in 1966 and a M.A. in Political Science from the University of New Mexico in 1970. While at the University of New Mexico, he was a teaching assistant at the Peace Corps Training Center for Latin America. In 1964, he attended the Universidad Catolica de Chile in Santiago on a Fulbright-Hays grant.

Ambassador Planty began his public service career in 1967 as a caseworker for the New York City Department of Social Services.

In 1968, he was appointed by competitive examination to the New York State Management Internship Program and worked as a budget-program analyst for the Ways and Means Committee of the New York State Assembly.

Ambassador Planty was named Executive Assistant to the Director of the New York State Social Development Planning Commission in 1969 and later that year was appointed Associate Planner for the Commission. He was subsequently promoted to Principal Planner.

He is married to Regina Eslick of New York City. They have three sons, Reverend Donald J. Planty, Jr. 31, Matthew 30, and Mark 27.

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