J. Thomas Schieffer served as U.S. ambassador to Japan from 2005-2009. During his tenure in Tokyo, he was involved in negotiating the most far-reaching reorganization of the U.S.-Japan alliance since the 1960 signing of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security. In 2009, Ambassador Schieffer received the Distinguished Public Service Award, the Defense Department’s highest civilian award, in recognition of his work in strengthening the U.S.-Japan alliance. Ambassador Schieffer’s diplomatic career began in 2001, when he was appointed U.S. ambassador to Australia. In 2006 the Governor General of Australia presented Ambassador Schieffer with the Order of Australia, the highest award a foreigner can receive, for his work in strengthening the U.S.-Australia alliance. In 2009, he was decorated by five U.S. intelligence agencies and the FBI for his work in Japan and Australia. He was elected to the American Academy of Diplomacy in 2016.
Prior to his diplomatic service, Ambassador Schieffer was an investor in the partnership that bought the Texas Rangers Baseball Club. He served as team president for nine years and in 2014 was elected to the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame. Ambassador Schieffer also has had a long involvement in Texas politics. He was elected to three terms in the Texas House of Representatives and has been active in many political campaigns. Ambassador Schieffer is the founder and principle of Envoy International LLC, a consulting firm that provides a wide range of services to international companies. He attended the University of Texas, where he earned a BA, an MA, and studied law.