James Clement Dunn

James Clement Dunn (December 27, 1890 – April 10, 1979) was an American diplomat and a career employee of the United States Department of State. He served as the Ambassador of the United States to Italy, France, Spain, and Brazil. He had lived in Rome since his retirement in 1956.

James Clement Dunn
James Clement Dunn 1921.jpg
James Clement Dunn in 1921
11th United States Ambassador to Brazil
In office
March 11, 1955 – July 4, 1956
PresidentDwight D. Eisenhower
Preceded byJames S. Kemper
Succeeded byEllis O. Briggs
12th United States Ambassador to Spain
In office
April 9, 1953 – February 9, 1955
PresidentDwight D. Eisenhower
Preceded byLincoln MacVeagh
Succeeded byJohn Davis Lodge
16th United States Ambassador to France
In office
March 27, 1952 – March 2, 1953
PresidentHarry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Preceded byDavid K. E. Bruce
Succeeded byC. Douglas Dillon
16th United States Ambassador to Italy
In office
February 6, 1947 – March 17, 1952
PresidentHarry S. Truman
Preceded byAlexander Comstock Kirk
Succeeded byEllsworth Bunker
1st and 4th
Chief of Protocol of the United States
In office
June 11, 1933 – April 11, 1935
PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt
Preceded byWarren Delano Robbins
Succeeded byRichard Southgate
In office
February 4, 1928 – November 17, 1930
PresidentHerbert Hoover
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byF. Lammot Belin
Personal details
Born(1890-12-27)December 27, 1890
Newark, New Jersey
DiedApril 10, 1979(1979-04-10) (aged 88)
West Palm Beach, Florida
Cause of deathMyocardial infarction
Spouse(s)Mary Augusta Armour

Born in Newark, on December 27 of 1890, and privately educated, Dunn at first wanted to become an architect, an interest that remained with him all his life.

In 1917 he became assistant naval attaché to Haiti. In 1920, he was made a third secretary at the embassy in Spain, a post he held for two years. He was chargé d'affaires in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 1922–24. After other assignments, he became a first secretary at the American embassy in London. From 1928–1930 he served as the first person to hold the office of Chief of Protocol of the United States. In 1930–35, served as counsel to the Commission for the Study of Haiti. Dunn was chief political adviser to the Berlin Conference in 1945; deputy at the American meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers in London, Paris and New York in 1945–46.

When representatives from 50 nations convened in San Francisco in April to June 1945 to form the United Nations Dunn 'worked hard behind the scenes to create a pro-French consensus' and to protect France's colonial interests in French Indochina. He was once called a 'fascist' by Eleanor Roosevelt for his views on colonial matters.[1]

In 1946 he was a member of the delegation at the Paris Peace Conference.

Dunn was a governor of the Metropolitan Club and a member of the Knickerbocker Club, the River Club, the Regency Club and the Whist Club in New York, and of the Alibi Club in Chevy Chase, Md. Ambassador Dunn retired from the Service in 1956 with the rank of Career Ambassador.[2]

He died in Florida in 1974.[3]

Dunn was survived by his wife, the former Mary Augusta Armour; two daughters Marianna Dunn of Manhattan and Cynthia Esterlechner of West Germany; three grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

James Clement Dunn Award for ExcellenceEdit

In 1980, the U.S. Department of State established this award to recognize exemplary performance in the Department of State at the mid-career level (Foreign Service FS-1 or Civil Service GS/GM-15). It was made possible by an endowment from the Vincent Astor Foundation and is named, at the request of the donor, in memory of Ambassador Dunn. The recipient receives a certificate signed by the Secretary of State and $10,000.[4]

The James Clement Dunn Award for Excellence recognizes leadership, intellectual skills, managerial ability, and personal qualities that most fully exemplify the standards of excellence desired of officers at the mid-career level.[4] Past recipients include ambassadors William Burns, Nicholas Burns, Jeffrey Feltman, Carey Cavanaugh, and Robert Stephen Ford.


  1. ^ Logevall, Fredrik (2013). Embers of War. Random House. p. 89. ISBN 978-0375504426.
  2. ^ "James C. Dunn, 88, U.S. Ambassador To Four Countries After War, Dies". The Washington Post. April 14, 1979. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  3. ^ "James Clement Dunn, U.S. Diplomat in Europe" (fee). The New York Times. 1979-04-11. Retrieved 2007-08-27.
  4. ^ a b "3 FAM 4830 ANNUAL AWARDS". US State Department.

External linksEdit

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Alexander C. Kirk
United States Ambassador to Italy
Succeeded by
Ellsworth Bunker
Preceded by
David K. E. Bruce
United States Ambassador to France
Succeeded by
C. Douglas Dillon
Preceded by
Lincoln MacVeagh
United States Ambassador to Spain
Succeeded by
John Lodge
Preceded by
James S. Kemper
United States Ambassador to Brazil
11 March 1955–4 July 1956
Succeeded by
Ellis O. Briggs