A person, who serves as a representative or an ambassador on behalf of the government of a particular country, may be referred to as a diplomat. A diplomat plays a crucial and significant role in maintaining healthy relations with other countries and their respective governments. Thus, a diplomat is a specifically skilled and trained person who has the skills and uses tact in dealing with sensitive and important matters that affects the political concerns of the world. Appointed by the government, a diplomat may be required to conduct and diplomatic talks with other countries and even many of the established international organizations. A diplomat is responsible for maintain peaceful and friendly relations with other countries, he may be required to represent the interests of his nation and promote his nation in a positive light to the world. They work in collaboration with the foreign ministers of a nation and play a role in the foreign policy formulation. A diplomat is thus one of the most significant representatives of a country and advocate and negotiate foreign policy related issues. Dig out more about some of most famous diplomats around the world, with their biographies that include trivia, interesting facts, timeline and life history.
More From Diplomats

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Diplomats

 1 Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple.
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: April 23, 1928
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California
Died: February 10, 2014

After starting her film career at the age of three, Shirley Temple went on to become Hollywood's highest-grossing child actress from 1935 to 1938. She is the epitome of popular child stars who lose their charm as they grow up. Despite failing as an adult actress, she is ranked 18th in the greatest female screen legends of Classic Hollywood list.

 2 Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt.
Famous As: Former First Lady of the United States
Birthdate: October 11, 1884
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: November 7, 1962

Feminist and civil rights icon Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, was the longest-serving U.S First Lady. She was a prominent human rights activist, wrote columns, and hosted a radio show. She was named to Gallup's List of Most Widely Admired People of the 20th Century in 1999.

Recommended Lists:

 3 Niccolò Machiavelli

Niccolò Machiavelli.
Famous As: Political Philosopher
Birthdate: May 3, 1469
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: June 21, 1527
Italian Renaissance philosopher, diplomat, and author Niccolò Machiavelli is remembered for his work The Prince. He believed that the end or the intention behind any action justifies the action. He gave rise to the term Machiavellianism, which signifies the use of deceit and treachery to achieve one’s goals. 

 4 T. E. Lawrence

T. E. Lawrence.
Famous As: Archaeologist
Birthdate: August 16, 1888
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tremadog, Wales
Died: May 19, 1935
T. E. Lawrence was a British army officer who participated in the Arab Revolt, against the Ottoman regime, during World War I. Nicknamed Lawrence of Arabia, he inspired a movie of the same name. His treatise of his war experiences was published as Seven Pillars of Wisdom, his best-known work.
Recommended Lists:

 5 Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright.
Famous As: Politician & Diplomat
Birthdate: May 15, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Madeleine Albright served as the U.S. Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001, under Bill Clinton, and was the first woman to hold the post. The Presidential Medal of Freedom awardee has also chaired the Albright Stonebridge Group and teaches at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

 6 Robert Todd Lincoln

Robert Todd Lincoln.
Famous As: Politician, Son of Abraham Lincoln
Birthdate: August 1, 1843
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Springfield, Illinois
Died: July 26, 1926

Lawyer Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln, served as the U.S. Secretary of War from 1881 to 1885 and as the U.S. minister to the U.K. from 1889 to 1893. He had served in the Civil War, too, and had also been the president of the Pullman Car Company

Recommended Lists:

 7 Kofi Annan

Kofi Annan.
Famous As: Former UN Secretary General
Birthdate: April 8, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kumasi, Ghana
Died: August 18, 2018

Ghanaian diplomat Kofi Annan served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006. He was the founder and chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation and a co-recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize. During his stint with the UN, he launched the UN Global Compact and worked to combat HIV/AIDS. 

You May Like

 8 Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger.
Famous As: Diplomat, National Security Advisor (America)
Birthdate: May 27, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Germany

Henry Kissinger's heart-warming story of a Jewish who fled Nazi Germany in 1938 to become an influential politician in the USA is truly inspirational. As a National Security Advisor and US Secretary of State, Henry played a key role in the US foreign policy from 1969 to 1977. Henry Kissinger is also criticized by some as an alleged war criminal.

Recommended Lists:

 9 António Guterres

António Guterres.
Famous As: 9th Secretary-General of the United Nations
Birthdate: April 30, 1949
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lisbon

António Guterres is a Portuguese diplomat and politician who served as Portugal's prime minister from 1995 to 2002. A favorite among the masses, Guterres was ranked the best prime minister of Portugal over the last 30 years in polls conducted in 2012 and 2014. In 2009, he was named in Forbes magazine's list of world's most powerful people

 10 Samantha Power

Samantha Power.
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 21, 1970
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and academic Samantha Power has previously served as the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. She was a war correspondent before she became a professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. She worked on Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and infamously called Hillary Clinton "a monster.”

