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RICHMOND YALE WOLF RICHMOND Writer and Foreign Service Officer Yale Wolf Richmond, 96, a retired Foreign Service Officer who wrote books on intercultural communication, died of natural causes on March 22 in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He lived in the Washington area since 1963. Mr. Richmond served in Germany, Laos, Poland, Austria, and the Soviet Union. For his service in Laos, he received the U.S. Information Agency's Meritorious Service Award. At retirement in 1980, he was a Deputy Assistant Director (Europe) of the U.S. Information Agency. After retirement, he was a Staff Consultant to the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, U.S. Congress, and a Senior Program Officer at the National Endowment for Democracy. A specialist in educational and cultural exchanges with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, he established the Fulbright program in Poland in 1959 and negotiated fourteen intergovernmental agreements with the Soviet Union and the countries of Eastern Europe on exchanges in education, culture, science, and technology. For his work in Poland, he was awarded the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland. After a 30-year career as a cultural officer helping people of other countries to understand America and its people, Mr. Richmond in his retirement wrote 11 books to help Americans going abroad to work or study to better understand the culture and people of other countries. He was the author of From Nyet to Da: Understanding the New Russia; From Da to Yes: Understanding the East Europeans; U.S.-Soviet Cultural Exchanges: Who Wins?; Cultural Exchange and the Cold War: Raising the Iron Curtain, a study of how exchanges helped to end the Cold War; Practicing Public Diplomacy: A Cold War Odyssey; and with his wife Phyllis Gestrin, Into Africa: A Guide to Sub-Saharan Culture and Diversity. Several of his books have been published in Chinese and Korean language editions, and his Understanding the Russians has been published in four editions and sold more than 35,000 copies. Born in Boston, he was graduated from Boston College in 1943 at age 19, served in the army 1943-46, and received degrees in electrical engineering from Syracuse University (1947) and in history from Columbia University (1957). He was a member of the American Foreign Service Association, the Public Diplomacy Alumni Association, and the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies ASEEES His marriage to Pamela Cheatham Richmond ended in divorce. Survivors include his wife, Phyllis Gestrin, of Chevy Chase, MD; one child, Hania, of Naperville, IL, and one grandchild, Pierre David Hanlet. Memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial service will be held at a later date.
Published by The Washington Post on Mar. 29, 2020.
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Yale was one of my first bosses when I joined the Foreign Service in 1973. He was an excellent communicator who set a high standard for the rest of us, especially for a newbie like me who had so much to learn. His influence was so strong and his advice so spot on that years later, in Moscow and St. Petersburg I was consciously applying lessons at Yales knee. RIP, Yale.
Bob McCarthy
April 29, 2020
I will miss my uncle, a source of constant insight, innumerable entertaining stories, and a guiding light for my father. His memory is certainly a blessing.
Steve Richmond
April 12, 2020
We honor our friend Yale whose full life across three continents was generously shared with so many.
Louise and Ray Fink
March 29, 2020
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