Ambassador to Italy and San Marino: Who Is John Phillips?

Nov 01, 2013 2148

The new ambassador to Italy and the micro-state of San Marino is an Italian-American public interest attorney who owns a villa in Tuscany and has visited Italy "more than 50 times in the last decade." John R. Phillips, whose nomination was confirmed by the Senate along with several others on August 1, succeeds David Thorne, who had served in Rome since August 2009.

Born in late 1942 and raised 35 miles northeast of Pittsburgh in Leechburg, Pennsylvania (1950 pop.: 4,042), which he has described as "a bustling steel and coal-mining area [with] a lot of jobs. I walked to school and you knew everybody." His paternal grandfather, Angelo Filippi, emigrated from the Friuli region of Italy to Pennsylvania, where he met his wife Lucy Colussy, also from Friuli. At his Senate hearing, Phillips said he regretted that the family name, Filippi, had been Americanized to Phillips. 

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