The Foreign Service Journal, December 2006

80 F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / D E C E M B E R 2 0 0 6 Jake M. Dyels Jr ., 72, a retired FSO, died in Brentwood, Calif., on June 12, only a few days after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Mr. Dyels had an exemplary career in public service. In the late 1950s and early 1960s he was an enlisted man in the U.S. Naval Reserve and, during the same time frame, became the first African-American firefighter with the Richmond, Calif., fire de- partment. In a big career change in 1966, Mr. Dyels was named an assis- tant Peace Corps director, serving in Cartagena, Colombia, until 1968. He joined the Foreign Service in 1969, and began a 28-year diplomatic career that ended with his retirement from the ranks of the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. Mr. Dyels earned a B.A. in inter- national relations from San Francisco State College, an M.A. in public administration from Oklahoma Uni- versity, trade-union certification from the Harvard School of Business and public administration certification from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Accompanied always by his wife, and by their children when they were young, Mr. Dyels served in consular and labor-officer positions in New- foundland, Bogota, Panama City, Colombo, Amsterdam and Monter- rey. At the latter two posts he was both consul general and principal officer. He also served several years in Washington, D.C., including a stint in the Bureau of Western Hemi- sphere Affairs (then ARA) as regional labor adviser. I N M EMORY USAID FSO Killed in Nepal A helicopter crash in Nepal, near Mount Kanchenjunga, the world’s third- highest peak, took the lives of FSO Margaret Alexander and FSN Bijnan Acharya of the USAID mission in Nepal on Sept. 23. They and 22 others were returning from a ceremony in the village of Ghunsa marking the handing over of a World Wildlife Fund conservation area to the local community, part of a USAID project to develop a national park at Kanchenjunga. The cause of the crash is unknown. The helicopter was flying to a local air- port in Taplejung district when it lost radio contact and disappeared. The crash site was located two days later. There were no survivors. “We mourn these two dedicated professionals who gave their lives in service to Nepal and the United States,” USAID Administrator Ambassador Randall M. Tobias said in an official statement on Sept. 25. “They both were instrumental in ensuring the sustainable use of Nepal’s rich natural resources while promoting democratic principles and transparency,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated in extending official condolences to the officers’ families. “They will be missed by their State Department and USAID colleagues and friends.” Margaret Alexander, 57, an FSO with USAID, was deputy director of the USAID mission in Nepal. She had recently been confirmed as the new mission director to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Ms. Alexander was born in New York and grew up in Iowa. She graduated from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania in 1971, and then did graduate work in art and anthropology at Columbia University. She worked on archaeological pro- jects in Tunisia in the 1970s. In 1980 she received a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was editor of the law review. She was a law clerk for a U.S. district judge in Delaware and then, from 1981 to 1987, prac- ticed law with the Washington, D.C., firm of Covington & Burling. In 1987, Ms. Alexander joined USAID as a regional legal counsel. From 1988 to 2001, she had Foreign Service assignments in the Ivory Coast, Swaziland and Haiti. From 2002 to 2005, she was based in Nairobi as senior regional legal advis- er to USAID’s missions in East and Central Africa. She was assistant general counsel for the Europe and Eurasia Bureau in Washington before taking up her position as deputy mission director in Nepal one year ago. Ms. Alexander is survived by her sister Harriet of Iowa City, Iowa. FSN Dr. Bijnan Acharya has worked with USAID Nepal for more than a decade. He was serving as an environmental officer and managing USAID envi- ronmental programs with the NGO community. He is survived by his wife Sujata and two children.