EDWARD E. MASTERS

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MASTERS EDWARD E. MASTERS (Age 89) Diplomat, Business and Non-profit Executive Edward E. Masters died at his home in Washington, DC on March 21, 2014 after a long illness. The immediate cause of death was heart failure, according to his wife Allene Masters. He held senior posts in government and the private sector. He was U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia (1977 - 1981), to Bangladesh (1976 - 1977), Deputy Chief of Mission in Thailand (1971 - 1975), Director of Indonesian Affairs in the Department of State, and Political Counselor at the embassy in Jakarta. His 30 year career in the Foreign Service, in which he reached the senior rank of Career Minister, also included posts in India and Pakistan and an assignment as director of the State Department's Office of East Asian Regional Affairs which involved policy coordination for the entire area. Immediately following his retirement from the Foreign Service, Mr. Masters was Adjunct Professor of Asian Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (1981 - 1982) and later at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (2000 - 2003). In 1982 he joined the San Francisco - based Natomas Company, a Fortune 500 energy and shipping firm, as Senior Vice President for International Affairs. He left the company after a hostile takeover and was elected President of the National Policy Association, a non-profit organization which brought together business, labor, agricultural interests, and academia to focus on critical national issues in the fields of trade, productivity and international competitiveness. Mr. Masters had long felt it was not in our national interests that public and private sector U.S. leaders knew so little about Indonesia, a country with by far the largest Muslim population of any nation and the fourth largest country in the world. In 1994 he founded The United States - Indonesia Society which he led as President until 2001, after which he served as Co-Chairman and later Co-Chair Emeritus. The Society is a private non-profit educational organization conducting a broad range of programs to develop greater awareness, understanding and appreciation of Indonesia and the importance of the U.S. - Indonesia relationship. Mr. Masters held degrees from The George Washington University (with distinction) and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was also a graduate of the National Defense University in Washington, DC. He was decorated by the Government of Indonesia with the Bintang Jasa Utama, the highest award given to a foreigner. Edward Masters was born in Columbus, Ohio on June 21, 1924 and was raised in northern Ohio, alternating between his grandfather's farm and the small town nearby where his parents lived. He graduated from high school in 1942, started college at Denison University but left to enlist in the army, where he spent the next three years. During this time he became interested in foreign affairs, the focus of his future career. He leaves his wife of nearly 58 years, Allene; a daughter, Julie Hellman (Robert); son Edward R. Masters; and grandsons Nathan and Nicholas Hellman. Private burial will be held in Savannah, Ohio. A memorial service will be held in Washington, DC at a future date. Contributions in his memory may be made to The United States - Indonesia Society, 1625 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 550, Washington, DC 20036-2260.


Published in The Washington Post from Mar. 25 to Mar. 27, 2014
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