Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance that he himself has spun...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Andy Sundberg (1941-2012)

We had some very sad news late last week - Andy Sundberg, one of the founders of American Citizens Abroad died in Geneva, Switzerland.

Mr. Sundberg was quite an amazing man and one of the most eloquent and influential voices defending the interests of Americans abroad.  He was born in the U.S. but was also a French citizen and had lived in Europe since 1968.  I did not know him personally but we had an email exchange a few months ago which greatly raised my spirits at a time when I needed some encouragement to remain active in the issues facing America's unloved "domestic abroad."

This article from GenevaLunch gives an excellent synopsis of his life and career:
Sundberg was born in New Jersey in 1941, finished grammar school in Japan, high school in Germany and he graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1962. The following year he was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University in England, taking a degree in Politics, philosophy and Economics. From there he went on to serve on combat ships near Cuba during the Cuban Quarantine and in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Vietnam war.
He moved to Geneva in 1968, a time when he began to work as a consultant for major corporations, international organizations and governments, helping them evaluate investments and other key business areas.
He was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, a member of the board of the Millennium Institute in Washington and the Key Largo, Florida-based Marine Resources Development Foundation...
He became a French citizen thanks to his French wife, keeping dual nationality until his death. He was active in world and European politics, notably as a member of Liberal International since 1984 and as a participant in meetings of the Committee on Migration of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.
The Overseas Vote Foundation has posted this tribute on their site:
Andy's acheivements are so numerous, they take pages to list - but in all his activities there is a common thread, a unifying theme. He was dedicated to serving others, to serving causes that mattered deeply to him. As citizens overseas, we have benefited from the care, concern and dedication of Andy's energy toward the causes that few dared to take on - the causes of our overseas community, so often unrecognized and mischaracterized. He never waivered in his efforts to garner better recognition to what our community does for our American cause as a whole.
And finally the Isaac Brock Society has a post with their own tribute and links in the comments section to some very well-researched articles that Mr. Sundberg wrote over the years.

As Americans abroad face an uncertain future, Mr. Sundberg's voice will be sorely missed.  It's up to us now to continue his work. 

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