U.S. Department of State


Peter Tarnoff was sworn in as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs on March 11,1993. He was announced for that position on January 19, was nominated on February 26, and was confirmed by the Senate on March 10,1993.

Mr. Tarnoff served as President of the Council on Foreign Relations from 1986 to 1993. Before taking up that position, he was Executive Director of the World Affairs Council of Northern California and President of the International Advisory Corporation from 1983 to 1986. While on sabbatical from the Department of State in 1982- 83, Mr. Tarnoff was a lecturer at Stanford University and Georgetown University.

During his career as a Foreign Service Officer, Mr. Tarnoff served in Washington as Executive Secretary of the Department of State and Special Assistant to Secretaries of State Edmund Muskie and Cyrus Vance (1977- 1981); Director, Office of Research and Analysis for Western Europe (1975-76); Special Assistant to Ambassador-at-Large Henry Cabot Lodge (1967); and Nigerian Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (1966-67). His Foreign Service assignments abroad include as Deputy Chief of Mission at the American Embassy in Luxembourg (1973-75); one year's study (1970) at the National School of Administration in Paris, followed by assignment as Principal Officer at the American Consulate General in Lyon, France (1971-73); Special Assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany (1969); Special Assistant to the Chief of the American Delegation to the Paris Talks on Vietnam (1968); Special Assistant to the Deputy U.S. Ambassador (1964-65) and to the U.S. Ambassador (1965- 66), Saigon, Vietnam; and Political Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria (1962-64).

Mr. Tarnoff received a B.A. in Philosophy from Colgate University and pursued postgraduate studies at the University of Chicago and the University of Paris.

Mr. Tarnoff was born in 1937 and is a native of New York City. He is married to Mathea Falco. He has three children, Nicholas, Alexander and Benjamin.

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