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John Thomas (Tom) Schieffer
Ambassador, Australia
Term of Appointment: 09/29/2001 to 04/01/2005

Official Photo of Amb. Tom Schieffer

Tom Schieffer was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Australia on September 29, 2001. He was nominated by President Bush on July 18, 2001 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 27, 2001.

John Thomas (Tom) Schieffer was born to John E. Schieffer and Gladys Payne Schieffer on October 4, 1947. His father was the managing partner of a construction company. His mother stayed home to rear the children. Ambassador Schieffer has one brother, Bob Schieffer, a journalist, who is the Chief Washington Correspondent for CBS News as well as the host for CBS's Face the nation. His sister Sharon Mayes, an educator, was a teacher, vice principal, principal, and administrator before retiring last year to consult for a local school district.

Ambassador Schieffer grew up in Fort Worth attending the public schools. He graduated from Arlington Heights High School in 1966. He attended the University of Texas in Austin where he majored in government and minored in history. He received a B.A. degree in 1970. Ambassador Schieffer immediately entered graduate school where he studied international relations. He received an M.A. Degree in 1972.

Ambassador Schieffer has had a life long fascination with politics. While still attending the University of Texas, he worked in the offices of State Senator Don Kennard and Governor John Connally. In 1972, he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives at age 25 and served three terms.

After studying law at the University of Texas, he was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in October 1979. His practice evolved into one focusing on business transactions, particularly those associated with investments and oil and gas.

In 1989, he was an investor in the partnership led by George W. Bush and Edward W. (Rusty) Rose that bought the Texas Rangers Baseball Club. He was designated as Partner-In-Charge of Ballpark Development in 1990. In January 1991, he was named President of the club reporting directly to general partners Bush and Rose. He was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the club as well as the building of the Ballpark in Arlington. When Bush was elected Governor of Texas in 1994, Ambassador Schieffer assumed Bush's duties as general partner. The partnership sold the team in June 1998 to Dallas financier Thomas O. Hicks. He stayed on as President until April 1999, when he resigned to become consultant on the development of the real estate around The Ballpark. After visiting projects around the United States and Europe, Ambassador Schieffer completed his consulting work for Hicks in May 2000. He is the President of J. Thomas Schieffer Management Company and Pablo Operating Company.

Ambassador Schieffer's civic and charitable interests have focused on politics, education, and youth activities. A Democrat, he was Tarrant County Coordinator for Governor Mark White, the finance Chairman for Congressman Pete Geren and active for many years in the campaigns of Senator Lloyd Bentsen. He was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Tarrant County Junior College, a publicly elected board in 1987 and was elected without opposition in 1988. Over the years he has served on numerous charitable and civic boards and has received numerous civic and humanitarian awards. Currently he serves on the boards of the Penrose Foundation, the Dallas County Community College Foundation, the Dallas 2012 Olympic Committee, the Tarrant County College Foundation, and the Winston School. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce where he co-chairs the Legislative Affairs Committee.

In business Ambassador Schieffer serves on the advisory board of the JP Morgan Chase Bank in Fort Worth, and Drew Industries of White Plains, New York, a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.


Released on January 28, 2001

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