Ambassador Spiers joined the US Foreign Service in 1955 after serving four years on the staff of the US Atomic Energy Commission and retired from the post of United Nations Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs in 1992. He served as a naval officer in the Pacific in World War II and is a 1948 graduate of Dartmouth; he received an MPA from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1950.
Early in the course of his career he specialized in arms control and disarmament policy, serving as Officer-in-Charge of Disarmament Affairs on Secretary Dulles’ staff from 1956 to 1961 and as a principal negotiator of the IAEA statute. He was the first head, with the rank of Assistant Secretary of State, of the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs from 1969 to1973, Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research in 1980 and 1982 and Under-Secretary for Management from 1983 to1989, when he was appointed to the senior American post in the UN Secretariat.
He was Charge d’Affairs and Minister (DCM) in London from 1974 to 1977 after serving as the first ambassador to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas in 1973 and 1974. He was ambassador to Turkey from 1977 to 1980, and to Pakistan in 1982 and 1983. He was accorded the rank of Career Ambassador by President Reagan in 1984. He was recipient of the Director General’s Cup in 1994, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award in 1988 and two Presidential Distinguished Service award (1984 and 1986). He has been a member of the Academy since 1992 and has been active as a speaker and author of numerous Op-Eds published since retiring to Vermont.