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Joseph M. DeThomas is a Professor of Practice in the School of International Affairs of the Pennsylvania State University. He served as US Ambassador to Estonia from 2001 to 2004, spent 29 years as a member of the US Foreign Service and 32 years in the US Department of State. His service abroad included tours in Austria, Ethiopia, Germany, Iran and Mexico. He also held numerous positions in Washington over the course of three decades. This included two years of service as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Non-Proliferation from 1999 to 2001 as well as a number of other positions that dealt primarily with proliferation-sensitive countries, including India, Iran, Iraq, North Korea and Pakistan.
Professor DeThomas served on the faculty of the National War College from 2004 to 2006. He received Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards for non-proliferation innovations, humanitarian contributions and management as well as a group award for valor for service in Tehran, Iran.
After retiring from government service in 2006, he directed international science engagement programs in more than 20 countries at CRDF Global.
He returned to service in the US Department of State from 2010 until February 2013 as an adviser. There, he worked primarily on Iran and North Korea, implementing sanctions and attempting to impede the weapons of mass destruction efforts of those two countries.
Professor DeThomas is also a distinguished graduate of the National War College.