Thomas L. Vajda

Thomas L. Vajda, a Foreign Service Officer with the rank of Career Minister, is the Dean of the Leadership and Management School at the Foreign Service Institute.  In this capacity he oversees rank- and position-based leadership and crisis management training for foreign affairs professionals to face global leadership challenges throughout their careers.

In his most recent roles, Thomas Vajda served as a Senior Visiting Fellow at the U.S. Institute for Peace and from 2021-2022 as the U.S. Ambassador to Burma (Myanmar), where he led the U.S. in-country response to the February 2021 military coup and efforts to support a democratic restoration. Previously he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs and in various other Bureau roles, including Senior Bureau Official and Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary.

Ambassador Vajda also served as U.S. Consul General in Mumbai, India; Deputy Coordinator for Assistance to the Middle East; and Deputy Chief of Mission in Rangoon, Burma.  He held earlier positions in Germany, Albania, and South Korea and in numerous capacities at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Ambassador Vajda is originally from Phoenix, Arizona and holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Stanford University and a Master’s Degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.  He is married to Amy Sebes, and they have two daughters.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future