The Foreign Service Journal, January-February 2021

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2021 87 remembered, Amb. Perkins had a simple reply: “As a good citizen of the world.” Amb. Perkins was predeceased by his wife, the former Lucy Ching-mei Liu, in 2009. He is survived by two daughters, Katherine and Sarah, their husbands, four grandchildren and extended family worldwide. n Robert A. Powers , 88, a retired Senior Foreign Service officer, died on June 8, 2020, in Springfield, Va. Born and raised outside Boston, Mr. Powers was the youngest of six children in an Irish Catholic family. After graduating fromhigh school in Arlington, Mass., he enlisted in the Air Force and served in the KoreanWar. On return frommilitary service, he attended the Berklee School of Music and sang professionally for a time. Music remained an important part of his life. In 1959 he joined the United States Information Agency and was stationed inManila. There he married Betty Rae Zellmer, and there his two sons were born. Mr. Powers’ next posting was in Beirut, where he helped run the evacuation of Americans during the Six-Day War in 1967. His next assignment was in BuonMa Thuot, Vietnam. After returning to Washington, Mr. Powers was sent to Guadalajara, where he ran the U.S. Binational Center. This was followed by postings in Santiago and in Panama, where he served as public affairs officer. He then took a two-year leave of absence to help run the Multinational Force and Observers, first in Tel Aviv and then as deputy director in Rome. After returning to USIA, he ran the Regional ProgramOffice in Vienna. Mr. Powers was the director of USIA’s Press and Publications Service when he retired in 1995. After retiring, Mr. Powers and his wife settled in Springfield, Va. The couple loved to travel, and Mr. Powers stayed busy serving on several boards and writ- ing about his life. Mr. Powers was predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Betty Rae, in 2019. He leaves his two sons, Patrick and Michael, and three grandchildren. n David Rawson , 79, a retired FSO and former ambassador, died unexpectedly on Sept. 16, 2020, at the Friendsview Retire- ment Community in Newberg, Ore. Mr. Rawson was born in Addison, Mich., on Sept. 10, 1941. The son of a medi- cal missionary, he moved with his family when he was 6 years old to Bujumbura, Burundi. There for eight years, he devel- oped fluency in Kirundi and a familiarity with the Hutu-Tutsi culture. After four years of secondary school in Kenya, Mr. Rawson returned home to college at Malone University in Can- ton, Ohio, majoring in history. He then earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in international studies at American Univer- sity in Washington, D.C. During the summer of 1966, Mr. Raw- son did postdoctoral research in Rwanda and Burundi. On completion of his studies, he returned toMalone University to teach. Three years later, in 1971, he joined the Foreign Service. His diplomatic career was entirely concentrated on sub-Saharan Africa, both in the field and inWashington, D.C. His assignments began in Kigali, and alter- nated betweenWest Africa (Mali twice and Senegal) and East Africa (Rwanda twice and Somalia), with a single tour in Madagascar. Mr. Rawson’s assignments inWashing- ton included a tour as director of the Office of West African Affairs (1989-1991). There he reported to Amb. Herman J. Cohen, then assistant secretary of State for African affairs, under whomhe had served earlier in Senegal and who would assign him to return to East Africa to deal with the trouble brewing there. Mr. Rawson’s Africa postings were personally eventful. During his first assign- ment toMali, his first wife, Viola Mosher, the mother of his two children, was killed in a tragic road accident. He later married Sandra Miller, whomhe met in Senegal. On his initial assignment to Rwanda, Mr. Rawson assisted with the massive ref- ugee flows, the result of the first Burun- dian genocide in 1972. During his second posting starting in 1993, as ambassador, he led the evacuation of all Americans present in country at the outbreak of the genocide in 1994. Following his retirement in 1999, Amb. Rawson returned to university teach- ing and writing. He taught international affairs and related subjects for 18 years at Spring Arbor and Hillsdale Universities in Michigan. In 2018 he moved to Newberg, Ore., where he taught at George Fox University for two final years. Throughout his diplo- matic and academic careers, he focused on the practice of diplomacy within the broad field of conflict resolution. In 2018, Amb. Rawson published Pre- lude to Genocide: Arusha, Rwanda , and the Failure of Diplomacy . He donated all the materials he had drawn on to the George Fox University, where they will be perma- nently available to the public. Amb. Rawson was predeceased by his first wife, Viola Mosher, in 1977. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Sandra, of Newberg, Ore.; his daughter and son-in-law, Christina and Georg Mathiak, and two granddaughters, Corrie and Ann- Marie, of Berlin, Germany; and his son and daughter-in-law, Jonathan and Lori Rawson of Portland, Ore. n