Ambassador Tobias Biography

Randall L. Tobias

Ambassador Randall L. Tobias is internationally recognized for over three decades of leadership in business, education, philanthropy, and government service and epitomizes the impact of multi-sector leadership practice both in the United States and around the world. A proud Hoosier, Tobias grew up in Remington, Indiana, and graduated from Indiana University. He served with distinction as the director of U.S. foreign assistance with the U.S. Department of State and served concurrently as administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the principal government agency that administers economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide, with the rank of ambassador.


Tobias served on active duty as an artillery officer in the U.S. Army before beginning his distinguished business career. His acumen in management and strategy positions with AT&T led to his appointment as chairman and CEO of AT&T Communications and as chairman and CEO of AT&T International from 1991 until 1993.

In 1993, Tobias joined Eli Lilly and Company as chairman, president, and CEO. Under his leadership, Lilly enjoyed one of the most successful periods in its history. He was named chairman emeritus upon his retirement in 1999. Tobias continued to serve on several boards while also focusing his attention on a number of business, community, and philanthropic interests, as well as on teaching and writing. In 2003 he and his son, Todd, published a book on leadership lessons, Put the Moose on the Table.

Oral history

Learn more about the life and career of Ambassador Tobias through his own words by reading or listening to his oral history.

Read Tobias's oral history