Posted: 4:59 am ET
The Foreign Service Act and appropriate personnel regulations require three (3) commitments from candidates for appointment to the Foreign Service: availability for worldwide assignment, willingness to accept out-of-function assignments, and observance of Foreign Service discipline with respect to public support of established United States policy – is a condition of employment with the Foreign Service. That third commitment refers to this:
In the official performance of their duties as representatives of the United States Government, Foreign Service members may be called upon to support and defend policies with which they may not be personally in full agreement. On such occasions, normal standards of Foreign Service discipline will apply. Ample opportunity is provided within official channels for discussion and dissent with respect to the development and conduct of United States Foreign policy.
On January 12, the U.S. Ambassador to Panama John Feeley, a 28-year veteran of the Foreign Service did the honorable thing and tendered his resignation over Administration policies he is no longer able to support and defend. The Panama assignment is Ambassador Feeley’s first as chief of mission. He was on the second year of a three-year assignment.
Below is a brief summary of his long career in the diplomatic service:
John Feeley was sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador to Panama on January 15, 2016, and assumed his post in early February. He is a career diplomat who has focused much of his work on Latin American and Caribbean issues, both in Washington and in the region.
Ambassador Feeley most recently served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs from 2012 to 2015, responsible for the daily management of regional policy implementation and the supervision of 50 diplomatic posts across the Americas.
Previously he was the State Department’s Summit of the Americas Coordinator, overseeing the substantive preparation for Secretary Clinton’s engagement in the 2012 Cartagena Summit, a role he reprised for Secretary Kerry during the 2015 Summit in Panama.
From 2009 to 2012, Ambassador Feeley served as deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, where he managed a 37-agency country team that implemented the Merida Initiative. He has also been the Department’s Director for Central American Affairs and Deputy Director for Caribbean Affairs. From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Feeley served as a Deputy Executive Secretary in the Office of the Secretary of State, where he was responsible for managing information flow to Secretaries Powell and Rice, as well as coordinating their overseas travel.
A 2004 Distinguished Graduate of the National War College, Mr. Feeley’s overseas assignments include two tours in Mexico City, Santo Domingo, and Bogota.
Prior to joining the State Department in 1990, Mr. Feeley served on active military duty as a helicopter pilot in the United States Marine Corps. He is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and is married to retired career diplomat, Cherie Feeley. The Ambassador and his wife speak Spanish. The couple has two adult sons and one grandson.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) January 12, 2018
John Feeley statement: “I signed an oath to serve faithfully the president… in an apolitical fashion, even when I might not agree with certain policies. My instructors made clear that if I believed I could not do that, I would be honor bound to resign. That time has come.”
— Enrique Acevedo (@Enrique_Acevedo) January 12, 2018
John Feeley, @USEmbPAN Ambassador, sent a letter of resignation on December 27 informing the administration of his decision to retire for personal reasons as of March 9 of this year. Ambassador Feeley did not resign over alleged comments about the visa lottery system.
— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) January 12, 2018
US Amb to Panama John Feeley was one of the finest career foreign service professionals I have ever known. Practical, diligent, tough-minded and diligent, his resignation is a loss to the US-Panamanian bilateral relationship, the US govt, diplomatic service, and American people. https://t.co/ajjZJCdjXU
— Jonathan M Winer (@JonathanMaWiner) January 12, 2018
Proud of my former colleague Amb John Feeley. We served together as junior officers in the Dominican Republic. John, you don't seem to have aged a bit, but you sure have wisdom beyond your years. Thank you for standing up for decency, for human dignity and mutual respect https://t.co/7KsZxZYp2L
— Jennifer Roberts (@JenRobertsNC) January 12, 2018