John R. Davis, Jr.

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Biographical Details

John R. Davis Jr. "of California was Ambassador to Poland from 1988 to 1990. He was born in 1927 and was a career Foreign Service Officer. He served in Poland as Charge d’Affaires ad interim from 1983-87 and Charge d’Affaires 1987-88 before being appointed Ambassador. He served as a mediator during the Round Table negotiations and organized informal meetings among Round Table participants at the Ambassador's Residence in Warsaw in the late 1980s. He was Director of the Eastern European and Yugoslav Affairs Office in the Department of State. From 1992 to 1994, he was U.S. Ambassador to Romania. He now lives in Charlottesville, VA." [1]


"Throughout the Reagan years, in spite of political roadblocks set by the Communists, John Davis and his staff worked to maintain contact and at least limited discussion with his Communist counterparts, so that by 1989 he had a healthy working relationship with the PZPR.8 More importantly, the American embassy worked to create and nurture intimate ties with the Solidarity leadership. Throughout his tenure in Warsaw, Ambassador Davis held frequent informal gatherings—evenings ostensibly spent socializing, watching recent American movies, and eating large batches of beef stroganoff or lasagna in the ambassador’s residence—allowing members of Solidarity to meet with each other and to talk with the ambassador. By 1989 Ambassador Davis had assumed the role of a close confidant and advisor to Solidarity’s leadership, allowing the dissidents to act as they saw fit but nonetheless offering his support and input on the most important issues when it was requested.9 More importantly, the embassy’s relationship with Solidarity’s inner circle gave American diplomats an unusually deep understanding of the situation. " [2]

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Previous Ambassadors, poland.usembassy, accessed December 12, 2010.
  2. Solidarity's Coming Victory: Big or Too Big?, NSA, accessed December 12, 2010.