Dr. John Menzies was born in Illinois, but has lived in West Virginia, Kansas, Arkansas, Iowa, Texas, California, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia in the U.S.
He obtained his B.A. in History and German, and his M.A. is in German. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, and then joined the U.S. Foreign Service.
Dr. Menzies served in U.S. Foreign Service posts in Hungary, East Germany, and Bulgaria. He was assigned to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York, and to the office of the Coordinator for the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) program in Washington.
From 1997 to 1999, Ambassador Menzies was a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace as leader of the Balkan working group.
Honors include the Department of State Superior Honor Award, an American Bar Association Award for dedication and service toward advancing the rule of law, several honorary degrees, and the Bulgarian Order of the Madarsky Konnik. He also received the Community of Christ International Human Rights Award for the year 2000. In 2014, he was awarded the Presidential Medal by the Republic of Kosova.