Recommended Lists:

 11 John Jay

John Jay.
Famous As: First Chief Justice of the United States
Birthdate: December 12, 1745
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City
Died: May 17, 1829

One of the Founding Fathers of the United States who signed the famous Paris Treaty, John Jay was best known as the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, although he occupied various other important public positions. He was a diplomat, who shaped his country’s foreign policy. He passed legislation to gradually abolish slavery, but he himself owned five enslaved people.

 12 Zbigniew Brzezinski

Zbigniew Brzezinski.
Famous As: Former Diplomat, Political Scientist
Birthdate: March 28, 1928
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Warsaw
Died: May 26, 2017
Polish-American diplomat Zbigniew Brzezinski had been a counselor to President Lyndon B. Johnson and the National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter. He believed in the realist school of international relations. He also taught foreign policy and was seen in programs such as The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.
Recommended Lists:

 13 Dag Hammarskjöld

Dag Hammarskjöld.
Famous As: Second Secretary-General of the United Nations
Birthdate: July 29, 1905
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Jönköping
Died: September 18, 1961

Dag Hammarskjöld was a Swedish diplomat and economist. In 1953, Hammarskjöld became the youngest person to be appointed as the Secretary-General of the United Nations. He died in airplane crash in 1961. Dag Hammarskjöld became the first person to be honored with a Nobel Peace Prize posthumously.

 14 Susan Rice

Susan Rice.
Famous As: Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations
Birthdate: November 17, 1964
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Susan Rice has been the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and the national security advisor. She was chosen by Joe Biden as the director of the Domestic Policy Council. Rice was supposed to become the secretary of state, replacing Hillary Clinton in 2013, but withdrew due to the Benghazi attack.

 15 Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton.
Famous As: Former First Lady, Former Secretary of State
Birthdate: October 26, 1947
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Married to former US president, Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton served as the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Thereafter, she became the first First Lady to hold US senator office. The former Secretary of State in the administration of Barrack Obama also fought and lost, as a Democratic nominee, the 2016 presidential election against Donald Trump.

 16 Chiune Sugihara

Chiune Sugihara.
Famous As: Diplomat
Birthdate: January 1, 1900
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kozuchi Town (now Mino, Gifu Prefecture), Japan
Died: July 31, 1986

Chiune Sugihara was a Japanese diplomat best remembered for helping thousands of Jews flee Europe during the Second World War. He did so by issuing transit visas to the Jews, enabling them to travel through Japanese territory. Sugihara helped the Jews despite knowing that he was risking the lives of his family and his job. 

Recommended Lists:

 17 John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams.
Famous As: 6th U.S. President
Birthdate: July 11, 1767
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Braintree, Massachusetts, United States
Died: February 23, 1848

The sixth president of the United States of America John Quincy Adams played a key role in shaping America during its formative years. He helped develop the Monroe Doctrine, which eventually became a vital tenet of the U.S. foreign policy. He is also widely regarded as one of the greatest secretaries of state and diplomats in the American history.

 18 Condoleezza Rice

Condoleezza Rice.
Famous As: Former United States Secretary of State
Birthdate: November 14, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, United States

The 66th United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made history in 2005 when she became the first female black Secretary of State. She is also the first female to serve as National Security Advisor, a position which she served from 2001 to 2005. One of the most powerful women in the world at one point of time, she has been depicted in Hollywood films.

Recommended Lists:

 19 Kurt Waldheim

Kurt Waldheim.
Famous As: Former President of Austria & UN Secretary General
Birthdate: December 21, 1918
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sankt Andrä-Wördern near Vienna, German Austria
Died: June 14, 2007

While he claimed he studied at the University of Vienna during World War II, documents recovered later suggested that Kurt Waldheim was in fact part of the German army in the Balkans. Waldheim later became the president of Austria and the secretary-general of the United Nations.

 20 Fran Drescher

Fran Drescher.
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 30, 1957
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kew Gardens, New York, United States

Fran Drescher is an American actress and comedian. Characterized by her thick New York accent and nasal voice, Fran Drescher serves as an inspiration to many cancer patients as she successfully fought off the disease after suffering from uterine cancer. She is also an outspoken LGBT rights activist and healthcare advocate.

Recommended Lists:

 21 Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier.
Birthdate: February 20, 1927
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, U.S.

Sidney Poitier is a Bahamian-American actor who became the first Afro-Bahamian and Black male actor to receive an Oscar for Best Actor in 1964. In 2009, he was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His life and work inspired a couple of documentary films, including the 2008 film Sidney Poitier, an Outsider in Hollywood.

 22 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
Famous As: Confident, Ambitious
Birthdate: September 5, 1888
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Thiruttani, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: April 17, 1975

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was the second President of India and served from 1962 to 1967. He is regarded as one of India’s most eminent scholars and wrote extensively on Indian philosophy and religion. Lifelong he defended Hindu traditions and culture against criticism from the West. September 5, his birthday, is observed as Teachers Day in India, in his honour.

