THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON NAMES DOUGLAS "PETE" PETERSON AS U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM
President Clinton today announced his intent to nominate Douglas "Pete" Peterson, of Marianna, Florida, as Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
Congressman Peterson has represented the Second Congressional District of Florida since 1991. Prior to being elected to Congress, Mr. Peterson served as Director of the Specialized Treatment Program in the Psychology Department of Florida State University.
Mr. Peterson served as a fighter pilot and commander in the United States Air Force from 1954-1981 and attained the rank of full colonel. He served in worldwide assignments, including combat experience in Vietnam, where he spent six and one-half years as a prisoner of war. Currently, Congressman Peterson serves as chairman of the working group on Vietnam on the U.S. Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs, working with Russian officials to uncover information about missing American servicemen.
Mr. Peterson has maintained a close involvement in Vietnam affairs. During two congressional visits, he met with senior government officials, traveled in both northern and southern parts of the country and visited the prison where he was a former POW. He played a key advisory role in President Clinton's decision in July 1995 to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam.
Born June 26, 1935 in Omaha, Nebraska, Mr. Peterson earned a B.A. from the University of Tampa. He is a widower and has two children.