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Back Issues of PDAA Today

Back issues of PDAA Today, PDAA’s quarterly print newsletter are now online and available for download.

Updated: Feb. 24 Program to Focus on The Power of Public Diplomacy: Leading Today’s Challenges. The First Three Feet

Ambassador Jean Manes (L) will speak at the February 24 PDAA luncheon.

(Updated 2/12/20) Ambassador Jean Manes will speak at the Mon., Feb. 24, 2020, PDAA luncheon. She will focus on the challenges facing today’s public diplomacy practitioners.

Manes is currently the deputy to the commander and foreign affairs advisor at U.S. Southern Command in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. She previously served as ambassador to El Salvador and principal deputy coordinator at the former Bureau of International Information Programs. She has an extensive background in public diplomacy, serving as the Counselor for Public Affairs in Kabul, staff director of resources in the office of the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy, and cultural affairs offer in Brasilia. She is a graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., and holds a master’s degree in International Administration from American University.

Amb. Manes received the PDAA Public Diplomacy Achievement Award in 2012.

The discussion will take place on Mon., Feb. 24, from 11:00 to 1:00, at DACOR-Bacon House, 1801 F St. NW, with the preprogram reception beginning at 11:00 and lunch beginning promptly at 11:30. This timing is different from our regular programs in order to accommodate our speaker. To register, please complete the form on page 7 of the newsletter or register on-line using the drop-down menu below. Deadline is Feb. 20.

 


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A Word about the Late William Armbruster

By C. Edward Bernier

William Armbruster

William Armbruster, 1953-2013
Mr. Armbruster was held hostage by Saddam Hussein following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait

I first met William when he was assigned to Algiers when I was PAO there in the late 80s. He settled in very quickly and within a short time had developed a clear understanding of what lay ahead for him in Algeria, a country that was only recently warming to the U.S. With a keen intellect and wry sense of humor, William adapted to the work environment and our audiences.

William had a natural affinity for things technical and played a major role in establishing our WorldNet capabilities. At his suggestion in another tech area, we chose not to continue with the Wang system, but rather investing in laptops.

What impressed me the most about William was that he, unlike other FS officers I knew, never once complained about having been assigned to the post, nor did he ever have a negative word about any of his American and Algerian workmates.

Moving ahead, he was assigned to Kuwait with his infant daughter accompanying. I had just taken over as NEA Deputy Director. Within a few days of his arrival, Iraq invaded Kuwait, with William having a first-hand view from his hotel room. His telephone reporting provided valuable insight regarding the Iraqi intentions. Most importantly he kept his cool.

He was detained by the Iraqis, along with other Embassy Officers. Throughout this period, he dealt with his dangerous situation calmly and without fear. He was later evacuated by bus to Baghdad where he sat out more months of detainment without a complaint.

Our next encounter was at the Foreign Service Institute Arabic program in Tunis. Once again, William energetically demonstrated his total ability to adjust to his environment and pursued his studies with enthusiasm. He went on to Morocco, while I was assigned to Riyadh. I did not see him after that and was shocked when I learned about his passing after retirement. A positive note, however, is that in retirement he continued his support of U.S. diplomacy by speaking to local community groups in his town of retirement.

From day one I considered William a dear friend, one whose advice I appreciated.


Ed Bernier is a retired Foreign Service Officer. He can be reached at admin@publicdiplomacy.org.



William Armbruster (USIA entry class summer 1986) died in Aug. 2013 at age 59 from a pulmonary embolism. At the time, his obituary could not be published in State Magazine, due to a technical difficulty with the publication. William grew up in San Diego and got his B.S degree in Russian area studies and biology from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1975, and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Gao, Mali, teaching physics from 1977 to 1980. With USIA, he served in Algiers, Tunis, London, Casablanca, and Washington, D.C.. He also served briefly in Kuwait, where he and his infant daughter were taken to Baghdad as diplomatic hostages just before the first Gulf War. He retired from State, after the merger, in 2008, and moved to Missouri where he enjoyed five good years of retirement before his untimely death. His wife, Lisa, would like to hear from those who knew William. She can be reached at admin@publicdiplomacy.org.

