Former ambassador, dean of Diplomacy School dies after battling cancer

Ambassador Thomas Melady, former interim dean of the Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations, died on Jan. 6 at his home in Washington, D.C.

Ambassador Melady graduated from Duquesne University after serving in the Army and later earned a degree from the Catholic University of America.

In 1969, Ambassador Melady was appointed U.S. ambassador to the African country Burundi, a position he held for three years.

Soon after, President Nixon appointed him ambassador to Uganda.

Drawing on these experiences, Ambassador Melady wrote several books.

Ambassador Melady was best-known for serving as the ambassador to the Vatican, a position bestowed upon him by President George H.W. Bush.

For four years Ambassador Melady, served as the middleman between the pope and President H. W. Bush.

In that time, one of his missions was to try to persuade the church to recognize the state of Israel.

Although the mission wasn’t accomplished during his tenure, within a year later the church recognized Israel under Pope John Paul II.

Ambassador Melady was appointed as a professor and senior diplomat in residence at the Institute of World Politics in 2002.

After Ambassador John Menzies stepped down from the position of dean of the Whitehead School in July 2013, Ambassador Melady was named interim dean.

Ambassador Melady is survived by his wife of 52 years, Dr. Margaret Melady, their two children and seven grandchildren.

Eric Hostettler can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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