Recommended Lists:

 23 Colin Powell

Colin Powell.
Famous As: 65th United States Secretary of State
Birthdate: April 5, 1937
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.
Died: October 18, 2021

A veteran politician who served as the 65th United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell was the first African-American Secretary of State. A member of the Republican Party, he was an army man prior to entering politics. He was a  four-star general at the time of his retirement. After leaving politics, he pursued a career as a public speaker.

 24 Valerie Jarrett

Valerie Jarrett.
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: November 14, 1956
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Shiraz
Valerie Jarrett served as the senior advisor to former president Barack Obama and the director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs from 2009 to 2017. She had previously served Mayor Richard Daley as his deputy chief of staff and had hired Michelle Obama, then-fiancée of Obama.
Recommended Lists:

 25 Boutros Boutros-Ghali

Boutros Boutros-Ghali.
Famous As: Former UN Secretary General
Birthdate: November 14, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cairo, Egypt
Died: February 16, 2016

Grandson of former Egyptian prime minister Boutros Ghali Bey, politician Boutros Boutros-Ghali is remembered for his tenure as the secretary-general of the UN, which witnessed peacekeeping activities in war-torn areas such as Bosnia and Herzegovina. His illustrious career boasted of various prestigious academic positions and a Fulbright scholarship.

 26 Gottfried W. Leibniz

Gottfried W. Leibniz.
Famous As: Polymath, Mathematician
Birthdate: July 1, 1646
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: November 14, 1716
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz was a significant logician, mathematician, and philosopher of the Enlightenment era. He laid down his own concepts of differential and integral calculus. He was behind the invention of the mass-produced mechanical calculator and modified the binary number system. He also laid down a separate library cataloging system.

 27 Gary Hart

Gary Hart
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: November 28, 1936
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ottawa, Kansas, United States

 28 George F. Kennan

George F. Kennan.
Famous As: Diplomat
Birthdate: February 16, 1904
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: March 17, 2005
Recommended Lists:

 29 J. Christopher Stevens

J. Christopher Stevens.
Famous As: Diplomat
Birthdate: April 1, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Grass Valley, California, United States
Died: September 11, 2012

 30 Gertrude Bell

Gertrude Bell.
Famous As: Writer, Diplomat
Birthdate: July 14, 1868
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Washington, United Kingdom
Died: July 12, 1926
Recommended Lists:

 31 Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor
Famous As: Writer, Politician, Diplomat
Birthdate: March 9, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London

Born in London, to an Indian couple, Shashi Tharoor is known for his award-winning books such as the The Great Indian Novel and his over-the-top English vocabulary. Tharoor is also a Congress MP. He made headlines when his wife Sunanda Pushkar was found dead in a luxury hotel.

 32 U Thant

U Thant.
Famous As: 3rd Secretary General of the U.N.
Birthdate: January 22, 1909
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pantanaw
Died: November 25, 1974

Burmese diplomat U Thant made history by becoming the first non-Scandinavian to be named the UN secretary-general. Later in life, he tried applying Buddhist principles such as detachment to solve major international conflicts. Following his death in New York, his burial in Burma became a source of riots.

Recommended Lists:

 33 Fridtjof Nansen

Fridtjof Nansen.
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: October 10, 1861
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oslo, Norway
Died: May 13, 1930

Fridtjof Nansen was a Norwegian polymath who won the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 1922 for his post-war efforts after the First World War. A well-known explorer, humanitarian, and diplomat, Nansen achieved international fame for his attempt to reach the geographical North Pole during his Fram expedition. His techniques and innovations influenced a generation of succeeding Antarctic and Arctic expeditions.

 34 Lawrence Durrell

Lawrence Durrell.
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: February 27, 1912
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Jalandhar
Died: November 7, 1990
Lawrence Durrell, eldest brother of naturalist and author Gerald Durrell, was a poet and writer whose best-known work is The Alexandria Quartet, the tetralogy of novels, including the famous book Justine. Constance from The Avignon Quintet earned a Booker Prize nomination. He is also known for his extensive travel writing.

 35 Joachim von Ribbentrop

Joachim von Ribbentrop.
Famous As: Nazi Minister
Birthdate: April 30, 1893
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wesel
Died: October 16, 1946

German politician Joachim von Ribbentrop was Nazi Germany’s minister of foreign affairs from 1938 to 1945. He let Hitler use his summer house, Schloss Fuschl, for secret Nazi meetings. Ribbentrop was eventually convicted of war crimes and became the first Nuremberg defendant to be hanged to death.

