B.A., Denison University
M.A., Rutgers University
Citation awarded June, 1996
Peter R. Chaveas has led a highly distinguished career in the U.S. Foreign Service. He is currently U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Malawi.
After graduating with honors from Denison, Peter earned a master’s in political science from Rutgers University in 1968, where he was a fellow of the Eagleton Institute. He began his career-long involvement with Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer in Chad, and in 1970 joined the Foreign Service. He has served once in Sierra Leone and twice in Nigeria and Niger. He was principal officer at the Consulate’s General in Lyon, France and Johannesburg, South Africa.
Peter was director of the office of Southern African Affairs (1991-93) and of West African Affairs (1993-94) in the Department of State. In 1979-80, he was a mid-career fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University, and in 1990-91 he was a member of the 33rd senior seminar of the Foreign Service Institute.
Peter has been recognized for outstanding service by the Department of State: he received the Superior Honor Award in 1991 and the Meritorious Honor Award in 1975, and three Senior Performance Awards. He has served as a member of the board of the American International School in Lagos, Nigeria (1987) and as president of the American International School Trust in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Peter’s wife Lucille was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal and they met during Peace Corps training. They have two children: Pamela, a graduate of James Madison University, and Michael, a graduate of Virginia Tech.