Capo d'Istria, Giovanni Antonio, Count (käˈpō dēˈstrēä) [key], Gr. Joannes Antonios Capodistrias or Kapodistrias, 1776–1831, Greek and Russian statesman, b. Corfu. After administrative work in the Ionian Islands he entered (1809) Russian service and was until 1822 a close adviser in foreign affairs to Czar Alexander I; he represented Russia at the Congress of Vienna. After his resignation and retirement to Switzerland in 1822, he actively elicited support for Greek independence. In 1827 the Greek national assembly elected him president of Greece. He was a dedicated reformer, and by both his military and diplomatic policies between 1828 and 1831 he helped Greece secure larger boundaries than it otherwise would have. However, his excessively ambitious modernization programs as well as his autocratic methods, nepotism, factionalism, and Russian affiliations aroused opposition and led to his assassination.
See study by C. M. Woodhouse (1973).