See also the Associated Press report of October 22, 1990: Trapped Americans Fight Boredom, Worry; the News-Press story of October 19, 2011: Ex-diplomat has unique view of Middle East; and the Los Angeles Times story of December 12, 1990, S.D. Relatives of Hostages Anticipate Homecomings.  His obituary is available here.

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In Memoriam: Lois Herrmann

by Greta Morris

My friendship with Lois Herrmann is closely linked to both PDAA (the Public Diplomacy Association of America) and PDC (the Public Diplomacy Council). I first got to know Lois at the former USIA in the 1980s-90s, when she was working in the Public Affairs Office and I was in the Africa and East Asia Pacific area offices. We had friends in common and attended the same women’s group.

After I retired from the Foreign Service, Lois invited me to serve on the board of PDAA. And after Lois retired from the Civil Service a few years later, she asked me about joining PDC. We decided to have lunch together so that I could tell her more about PDC. It was during that lunch that we discovered how much we had in common: we had both majored in English and loved books. We liked the same kinds of plays, films, and music. We shared a similar world view. We even discovered that during the 1990’s, we were both members of the same church, but did not know it as it was a very large church and we were involved in different activities. We both greatly admired the senior pastor at the time, Dr. Craig Barnes.

Following that lunch, our friendship grew. We attended some wonderful plays at the Shakespeare Theater, programs at DACOR, films, and concerts together. We got together for lunch or dinner when we could. I felt that I could talk with Lois about anything and everything; she was an attentive and sympathetic listener. She had an infectious love of life and of her friends. She was committed to the things she cared about deeply. She worked tirelessly to help an immigrant family from the Middle East that her church had sponsored to come to the United States. She supported the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University (which had treated her mother); she supported the Shakespeare Theater.

After Lois became ill and was diagnosed with cancer, I was fortunate to be able to visit her several times and talk with her on the phone. I grew to admire her even more, as I saw her courage in the face of pain and increasingly dire prognoses. She was always gracious, considerate of her friends, and determined to overcome her illness. She never lost her radiant smile. When it became increasingly apparent that recovery would not be possible, she accepted that news with grace, faith, and dignity.

Mary Oliver poemLois loved poetry and wrote haiku. One of her favorite poets was Mary Oliver, who wrote in her poem The Summer Day: “Tell me what it is you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”* Lois knew what she wanted to do: she lived her life with joy, love, faith, intention, and commitment to the things she cared about deeply. I will miss her greatly, but she will always be an example to me of how to live.


Ambassador Greta N. Morris is former President of the Public Diplomacy Association of America.

 



Lois Marie Herrmann (1945 – 2020)

Lois Marie Herrmann, beloved daughter of Helen and Gustav Herrmann of Long Island, New York, died on January 14, 2020, at Georgetown University Hospital, with loving friends at her bedside. A long-time resident of Washington, DC, Lois was 74 years old when overtaken by cancer after a battle in which she radiated grace and courage throughout. Her sudden passing has struck the hearts of her large family of devoted friends-here in Washington, across the United States, and overseas-with profound grief.

Lois was born in New York City on January 26, 1945, and grew up near the water on the North Shore of Long Island where she developed her life-long love of swimming. Her happiest memories were of summer swims in the ocean, swimming holes, and pools. Lois went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree at Cornell University and her Master’s at Stanford University.

Lois began her career at the Foreign Student Service Council in Washington, DC, and went on to become a highly accomplished member of the US Department of State, serving first in the Foreign Service and later in the Civil Service. She began her government career in the United States Information Agency (1976-1999) and concluded her fulltime State Department service in the Bureau of Public Affairs (1999-2014). She loved her overseas postings in Venezuela, Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia. Writing and editing were key skills Lois put to great effect, drafting speeches, public testimony, and op-ed articles for senior State Department officials. She also played a leading role in press operations for several Presidential summits and major international conferences, including the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh (2009), the President’s Nuclear Security Summit in Washington (2010), and the G8 Summit in Camp David (2012). She was proud to have served on State Department-wide Task Forces on world political and humanitarian crises including South Sudan, Ukraine and the response to the Asian tsunami (2004). She also published travel articles in the Christian Science Monitor and The Washington Star.

Lois served as a member of the boards of the Public Diplomacy Association of America (PDAA); the Stanford University Alumni Association; and the Theodore H. Barth Foundation, Inc., a philanthropic foundation supporting community health and welfare and the arts.

