MIR Connections: Meeting the U.S. Ambassador to Russia

MIR Connections: Meeting the U.S. Ambassador to Russia

John Tefft, the new U.S. ambassador to Russia, met with a member of MIR’s Custom Travel team, Jillian Schneeman, in 2010. Jillian took a moment to share the story of the time she crossed paths with the diplomat.

While I was studying in Crimea, Ukraine, in the fall of 2010, the State Department notified me that then U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, John Tefft, would be making a visit to the area. Since I was a Gilman Scholar (a scholarship program supporting undergraduate students to study abroad) a member of his office reached out to me personally to let me know that he would be making a visit to an English-speaking school in Sevastopol.

Along with my classmate, a fellow American, I headed to Sevastopol to greet the ambassador. When we reached the school we enjoyed tea and cookies with some of the teachers, as well as a concert by the Ukrainian students, all in English. I was impressed! Then we got to meet the ambassador and his wife. They chatted us up, telling us about the day-to-day life of an ambassador and inquiring about what we were doing in Crimea.

Mr. Tefft welcomed us and made us feel at home even though we were thousands of miles away from the U.S. I felt lucky to have met such an esteemed diplomat and want to wish him well as he begins his duties as the new U.S. ambassador to Russia.

More on the New AmbassadorJohn Tefft is a career foreign service officer born in Madison, Wisconsin. He completed his undergraduate studies at Marquette University and received a Masters degree from Georgetown. He has had a distinguished career serving the State Department in a variety of capacities, notably as ambassador to Lithuania, Georgia and most recently, Ukraine. President Obama has nominated Mr. Tefft to be the new ambassador to Russia and the Kremlin has approved the nomination.

(Top photo info: MIR’s Jill Schneeman in 2010 with John Tefft, now the new U.S. ambassador to Russia)


PUBLISHED: July 14, 2014

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