The Foreign Service Journal, September 2019

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | SEPTEMBER 2019 75 policy points that guided senior decision-makers when the U.S. led NATO in armed intervention in the Balkans. While serving as senior desk officer for Indonesia (1998-2000), Mr. Clarke drafted key elements of U.S. policy toward Indonesia as East Timor (now Timor-Leste) regained its status as an independent nation following violent unrest and Indonesia’s first democratic elections in 1999. As counselor for political affairs in Bangkok (2002-2005), Mr. Clarke shaped official U.S. understanding that Muslim unrest in Southern Thailand arose from separatist motivations, not international terrorist backing. Serving as consul general in Her- mosillo (2005-2008), Mr. Clarke oversaw a major expansion of the office’s visa services and reporting coverage. In his final tour, serving as deputy chief of mission in Wellington, Mr. Clarke led the development and implementa- tion of policy changes that reversed a 25-year history of stalled U.S.-New Zealand relations, including securing presidential authorizations. Mr. Clarke retired in 2011 but con- tinued to work as a contractor for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. In retirement, he attended Osher Lifelong Learning Institute courses at American University and other forums for the discussion of history, politics and contemporary culture. Mr. Clarke is survived by his wife of 48 years, Rosalind, of Washington, D.C., and daughters Lisa and Jill of Montgom- ery County, Md. n Robert Theodore (Ted) Curran, 87, a retired Senior Foreign Service offi- cer, died peacefully in his sleep on July 10 in Traverse City, Mich. Mr. Curran was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1932. At the age of 17, he had a pivotal life experience when he joined an American Friends Service Committee work camp in post-World War II Düs- seldorf, Germany. There, he and 11 other young Ameri- can men joined 12 German young men, living together in a partially bombed school, to work on the reconstruction effort. He forever treasured the camara- derie and collaboration of that mission. Mr. Curran earned a bachelor’s degree in history and Russian from Haverford College in 1953 and a master’s degree in Russian history from Columbia University in 1955. He worked and trained briefly in IBM’s professional management program before joining the Foreign Service as a public affairs officer in 1955. He served overseas in Berlin, Beirut, Amman, Yemen, Mexico City, Kabul and Rabat. Mr. Curran’s 29-year diplomatic career afforded remarkable encounters and experiences—from hosting Louis Armstrong in 1957 Germany to receiving assistance for a flat tire from King Hus- sein’s bodyguard in the Jericho valley. Mr. Curran escorted Lady Bird John- son through the 1967 Montreal World Expo, welcomed the Apollo 11 crew in Mexico City in 1969, taught President Richard Nixon how to abrazar (embrace) the president of Mexico, worked closely with William Rogers in the State Depart- ment’s Secretariat from 1970 to 1972 and helped guide Henry Kissinger on a tour of Afghanistan in 1976. He picked up the American hostages from Iran in Algeria with President Jimmy Carter in 1981, hosted President George Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush in 1983 in Morocco, and played a midnight round of golf with the King of Morocco. Following his retirement from the For- eign Service in 1984, Mr. Curran joined the executive leadership team of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich. In 1987 he become president of Springfield College in Illinois. In 1993 Mr. Curran moved to New York City to become president of the For- eign Policy Association, then returned to Washington, D.C., to serve as executive director of the American Institute for Foreign Study Foundation until 2005. He continued there as a trustee until 2017. In retirement he lived in Benzie County, Mich., where he served on the boards of the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, the Michigan Land Use Institute (now known as Ground- work), For Love of Water, the Interna- tional Affairs Forum and the Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital. He also served on the boards of George School and Sidwell Friends School. Mr. Curran’s connection to Michi- gan began with his marriage to Marcia Mattson, of Hillsdale, Mich., in 1956. The couple established their residency at Crystal Downs, Lake Township, Mich., and spent many summers there with friends and family. Family members recall his love of golf; the game was a source of personal growth and great joy to him. Though he played courses all around the world, his favorite was in Crystal Downs. As an adult, Mr. Current became an official member of the Society of Friends, generously sharing with all who knew him the Quaker wisdom of a life lived with purpose and a faith in the promise of every person’s inner light. Family members recall his abiding belief in the survival of the human spirit. He maintained that almost any human problem can be overcome if people of reason can get together and talk.