After her retirement, she volunteered at the Smithsonian with the Steinway Diary Project before returning to work part-time at the State Department, and she enjoyed personal travel through much of the world.

Lois considered her life’s most important endeavor to have looked after her mother during her mother’s last 12 years. The devotion she gave to her mother was easily recognizable in the love she showed her friends, her close bonds with animals of every species-but especially cats-and the kindness, wisdom, and loyalty she gave to all. Her spirit had a beauty and tenderness that will forever touch the hearts of all those who will miss her so greatly.

A memorial service will be held at St. Columba’s Episcopal Church, 4201 Albemarle St. NW, Washington, DC, 20016, at 11 AM on Saturday, March 14, 2020. Reception to follow.

Donations in Lois’s memory may be made to St. Columba’s Episcopal Church.

Published online on January 21, 2020 courtesy of RAPP Funeral and Cremation Services .

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Richard Chris Lundberg

Richard Lundberg

Richard Chris Lundberg
October 12, 1945 – January 9, 2020

by Ann A. Lundberg

Richard Chris Lundberg passed away on January 9, 2020, at the age of 74 in Arlington, VA. This single sentence does not begin to convey by any means the impact that this fact has had on those who love and miss him.

Richard was raised in a complex and loving household – no traditional father figure but a Swedish family consisting of a single mom, a grandmother and Italian grandfather, an adult cousin and an aunt, most of them under one roof. This atmosphere of loving warmth and kindness helped to shape his understanding of the world and his place in it.

He went to college and graduated with honors and began a career as a school teacher. Not satisfied with his daily contributions to teach children in a school setting, he joined a volunteer tutoring project, where he was involved in tutoring small children in a church basement in Corona, Queens, NY, on weekends.

I got to see firsthand his expertise as a teacher and his gentle way with the kids who thrived under his tutorage. When the project ended, Richard moved on to the next chapter in his life. After nine years of teaching, his interest and passionate following of world politics and desire to make a difference, plus his fascination with different cultures, triggered his next move. His talent for and interest in languages, combined with his love of travel, drove him to change careers and join the Foreign Service and become a diplomat with the United States Information Agency and the U.S. Department of State in 1978.

Richard’s first posting was to Warsaw, Poland, as a JOT and then on to Poznan as the Branch Public Affairs Officer during the years 1979-1982. This memorable time encompassed traditional Communist rule, the rise of Solidarity, and the threat of Soviet invasion and the imposition of martial law.

His next assignment was to Helsinki, Finland, as Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer from 1983 to 1987. He focused on American Studies, running the International Visitor Program, and working with the Fulbright Program. The years 1987 to 1991 were spent in Washington as an Academic Relations Specialist and then a Program Development Officer.

Richard’s next posting was on to Bucharest, Romania, from 1991 to 1993 as the Information Officer. He helped develop successful programs to transform the Romanian media into an independent, responsible, and credible media. From 1994 to 1997, he was assigned to Reykjavik, Iceland, as the Public Affairs Officer. Ricard strengthened support for NATO, NATO enlargement, and the Keflavik NATO base by organizing visits of skeptical Icelandic journalists and politicians to NATO headquarters in Brussels and military commands in the U.S. He traveled to Helsinki in 1997 to serve as the principal officer in charge of the White House press corps during the Clinton-Yeltsin Summit.

Richard served again as a Public Affairs Officer in Tallinn, Estonia, from 1998 to 2001. The highlights included but are not limited to the fact that he coordinated, during the consolidation of the USIA into the State Department, a seamless transformation of the Embassy’s USIS office, retaining jobs for all staff members, and integrating budgetary and personnel operations with State’s. Richard also strengthened the growth of an independent and responsible post-Communist-era Estonian media by recruiting a Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. editor to train 20 editors and journalists in the how’s and why’s of investigative journalism.

Richard’s last posting in Washington before retiring in 2005 included the following: Program Officer for the U.S. Speakers Program in Eastern Europe and Office Director of the U.S. Society and Values Office, Bureau of International Information Programs (about 3 weeks after 9/11). It was followed by a Congressional (Pearson) Fellowship with the Bureau of Human Resources and later as a Career Development Officer.

