Viron Peter Vaky

September 13, 1925November 22, 2012

Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, Ambassador Vaky served in the Foreign Service from 1949 to 1980. He had foreign assignments in Guayaquil, Buenos Aires, Bogota, Guatemala, San Jose, and Caracas. He also attended the National War college, class of 1964. In Washington, he served as a member of the State Department's Policy Planning Council (1967-68), and Senior Staff Member for Latin America on the National Security Council (1969-70). From 1970-1972 he was Diplomat-in-Residence at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

He served as United States Ambassador to Costa Rica (1972-74), Ambassador to Colombia (1974-1976), and Ambassador to Venezuela (1976-78). In July, 1978 he was appointed Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, a position he held until his retirement from the Foreign Service on January 1, 1980.

Following his retirement, he served as Associate Dean and Research Professor in Diplomacy at the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University until 1985, and as Adjunct Professor of Diplomacy until 1994. From 1985 to 1992 he was a Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Senior Fellow at the Inter American Dialogue from 1994 to 2010. He was a Charter Member of the American Academy of Diplomacy, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Una Chapman Cox Foundation.

Formerly, a member of the Commission on Peace of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, Ambassador Vaky chaired its Committee of Inquiry, which produced two studies on the nuclear dilemma and the post-Cold War world. He was a member of the Chapter of Washington National Cathedral from 1986-94.

Ambassador Vaky graduated from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and received a Master's degree in International Relations from the University of Chicago. During World War II he served in the US Army Signal Corps.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Luann Colburn Vaky, three sons, Peter Colburn Vaky, Paul Stephen Vaky, and Matthew Alexander Vaky, and eight grandsons and two granddaughters.

In Lieu Of Flowers, Memorial Contributions, may be made to the Senior Living Foundation of the American Foreign Service, 1716 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036 or to St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 6030 Grosvenor Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814


  • Funeral Service Saturday, December 1, 2012

Viron Peter Vaky

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Lilian N.

March 31, 2013

Most of us Guatemalsns feel grateful to him for his attempt at ending violence in our country. His words were very wise and courageous; I wish I would have personally thanked him when he was alive. If there were more people like him the world would be a better place.

Carol Orr Hartman

December 14, 2012

I am so sorry for your great loss.
Carol Orr Hartman

Carol Orr Hartman

December 14, 2012

I am so sorry for your loss.
Carol Orr Hartman

Elizabeth Jones

December 2, 2012

A great man has been lost. We will miss you greatly!

John Bushnell

December 1, 2012

Dear Luann,
You and Pete had us for Thanksgiving dinner in 1962 just weeks after we arrived at our first foreign post. Our careers crossed often especially when Pete kept me as his principal deputy in ARA. He as a great man with a big heart, a highly effective diplomat who understood Latin America better than anyone. A model for me and a great many others. Only when we went to work for someone else did we realize what a great boss and leader he was. Best for you and the family.

November 30, 2012

Dear Vaky family:

Pete was a stellar diplomat, a warm and helpful colleague, and a creative academic counselor in Georgetown's School of Foreign Service. In the latter capacity he orchestrated a successful faculty process that gave birth to the School's top-ranked Master of Science program in Foreign Service. He was the reason I came to Georgetown 40 years ago; his persuasive skills and personal warmth made a lasting mark among all who worked with him here. We cherish his memory.

Chester Crocker
Schlesinger Professor of Strategic Studies
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service

Mary Brownell

November 29, 2012

Pete was a towering figure in my life--my first boss right out of graduate school. He has long been my role model professionally as well as a person I deeply respected AND liked personally. Please accept my deepest sympathy in your loss.

Charlotte Chillura

November 28, 2012

Luann - How very sad Tony and I are to hear of Pete's passing. I will always cherish memories of our time together in Guatemala! Pete was a great boss and friend-- both of you will always remain as one of my favorite F.S. couples . Our deepest condolences..Charlotte Reaves Chillura

November 28, 2012

I shall be forever grateful to Pete for hiis extraordnary contributions to the academc program of Georgetown Universitys School of Foreign Service. His thoughtfulness and generosity were unmatched. Prof Tom Dodd

Beverly Blood Keller

November 27, 2012


Love and sympathy to you and your family at this very sad time. I have told my mother and I know she would love to be in touch with you. She always speaks fondly of your friendship starting with Argentina!!

With Love,