The following is a statement from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah on the passing of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke.
“Last night, we received the sad news that Richard Holbrooke passed away. Richard’s passing will be deeply felt by his family, those he worked with and those he served.
Much has been mentioned about Richard’s tireless commitment to diplomacy, one that stretched across five decades and was marked by incredible accomplishment-supporting the Paris peace talks as a foreign service officer in Vietnam, helping to normalize our relations with China as the youngest ever Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and designing the Dayton Accords that ended the war in Bosnia. He was one of this nation’s finest, most dedicated public servants and architects of peace.
But Richard was also deeply committed to development. He worked at USAID in the early years of his career and was a relentless champion of development in this country’s foreign policy pursuits. As Ambassador to the United Nations, Richard elevated the cause of AIDS and the concerns of Africa to the top of the international agenda. And most recently, as Special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, he recognized the critical role development played in countering and ending violent conflict.
I know many of you have worked closely alongside Richard and learned much from him. As a colleague and friend, he pushed us to excel and brought his tremendous intellect and diplomatic tact to our shared mission. I will be forever grateful for his friendship, mentoring and support and will deeply miss his larger-than-life personality.
Please join me in extending condolences to his wife Kati and the rest of his family, and let us honor Richard’s enduring contributions both to his country, and to the cause of peace around the world.”