His talent for languages enabled him to be able to excel at each post and communicate easily in Polish, Finnish, Romanian, Icelandic, and Estonian with his contacts and staff. He was a gourmet cook and loved to create and experiment with unique spices and foods. His love of music covered jazz, pop, classical, contemporary, and country. This was exhibited by his huge collection of LP’s, tapes, and CD’s. His concern and love for animals led him to support charities benefiting them and to adopt and rescue two adult cats that were going to be sent to a kill shelter by the owner. His overseas postings to all those exotic locations enabled him to indulge in and enjoy one of his favorite hobbies — photography. He was a kind, generous, loving individual with a high level of integrity and honesty. His love of travel did not diminish with retirement and only slowed with the onset of health problems. He is survived by his wife Ann of almost 50 years. Yes, there were glitches, mistakes, and stumbles, but the account you have read is true.

That is why the universe is a sadder place today because he is not in it.


Ann Lundberg is Richard Lundberg’s widow. She accompanied him on his assignments overseas.

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Linda Jewell – an Appreciation

Linda Jewell

Jazz Piano Christmas, an annual popular feature in the Kennedy Center’s jazz concert series, won’t be the same this year.

One of the last conversations I had with Linda confirmed that come December 7, as in years gone by, we’d again go to the Christmas program together. She wanted to know if, while she was buying tickets for herself and husband John Walsh, I had any recommendations for other, later concerts. I said we liked a French group, the Django Festival Allstars, and we left it at that for the time being, pending arrangements for a pre-concert dinner we’d enjoyed together before.

Linda died Monday morning in Washington Hospital Center at the age of 66, a week after returning from France when the cancer she had been fighting since May flared up again, obviously metastatic. She had never been sick before and her only hospitalizations had been for the birth of their two children, now adults. On one of those occasions in Washington, with her parents not yet arrived from Little Rock, Linda, with a new baby, asked Pat Chatten to ferry her home from the hospital with the new addition. Later, she had been the one to sit with me while surgeons were attending Pat. When I was diagnosed with prostate cancer but had to wait two months to schedule surgery at Johns Hopkins, it seemed logical to change that depressing subject and wait it out with old friends in Costa Rica, where she was DCM/Chargé d’Affaires.

We met in the spring of 1983 when I fell ill on a Senior Seminar trip to Mexico and the ten USIS American staffers in Mexico City, including economics program officer Linda and press officer John, visited me in the hospital, for an eccentric introduction to the guy assigned to become their PAO that summer. It was Linda’s second overseas tour, after Indonesia, and John’s third, and we got to know each other quickly and well. It was soon apparent that Linda was a star, bringing just the right Mexican government and academic leaders together with just the right American visitors, combining work ethic, program sensitivities, and the personal touch necessary to access Mexican personalities and sensitivities.

On the personal front, our music tastes meshed, spending time with a contact of mine, host of a popular pop and jazz radio program.

As the years passed, we stayed close, and though often worlds apart physically, we found ways to intersect. Pat and I landed on Linda and John in India, where they organized the most memorable of trips, east in the Himalayas to once-independent Sikkim and west to stay in former Maharajah palaces in Jodhpur, Jaipur, and Udaipur, places either they had been (west) or were forbidden as diplomats to visit (east). Linda followed me as USIA Latin America Area Director, three times removed, and I tracked down a half dozen former Area Directors for a dinner/reception at our house to celebrate her new job. Come the 1999 demise of USIA, she was integrated into State’s ARA Bureau, ultimately as a Deputy Assistant Secretary and then as Ambassador to Ecuador, where I had served my first PAO assignment. On a visit to them there, she delighted some of my former contacts with invitations to The Residence, one of whom ran a popular radio station and had been jailed for his irreverent attitude toward the government. I had sent him north on an international visitor grant and bought 50 copies of his book on the U.S., USA Mas o Menos.

One of my post-USIA gigs took me as a USAID contractor to wintery Moldova in the former USSR and its early efforts to privatize its economy. Coming down from those adventures, I headed for home via Warsaw on Air Moldova for R and R with Linda and John, where he was “culture” in the USIS shop and she was “information” and part time acting PAO in the Baltics. On a day when weather closed every airport in Europe, Air Moldova pilots either didn’t get the word or took it as a challenge to their masculinity. I was not surprised to find Linda and John at the airport to welcome me.

