Joseph Coy Green, 91, former executive director of the board of examiners of the Foreign Service and later ambassador to Jordan, died Wednesday at a Parry Sound, Ontario, hospital of complications following surgery.
Before becoming board director, Mr. Green had served for 15 years as chairman of the commission for revision of examinations for the Foreign Service. He helped revise the exam from one that also tested the ability of the candidate to reason and to write essay-type answers.
Before joining the Foreign Service in 1930, he taught history for 10 years at Princeton University. One of his undergraduate students, the noted diplomat George F. Kennan, in his "Memoirs: 1925-1950" later characterized Mr. Green as "a stern, vigorous, and relentlessly conscienious scholar."
Kennan also wrote that Mr. Green deserved "recognition for having administered the Foreign Service examination system with a firm impartiality that could serve as a model for any non-political career service."
During his 23 years with the State Department, Mr. Green was chairman of the department's munitions control division during World War II, a special assistant to the Secretary of State, and a member of the U.S. mission to observe the Greek elections in 1946.
He served as executive director of the board of examiners for the Foreign Service for six years before becoming ambassador to Jordan in 1952, a job he held until retiring a year later.
After leaving the State Department, Mr. Green testified before two Senate committees criticizing American foreign policy in the Middle East. He charged that the State Department lacked a solution to the key problem of Arab refugees from Israel.
As late as 1971, a letter to The Washington Post, he expressed the opinion that the essential problem in the Middle East was "the obtaining of justice, or some semblance of justice for the several million Christians and Moslems held in subjection by the Israelis or driven into exile from their native land."
Mr. Green was a native of Cincinnati, and a 1908 graduate of Princeton University.
Before this country's entry into World War I, he worked with the commission for Relief in Belgium, and after the war with the American Relief Administration in Romania and the Caucasus.
During the war he served in the Army where he attained the rank of major in military intelligence.
Mr. Green served two terms as president of the Washington Literary Society during the early 1950s. He belonged to the Princeton Club in Washington, the Metropolitan Club, and the Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired (DACOR).
He also was a member of the American Anthropological Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
He and his wife, the former Gertrude Henshaw Norris, maintained a home in Washington and a summer home in Canada.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two daughters, Suzanne Kominski, of Alexandria, and Helen Alliston, of London: a son, Joseph Norris Green, of Cincinnati: six grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.