Remembering Ambassador Rich Williamson, Romney Advisor and Buffett Visiting Professor
||President Morton O. Schapiro, Buffett Center Interim Director Brian Hanson, David Elliott, Roberta "Bertie" Buffett Elliott, Ambassador Richard S. Williamson, Jane Williamson, and Hendrik Spruyt
The Buffett Center and Northwestern University lost a good friend and mentor with the passing of Ambassador Rich Williamson, who died Sunday of complications from a cerebral hemorrhage at age 64. Ambassador Williamson was appointed the Roberta Buffett Visiting Professor of International Studies during the 2009-2010 academic year. He continued his relationship with Northwestern as a Visiting Scholar at the Buffett Center, co-chair of the Center's interdisciplinary working group on Genocide and Mass Atrocities, senior advisor to a program training political leaders from contested regions of Sudan, a popular teacher of courses on US foreign policy and human rights and a mentor to countless students.
"Rich was an incredibly generous person who gave so much to Northwestern and our students," said Buffett Center Interim Director Brian Hanson. "He freely shared his international affairs expertise, experience, and networks with faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates which greatly enriched the intellectual life and educational opportunities at Northwestern. He was a highly valued member of our community and good friend. He will be missed."
Ambassador Williamson was a foreign policy expert who served in diplomatic roles under three Presidents. In the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, he was Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs, US Ambassador to the United Nations Office in Vienna, Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs, and a member of the President's General Advisory Committee on Arms Control. Under President George W. Bush he returned to the United Nations as US Ambassador and Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs, and was Ambassador and Representative to the UN Commission on Human Rights. He was also appointed by President Bush to serve as Special Envoy to Sudan. He was a top foreign policy advisor to both the McCain and Romney presidential campaigns. Williamson was the author of eight books and more than 180 articles.
In addition to his affiliation at Northwestern, at the time of his death Williamson was a principal at the international business consulting firm Salisbury Strategies LLP, a senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and a non-resident fellow of the Brookings Institution.
He grew up in Evanston, graduated cum laude with an AB from Princeton University and earned his JD from the University of Virginia Law School.
"Our thoughts go out to Rich's family and friends," said Hanson.
Viewing will be on Friday, December 13, 2013, from 3 to 7 pm, at Scott Funeral Home, 1100 Greenleaf Avenue, Wilmette, IL 60091.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 14, 2013, 2 pm, at Kenilworth Union Church, 211 Kenilworth Avenue, Kenilworth, IL 60043.