2016 Great Immigrants Recipient

John L. Estrada
U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago
Born in:
Trinidad and Tobago

“Who would have guessed when I boarded a plane at the age of 14, an unaccompanied child, leaving Laventille to start a new life in the United States that I would return almost half a century later as the U.S. President’s direct representative to the country of my birth?,” John L. Estrada said in 2017. His remarks came as Estrada concluded his term as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Estrada served as the 15th Sergeant Major of the U.S. Marine Corps, the nation’s highest-ranking enlisted Marine, from 2003 to 2007. When he retired from the Marines after 34 years of service, he was awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal. He has served as a commissioner on the American Battle Monuments Commission, a committee member of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, a member of the national board of directors for Operation Homefront, and on the executive committee for the United Services Organization. Updated 2018