 36 Washington Irving

Washington Irving.
Famous As: Author, Historian, Diplomat
Birthdate: April 3, 1783
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Died: November 28, 1859

Widely known as the first American man of letters, Washington Irving penned the legendary tales of Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which are also called the first short stories by an American author. He had also had a brief stint as a lawyer.

 37 Alexander Vindman

Alexander Vindman
Famous As: Military officer
Birthdate: June 6, 1975
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kyiv, Ukraine

Alexander Vindman served as the Director for European Affairs for the United States NSC under Donald Trump. He testified against Trump in his impeachment case in 2019 and subsequently resigned from his military post, citing political bullying by the Trump administration as one of the reasons.

 38 James Baker

James Baker.
Famous As: Former US Secretary of State
Birthdate: April 28, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States
Attorney James Baker was made the White House chief of staff and then the secretary of the treasury by President Ronald Reagan. He managed George H. W. Bush’s 1988 presidential campaign and became the White House chief of staff under him, witnessing the Gulf War and the Cold War.

 39 Alexis de Tocqueville

Alexis de Tocqueville.
Birthdate: July 29, 1805
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 16, 1859

French diplomat and political scientist Alexis de Tocqueville is best remembered for his written works The Old Regime and the Revolution and Democracy in America. He was part of French politics, primarily during the July Monarchy and the Second Republic. He had been the minister of foreign affairs briefly.

 40 Kevin Rudd

Kevin Rudd
Famous As: 26th Prime Minister of Australia
Birthdate: September 21, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nambour, Queensland, Australia

Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has been an Australian Labor Party leader and his country’s foreign affairs minister, too. After graduating in Chinese studies, he directly stepped into a diplomatic career. He has also worked for KPMG Australia as a Senior China Consultant and has penned a memoir.

 41 Rory Stewart

Rory Stewart.
Famous As: Political Leader
Birthdate: January 3, 1973
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: British Hong Kong

 42 Warren Christopher

Warren Christopher
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: October 27, 1925
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Scranton, North Dakota, United States
Died: March 18, 2011

 43 Jean Chrétien

Jean Chrétien.
Famous As: 20th Prime Minister of Canada
Birthdate: January 11, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada
Jean Chrétien was the Canadian prime minister from 1993 to 2003. He has previously served in cabinet posts such as the minister of justice and the minister of finance. He has led the Liberal Party of Canada and helped in the passage of the Clarity Act.

 44 Sargent Shriver

Sargent Shriver.
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: November 9, 1915
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Westminster, Maryland, United States
Died: January 18, 2011
Sargent Shriver was part of the Kennedy family, as the husband of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of President John F. Kennedy. He was part of the U.S. Navy and also worked as an assistant editor at Newsweek. He developed many anti-poverty programs and was the Democratic vice-presidential nominee in 1972.

 45 Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell
Famous As: 19th Prime Minister of Canada
Birthdate: March 10, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Port Alberni

Canadian politician and Progressive Conservative leader Kim Campbell made headlines when she became the first woman to serve as the prime minister of Canada and remains the only woman to have achieved the feat. After quitting her doctoral studies, she studied law and joined the British Columbia Bar.

 46 Jean Kennedy Smith

Jean Kennedy Smith
Famous As: Diplomat
Birthdate: February 20, 1928
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brookline

 47 John Bolton

John Bolton.
Famous As: Former National Security Advisor
Birthdate: November 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
The former National Security Advisor to US president Donald Trump, John Bolton previously also served as the interim US Ambassador to the UN. Considered a war hawk, he actively pushed for America’s invasion of Iraq and advocated for regime change in countries like Syria, Libya and North Korea. His memoir about his tenure in the Trump administration attracted tremendous attention.

 48 Franz von Papen

Franz von Papen.
Famous As: Former Vice-Chancellor of Germany
Birthdate: October 29, 1879
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Werl, Westphalia, Prussia, Germany
Died: May 2, 1969

Franz von Papen was a German politician, Prussian nobleman, diplomat, and General Staff officer. From 1933 to 1934, he served under Adolf Hitler as the Vice-Chancellor of Germany. After World War II, Franz von Papen was indicted alongside other war criminals in the Nuremberg trials. However, he was later acquitted of all charges.

 49 Dan Coats

Dan Coats.
Famous As: Politician, Diplomat
Birthdate: May 16, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Jackson, Michigan, United States

 50 Raoul Wallenberg

Raoul Wallenberg.
Famous As: Humanitarian
Birthdate: August 4, 1912
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lidingö, Sweden
Died: January 17, 1945

Swedish architect Raoul Wallenberg went down in history as a savior for Jews during the Nazi regime. He not only issued provisional Swedish passports, or Schutzpass, to protect Jews, but also set up safe houses for them. He disappeared amid mysterious circumstances. Many believe he died in a Soviet prison.

See Also