Two stories illuminate for me the Linda I knew and loved:

  • As a Foreign Service Officer with public diplomacy in her genes, the Ambassador to Quito tasked every member of her country team to have regular personal interaction with their Ecuadoran contacts. And in what became an important way in which she was known both personally and professionally, Ecuadorans saw her as the first American Ambassador in memory to visit every province in the country.
  • And in retirement, she volunteered to advise undocumented immigrants on where to find help for their predicaments because, “I didn’t want to just stay mad all the time.”

Robert Chatten
November 20, 2019

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Linda Jewell — Additional Appreciations

by Colonel (Ret.) Mark S. Wikins

This photo shows Linda Jewell doing what Foreign Service Officers do best. In 2007, we were working hard with the Ecuadorian military to close off their northern border with Colombia to FARC activities. At that time, the FARC was actively using Ecuadorian territory for all kinds of logistical and support activities. Amb. Jewell, seen here in front of a US transport aircraft, accompanied us right up to the border, where we toured Ecuadorian military facilities and listened to commanders brief how they were organizing to control activities within their assigned areas. It was the first time ever (as far as we could tell) that a US Ambassador visited a “hot” area and all the Ecuadorian Army commanders were impressed, to say the least. This was the Amb Jewell I admired and was privileged to serve alongside.

(Col. Wilkins served twice with Amb. Jewell: Once in Costa Rica when she was the Chargé d’Affaires for an extended period of time and again in Ecuador, where he served as her Defense and Army Attaché.)


by Susan Damowitz

Linda’s death is an immeasurable loss to her family, to her colleagues, friends, and people who will never know her. One of the smartest people I have ever known, she could have been an intimidating mentor to a clueless new Foreign Service Officer (me), but she was the best mentor anyone could have, not only professionally, but personally. Her integrity, intelligence, wit, generosity, empathy, leadership, courage, and grace only scratch the surface of who she was. Like her, I was a mother of small children, sometimes struggling to balance work and home; she exemplified, for me, how to sort out priorities, and be an engaged parent and human being, while working for the Department of State. She was a legendary manager and supervisor – humane, effective, hard-working; and she set the standard against which I measured all the managers I ever worked for, and the standard which I tried to emulate when it was my turn to manage.

Her work after retirement benefitted many, and her volunteer activities were helping to mitigate the cruelty of the current administration’s immigration policies.

We will miss her enormously. Thank you, dear friend, for making a difference in the world.


by Greta Morris

I first met Linda Jewel and her husband, John Walsh, in 1978 in Jakarta, Indonesia. They were on their first Foreign Service tour with the U.S. Information Service. I was in Jakarta as a Foreign Service spouse. Linda and John and my late husband and I became friends and shared some fascinating excursions to different parts of Indonesia. I learned from John and Linda about the work of USIS and the challenges and rewards of being a “tandem couple.” I was searching for a purpose and a career, and it sounded like exactly the kind of work I would be interested in. I took the Foreign Service exam and in 1980, I entered the Foreign Service—the U.S. International Communication Agency, as USIA was called at that time. John and Linda and my husband and I never served together again, but we saw each other between postings and on Washington assignments. In 1992, when my husband died suddenly, Linda and John became my support network. They invited me over for dinner on a regular basis. We were all in language study that year: Linda and John in Polish and I in Thai. Linda called me on a weekly basis to see how I was doing and share stories of the challenges of learning a “hard language.” I looked forward to those calls: they provided a lifeline.

As a fellow woman FSO, Linda was my role model. She was smart, dedicated to her career, and worked hard, but she always had time for other people. After we both retired in 2008, we served together in PDAA and PDC.

After Linda’s diagnosis with cancer, we stayed in touch. I was fortunate to see her a few times between her treatments and family get-togethers and travel. The last time I saw her was right before she and John took a trip to France and Belgium. I had just returned from France and shared tips about hotels, restaurants, museums, and other attractions in Honfleur, where I had spent a week. I was delighted to receive a couple of e-mails from Linda during their trip; she seemed to be having a wonderful time. It was such a shock, and a great sadness, to learn of her passing shortly after her return to Washington. I will greatly miss her friendship, her dedication to public service and the highest American values, and her joie de vivre.


Ambassador Morris and other members of the PDAA Board of Directors.

Ambassador Greta Morris was previously President of PDAA.

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