US Ambassador to the Holy See Miguel H. Díaz Resigns, Rejoins University of Dayton

The resignation of Ambassador Diaz was not officially announced by the US Embassy to the Holy See until November 7 but the news actually made it out on Monday and was widely reported by Catholic news outlet since his farewell call to the Pope with his wife was listed in the Vatican’s daily press bulletin:

S.E. il Signor Miguel Humberto Díaz, Ambasciatore degli Stati Uniti d’America presso la Santa Sede, con la Consorte, in visita di congedo.

Ambassador Diaz with Pope Benedict XVI
Via US Embassy to the Holy See/FB

Via the National Catholic Register

The United States Ambassador to the Holy See made a farewell visit to Pope Benedict XVI today.

Ambassador Miguel Diaz is leaving his position after just over three years’ service representing the Obama administration.

An embassy spokesman said he would probably be leaving Rome at the weekend to take up a teaching position at the University of Dayton, OH.

The embassy said the move had been in the pipeline for a while, and that it had planned to announce the ambassador’s departure after the Presidential Elections tomorrow, but as the farewell visit took place today, the Vatican pre-empted the disclosure by making an announcement in its daily bulletin. Ambassador Diaz, who was formally sworn in on August 21st, 2009, has nevertheless fulfilled the usual term for ambassadors which is commonly two to three years.

Read in full here.

Ambassador Díaz is the first Hispanic to represent the United States at the Vatican. Born in Havana, Cuba, Díaz moved as a child to the United States, where his family worked hard to move ahead. His father worked as a waiter and his mother did data entry work, and their son was the first member of the family to attend college. Díaz earned his bachelor’s degree from Saint Thomas University in Miami Gardens, Florida, and his master’s and doctorate from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. He previously taught at Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida; Saint Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida; the University of Dayton in Ohio; and at Notre Dame.  Fluent in Italian, Spanish and French, Ambassador Díaz also reads Greek, Latin and German. His academic interests also include theological anthropology and Latino/Latina theologies.  He was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador on August 21st, 2009.

Here is the announcement posted in the US Embassy’s FB page:

Ambassador Miguel H. Díaz Departs Post | November 7, 2012

VATICAN CITY — Miguel H. Díaz, United States Ambassador to the Holy See since 2009, will leave his position following the presidential elections and return to academia effective the week of November 13, 2012. Ambassador Diaz was proud to serve almost three and a half years in his position as the 9th U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. He will join his family in Dayton, Ohio, where he has been named University Professor of Faith and Culture at the University of Dayton.

“As Ambassador, I have had the pleasure of representing the people of the United States to the Holy See, and to develop our already strong cooperation,” Ambassador Diaz said. During his tenure at the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, he was influential in promoting the shared values of the United States and the Holy See in peace, justice, and human rights.

Ambassador Diaz helped launch the Religion in Foreign Policy Working Group of the Secretary of State’s Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society. The Working Group facilitates regular dialogue between the U.S. foreign policy establishment and religious leaders, scholars, and practitioners worldwide on strategies to build more effective partnerships on a wide range of goals, including conflict prevention, humanitarian assistance, and national security.

“The working group is an unprecedented initiative that demonstrates the administration’s commitment to involve religious leaders in shaping U.S. foreign policy; I am proud to take an active role to ensure its success,” he said.

The Embassy will be headed by the Chargé d’Affaires, until a new Ambassador is nominated by the Administration and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

This is the second noncareer ambassador’s resignation in the last two weeks and the first one since President Obama’s historic reelection.  Ambassador Diaz is rejoining the University of Dayton where he previously taught.

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US Embassy Kenya: Ambassador Scott Gration Quits Over “Differences” Effective July 28

Ambassador Gration’s statement via the US Embassy in Kenya:

It has been a great honor and a profound privilege to be a part of the U.S. State Department team for the

English: Official photograph of U.S. Special E...

English: Official photograph of U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan Scott Gration (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

past three years and to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya and as the CEO of Team Kenya since May of 2011.  However, differences with Washington regarding my leadership style and certain priorities lead me to believe that it’s now time to leave.  Accordingly, I submitted my notice of resignation last Monday to the Secretary of State and to the President of the United States of America, to be effective as of 28 July 2012.

Being the U.S. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Kenya has been a dream job for my wife and me.  This assignment has been the perfect opportunity to use my deep-rooted knowledge of Kenya—its people, its language, and its culture—and my diplomatic, development, security, and humanitarian experience.  Judy and I have been extremely honored to lead Team Kenya, and we wish all of you the very best as Kenya implements its constitutional reforms, holds elections next year, and proceeds with the devolution of political and economic power.

I am very proud of my 35-year career of dedicated and honorable service to our great nation, leading at all times with integrity first and the highest ethical standards.  Judy and I are looking forward to returning to the work about which we are so passionate.  But as we depart, we will deeply miss Kenya, the Kenyan people, our partners in the diplomatic corps, and our colleagues in the U.S. Mission.  Our hearts will remain here with you and with the true friendships that will endure until death.

General Gration was a national security adviser to the Obama Presidential campaign and served as a Special Assistant to the President. He also served as the President’s Special Envoy to Sudan from March 2009 to April 2011.

On February 10, 2011, President Obama announced General Gration’s nomination to serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to Kenya.  He was confirmed by the Senate on April 14 and sworn in on April 19, 2011.

The Cable’s Josh Rogin has the scoop:

The impending release of a highly critical report by the State Department’s Inspector General’s office prompted the sudden resignation Friday of U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration, according to administration and congressional sources.

The report was described to The Cable by multiple people briefed on its contents as one of the worst reviews of an ambassador’s performance written by the IG’s staff in several years. The bulk of the criticisms focused on Gration’s terrible relationship with embassy staff since he took over as ambassador in February 2011 following a controversial two-year stint as President Barack Obama‘s special envoy for Sudan. The report is complete, but Gration still has the opportunity to write a formal response before the report is publicly released, these sources said.

We just checked, OIG has not posted the report online as of 5:44 pm EST. We’ll be in the lookout for that one.

Domani Spero