John Tefft became the Executive Director of the RAND Business Leaders Forum on October 1, 2013, following his retirement from the US Foreign Service. This program of the RAND Corporation brings together Russian, American and European businessmen and political leaders twice a year for conferences devoted to a discussion of international problems and business trends.
During his over 40 years in the Foreign Service, Tefft served three times as US Ambassador in Eastern Europe: in Ukraine from 2009 to 2013, in Georgia from 2005 to 2009, and in Lithuania from 2000 to 2003.
Tefft was the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia from 2004 to 2005, and was International Affairs Advisor and a Member of the Faculty at the US National War College from 2003 to 2004. Tefft served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Moscow from 1996 to 1999, and was in charge of the Embassy for ten months from November 1996 to September 1997. Tefft’s other Foreign Service Posts included Jerusalem, Budapest and Rome. In addition, he served two three year tours in the Office of Soviet Affairs, from 1983 to 1986 and from 1989-1992. During the latter period, he helped manage US policy following the breakup of the Soviet Union, and the establishment of diplomatic relations with the newly independent states. In 1985 Tefft served on the START arms control delegation.
Tefft has a BA from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and an MA from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
Tefft is married to Mariella Cellitti Tefft, a biostatistician and nurse, and has two children, Christine and Cathleen and a granddaugher.