J. Thomas Schieffer
John Thomas (Tom) Schieffer was born on October 4, 1947. He grew up in Fort Worth and graduated from Arlington Heights High School in 1966. Ambassador Schieffer attended the University of Texas in Austin where he majored in government and minored in history, receiving a B.A. degree in 1970 and an M.A. degree in international relations in 1972.
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 at age 25 to the Texas House of Representatives and served three terms.
After studying law at the University of Texas, Ambassador Schieffer 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 joined the partnership headed by George W. Bush and Rusty Rose that bought the Texas Rangers Baseball team. Originally just an investor, in 1990 he was appointed Partner in Charge of Ballpark Development and oversaw all aspects of the design and construction of The Ballpark in Arlington, the Rangers new home. In 1991 he was named President of the team and also assumed the duties of Co-Managing General Partner when Bush became Governor of Texas in 1995.
Ambassador Schieffer's civic and charitable interests have focused on politics, education and youth activities. 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. In 1987, he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Tarrant County Junior College, a publicly elected Board and was elected without opposition in 1988. Over the years, Ambassador Schieffer has served on numerous charitable and civic Boards and has received numerous civic and humanitarian awards.
Ambassador Schieffer served as the United States Ambassador to Australia from July 29, 2001, to April 1, 2005, when he was sworn in by Secretary Rice as the United States Ambassador to Japan. He served there until January 20, 2009. Ambassador Schieffer founded and remains active in Envoy International LLC which largely does consulting work on international affairs for clients on both sides of the Pacific.
Ambassador Schieffer is married to the former Susanne Silber of San Antonio. The couple has one son, Paul.