United States Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago: Who Is Joseph Mondello?

Friday, April 20, 2018
Joseph Mondello

Donald Trump on March 19, 2018, chose a longtime Republican politico to be the next United States ambassador to the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Joseph N. Mondello has served as chairman of the Nassau County, New York, Republican Committee since May 1983. He also served as the Republican National Committeeman for New York from 1992 to 2004, as chairman of the New York Republican State Committee from 2006 to 2009, and as a Trump delegate to the 2016 Republican Convention, as did his wife, Linda.


Strange as it may seem, Mondello is the second man born in 1938 who was involved in New York off-track betting to be chosen by Trump to serve as an ambassador. David Cornstein got the nod for Hungary. Mondello is also not the first well-placed Republican from Nassau County to be chosen to represent the United States in Trinidad and Tobago. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan gave the position to Charles Gargano, who had headed Reagan’s campaign in New York.


Moncello has been “of counsel” to the law firm of Berkman, Henoch, Peterson, Peddy and Fenchel in Garden City, New York, since 1997.


Joseph Nestor Mondello was born February 13, 1938, in Brooklyn to Rosario (Joseph) Mondello and Maria Rosario (Rose) Martín, who were of Sicilian and Puerto Rican descent, respectively. He served in the military from 1955 to 1958, first as an airman in the Air National Guard from 1955 to 1956, and then as a corporal in the Army infantry from 1956 to 1958. After getting out, he earned his B.A. at Hofstra College in 1962.


From 1962 to 1966, Mondello worked as a teacher and probation officer in the East Meadow, New York, school system and later as a probation officer in Nassau County. In 1969, Mondello earned a J.D. at The New England School of Law, which received ABA accreditation that year as well. 


After passing the bar exam in 1969, Mondello co-founded the Levittown law firm of Flaum, Imbarrato and Mondello. He has practiced law continuously since that time.


From 1979 to 1987, Mondello served as a councilman of the Town of Hempstead, New York.  From January 1987 to April 1993, he was Hempstead presiding supervisor, making him the chief executive officer of a township with a population of more than 700,000.


From April 1993 to December 1997, Mondello worked as chairman of the board and president of Nassau Downs off-track betting agency.


Mondello has served as counsel to New York State Senate and Assembly Republicans, the State Committee on Labor, and as a special agent in the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence. He has also taught courses on government at Hofstra.


Mondello is active in many civic and fraternal organizations, including the Nassau County Bar Association, the former District Attorneys’ Association, the Nassau Lawyers’ Association, the Columbian Lawyers’ Association, New York State District Attorneys’ Association, and the Criminal Bar Association. He has also served in the New York Guard for 25 years, attaining the rank of major general.


Mondello is married to the former Linda Elizabeth Crabtree.  They have three children, Joseph Jr., Elizabeth, and Lisa, and four grandchildren. Between 2007 and 2017, Linda Mondello was given an annual contract as a consultant regarding historic preservation and event planning at a park in Oyster Bay Cove, New York, known as the Littauer Estate.

-Matt Bewig


To Learn More:

Official Bio (Nassau County Republican Committee)

Public Financial Disclosure

Trump Offers 80-year-old US Ambassador to TT (by Sean Douglas, Trinidad and Tobago Newsday)


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