John Thomas “Tom” Schieffer was sworn in as the 27th U.S. Ambassador to Japan on April 1, 2005 and presented his credentials to the Emperor on April 11, 2005. Prior to his Jan. 15, 2009 departure from Japan, he worked to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance, increase trade, and facilitate the realignment of U.S. forces stationed in Japan, among other issues.
Before coming to Japan, Ambassador Schieffer served as the U.S. Ambassador to Australia from July 2001 until February 2005. During his tenure in Canberra, he coordinated closely with the Government of Australia on efforts to fight global terrorism and helped to deepen cooperation on rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was also heavily involved in the conclusion of a free trade agreement between the U.S. and Australia in May 2004.
Prior to his diplomatic service, Ambassador Schieffer was an investor in the partnership that bought the Texas Rangers Baseball Club in 1989, with George W. Bush and Edward W. “Rusty” Rose. He served as team President for eight years, responsible for day-to-day operations of the club as well as overseeing the building of The Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Ambassador Schieffer has also 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 attended the University of Texas, where he earned a B.A., a M.A. in international relations, and studied law. He was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1979. He is married to Susanne Silber of San Antonio, Texas, and they have one son, Paul.