Publication Date: February 29, 2016
Publication Location: WASHINGTON
Contact: Kathryn Schoenberger   |   [email protected]

We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Ambassador John Reinhardt, who served as head of the U.S. Information Agency and was an Experiment in International Living trustee.

“John was a pioneer,” said Charles MacCormack, former World Learning president and current trustee. “One of America’s first black ambassadors, he was also the first career foreign service officer to head the U.S. Information Agency.”

Reinhardt joined the Foreign Service in 1957 and during his distinguished diplomatic career served as the first African-American Ambassador to Nigeria and assistant secretary of state for public affairs, in addition to leading USIA. During his tenure with the agency he oversaw its transition to the United States International Communication Agency and the expansion of its programs to include cultural exchanges.

“John was a good friend to The Experiment in International Living and a passionate advocate for cultural exchange and diplomacy,” said World Learning CEO Donald Steinberg. “He was also a personal friend who helped shape my career as a young diplomat.”

After retiring from the Foreign Service in 1980, Reinhardt served as a trustee for The Experiment, which later became known as World Learning, for eight years, from 1983 to 1986 and again from 1987 to 1990.

“I served on The Experiment Board at the same time as John,” said trustee Stephen Lowey. “I was fortunate to get to know and bond with this remarkable man in the Experiment way–while he was a weekend guest at my home.”

MacCormack remembers Reinhardt for his dedication to The Experiment’s mission and the important contributions he made as a member of the board.

“John brought his expertise in languages, cultural awareness, and international communications to World Learning as a dedicated member of the Board of Trustees,” MacCormack said. “During his time on the board, he played a leading role in building our government -funded education and exchange activities.”