Stafford Fitzgerald Haney, an international businessman and diplomat, was born in Nashville, Tennessee on January 3, 1969 but grew up in Naperville, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. He graduated from Central High School in Naperville and then attend the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, where he received a B.S. in international economics (1990) and an M.S. in international business and diplomacy (1991).
Following his university studies, Haney embarked initially on a corporate career. His first post was as Assistant Brand Manager for Procter & Gamble in San Juan, Puerto Rico from 1991 to 1993; followed by multiple positions from 1993 to 1997 in PepsiCo International’s restaurant division’s San Juan operations from 1993 to 1995, then as Senior Marketing Manager for the corporation in Mexico and Central America from 1995 to 1996, and finally as its Marketing Director in Sao Paulo, Brazil from 1996 to 1997. In 1997 Haney returned again to Mexico to become Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Planning for Citibank where he worked until 1999.
Haney moved to Israel in 1999 to be Senior Associate at the venture capital firm, Israeli Seed Ventures. Returning to the United States in 2002, he became Director of Strategic Planning at Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation in New York City where he worked until 2007. From 2007 to 2015 he was Head of Business Development and Client services at Pzena Investment Management in 2007 with responsibility for firm branding and business in Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
In 2015, President Barack Obama nominated Haney to be U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica. Following Senate confirmation on May 23, 2015, Haney officially became U.S. Ambassador to this Central American nation, presenting his credentials to the Costa Rican President on July 8, 2015. He led the U.S. Mission there until 2017. As U.S. Ambassador, Haney was responsible for representing the U.S. government and interests in Costa Rica, as well as protecting American citizens in that country. During his tenure, Haney strengthen the commercial relationships between the two countries, including helping to reverse a series of protectionist agriculture trade policies and thus re-opening local market to U.S. agricultural products such as onions, potatoes, and rice. He also led efforts to promote Costa Rica as stronger regional player in combating Transnational Criminal Organizations involved in narco-trafficking, human trafficking, and terrorism.
While in Costa Rica, Haney participated in Dancing with the Stars Costa Rica, one of the nation’s highest-rated reality television shows. Making it to the Grand Finale, he took home second place and donated the proceeds to a local foundation supporting people fighting cancer.
Following his tenure as Ambassador to Costa Rica, Ambassador Haney returned to the private sector, going to work as Group Partner, Head of Strategic Development at Viola Group in Israel where he worked from 2017 to 2020. He returned to the U.S. in 2020 to serve as Managing Director for Institutional Client Development at Lyrical Partners, L.P., in New York, where he remains based at the time of writing.
Ambassador Haney is a convert to Judaism and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Jewish Culture, the Board of Ayecha, an organization devoted to Jews of color, and as a Presidential appointment as a Member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.
Ambassador Haney speaks Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew, and conversational French. He is married to a Rabbi and the couple has four children.
Do you find this information helpful? A small donation would help us keep this available to all. Forego a bottle of soda and donate its cost to us for the information you just learned, and feel good about helping to make it available to everyone. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and our EIN is 26-1625373. Your donation is fully tax-deductible.
Allgov:; Amy Spiro, “Meet Fitz Haney, the Israeli-American diplomat, businessman and reality TV star,” Jewish Insider,
Your support is crucial to our mission.
Donate today to help us advance Black history education and foster a more inclusive understanding of our shared cultural heritage.