"Born in Mexico City in 1934, Dommen came to the United States in 1940 and was naturalized in 1958. After graduating from Cornell, he served in the U.S. Army for two years. Following his discharge, he joined United Press International and served as the wire service's bureau chief in Saigon and Hong Kong before joining The Times. He joined The Times in 1965 as Tokyo bureau chief and was bureau chief in New Delhi before covering the war in Vietnam from 1968 to 1971. After leaving the paper, he returned to the United States to earn a doctorate in agricultural economics at the University of Maryland and joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture as an economist focusing on underdeveloped regions.
As the department's editor for the World Agriculture Situation and Outlook Report, Dommen wrote major studies of land tenure and agricultural production in sub-Saharan Africa and rural poverty in Central America."