The Foreign Service Journal, May 2024

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MAY 2024 87 earned a B.A. in political science at Brown University and then moved on to Duke Law School to obtain his J.D. Mr. Newton became a lawyer on Wall Street. But it just wasn’t enough for a man who wanted to make a real difference for the people of the world, so he joined the Peace Corps and headed to Guatemala, where he cut his development teeth working in the agriculture sector. Mr. Newton’s first foray into Africa was with the African Labor Union in Togo. He then landed a contractor position with USAID in Mali, and eventually joined the organization as a direct hire in the Office of the General Counsel. His first overseas assignment, in 1981, was in the Regional Economic Development Service Office in the Ivory Coast, where he solved legal issues for USAID bilateral missions including Nigeria, Mauritania, Chad, and all the countries in between. Mr. Newton was untiring in getting to all 24 countries in the region. He was known for taking photos and ferreting out endless historical, social, and cultural details while providing exceptional legal knowledge and support. While in Abidjan, he produced Lonely Planet travel guides for West and Central Africa and even updated them with second editions. Mr. Newton also kept an ever-growing menagerie of exotic and not-so-exotic animals at his home. His next assignment, as USAID’s regional legal adviser, was in Ecuador. He traveled up and down the Andes helping South American USAID bilateral missions. While on temporary assignment in Lima, Mr. Newton met Betsy Wagenhauser and knew she was it: They were married in 1991. In Quito, Mr. Newton collected another menagerie, and everyone in the mission got to enjoy his wonderful pool. From there, Mr. Newton moved to Bangladesh, where he organized, led, and even sometimes won rickshaw races in the streets of Dhaka. His daughter, Nicola, was born during that time. The family next moved to Kazakhstan, where Mr. Newton added the regional democracy, human rights, and governance programs to his portfolio. He also added a son to the family, Simon. And he added a new extracurricular pursuit,