Former US ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago Joseph Mondello has died at 84.
Mondello served as US Ambassador between October 2018 and January 2021. Before that, he had been a lawyer and Republican politician.
In a press release issued on Tuesday afternoon, the US Embassy said Mondello died on Monday.
Chargé d’affaires Shante Moore expressed his gratitude to Mondello for giving him the opportunity to attain his current position, saying, "Ambassador Mondello hired me to serve as his deputy chief of mission, which eventually afforded me the opportunity to serve as Chargé d’affaires.
"Ambassador Mondello considered serving as the US Ambassador to TT as one of the greatest honours of his career.
"I remember him as a gentleman and leader with an open-door policy."
Acting deputy chief of mission Cindy Diouf said Mondello had been impressive in navigating through the past two years.
"He was a natural leader who led by example and cared deeply about those under his leadership and the reputation of the US. He demonstrated courage and commitment throughout the covid19 pandemic and refused to leave his team even as infections rose and borders closed."
On her personal experience of working with him, she added that he provided inspiration and steadfast leadership throughout his tenure, earning the respect and admiration of the US Embassy community. Ambassador Mondello also possessed a good sense of humour and was a great storyteller. He loved and respected the people of TT and was proud to serve his country. Ambassador Mondello was more than our leader; he was our friend."
She said he was a man of great character and patriotism, and would be deeply missed.
Newsday tried to reach Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Amery Browne for a comment, but did not get a response.