Anthony A. "Tony"" Das (1954 - 2014)

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Anthony Das, President and COO, Global Markets Consulting Group, LLC passed away unexpectedly on Monday, April 28 at age 60.

His entire professional career has been in international affairs as a foreign correspondent, US diplomat, business executive and consultant. In 1978 Tony was appointed Voice of America Radio's Bureau Chief for West and Central Africa, based in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire (where he learned to speak French the hard way) and eventually reported from all 50 nations of what was then the Organization of African Unity (now the African Union). Upon returning to the United States, he served as VOA's Bureau Chief at the United Nations during a time of great international turmoil that included the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, wars in Nicaragua, El Salvador and global efforts to end apartheid in South Africa. When the National Security Council mandated the creation of a VOA broadcast service aimed at Angola and Mozambique, where communist governments were being challenged by pro-western forces, he was tapped to lead that operation. Tony then was assigned to VOA's parent agency ­ the United States Information Agency ­ where he was Deputy Director for Southern Africa and Director of the agency's "Fast Policy Guidance" unit, which provided real-time public affairs support to US embassies around the world on critical foreign policy issues. He then moved to the State Department as Director of Public Communication and was assigned to provide public communications support to the office of then-Vice President Dan Quayle during the latter's foreign travels. Tony ended his public service career as Executive Secretary of the US Department of Commerce under the late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, where he helped plan the Secretary's foreign trade and investment missions including the first-ever such trip to South Africa after the fall of apartheid.

Tony earned Superior Honor Awards at the United States Information Agency, for his role in the 1985 Reagan-Gorbachev Summit in Iceland and from the State Department for his management of global public communications. After Secretary Brown's tragic death in a plane crash Tony retired from the federal government as a member of the Senior Executive Service (SES-3) and entered the private sector as a consultant with Armitage Associates where he supported a US-based international telecommunications client, Startec Global Communications. Startec specialized in marketing telecommunications services to ethnic communities. Tony was later hired by Startec as part of the team that took the company public and held positions as a division COO and corporate EVP responsible for negotiating international telecommunications agreements primarily in Africa, the Middle East, India, China and Southeast Asia. He was the first US executive to close telecommunications operating agreements in Palestine and North Korea. He ran five in-language "ethnic portals" ­ Indian (English and Hindi); Chinese; Turkish; Russian and Arabic. In 2002, he helped arrange the sale of Startec's subsidiary on Guam, and joined the new company as CEO, establishing relationships in the Philippines, South Korea and the Mariana Islands. During that time he was a regular contributor on foreign policy issues to the Pacific Daily News, the Gannet newspaper in the western Pacific, and a talk show guest & host on K-57 (Sorenson Broadcasting).

Prior to becoming President of GMCG, Tony held positions as Managing Director for consulting at a Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business in the IT arena and as Senior Director for Africa at a major US defense contractor. His degrees included an MA in Communications from Michigan State University, as well as an MA in International Relations and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Tony was an avid motorcyclist and was a certified Master SCUBA and Rescue Diver.

Tony is survived by his wife, Nan Ellen Ducklow; his mother, Dr. Lakshmi Das; brother, David Das and his wife Jane Costlow and their children, Leah and Dinesh; as well as the many friends and colleagues who were such an important part of his life.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, June 5, 2:00 p.m. at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Mt. Jackson, VA.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Edinburg (VA) Animal Shelter.

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Published in Northern Virginia Daily on May 2, 2014
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