The Foreign Service Journal - January/February 2018

98 JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL and Jim (and his wife, Stephanie); and a host of loving nieces and nephews. His parents Edward and Ramona McKeon predeceased him. Mr. McKeon’s first marriage to Robin Ritterhoff ended amicably in 1979, and their deep friendship continued unabated. Her family mourns him as a beloved brother-in-law. n Harriet R. “Heidi” Shinn, 79, wife of the late Foreign Service Officer William T. Shinn, passed away on Aug. 23, 2017, at Riderwood Retirement Community in Silver Spring, Md. Mrs. Shinn was born Harriet Rensch in Omaha, Neb., and grew up mostly in Minneapolis, Minn. She graduated from Wells College in New York and married Bill Shinn, who joined the State Depart- ment in 1960. As a Foreign Service spouse, Mrs. Shinn lived in Poland, Germany, France and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. She also worked as director of marketing at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. An avid birder, she ventured up and down the East Coast trying to add bird sightings to her life list. She wrote poetry later in life, and her works were compiled into a book in 2016. She had a recipe published in Gourmet magazine, was an elder at her church, sang three years with the Masterworks Chorus and studied three languages. Mrs. Shinn enjoyed traveling, espe- cially to Europe. She also loved annual family beach trips, where she built many sand castles and collected numerous sea shells with her grandchildren. She is survived by her sister, Helen; two children, Liz and Rob, and their spouses Steve and Laurie; and four grandchildren: Tyler, Kaylin, Emily and Connor. The family asks that any expressions of sympathy take the form of donations to the Lewy Body Dementia Association or the Audubon Naturalist Society. n Morton S. Smith, 86, a retired Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Infor- mation Agency, passed away on Sept. 26, 2017, in Bethesda, Md. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mr. Smith graduated from the Community College of New York with a degree in history, and went on to Yale University, where he received a graduate degree in Southeast Asian studies. He was then drafted and was fond of saying he was probably the only Burmese-speaking jeep driver in the U.S. Army. Mr. Smith joined USIA in 1955. During a 38-year diplomatic career, he served, among other assignments, as assistant director of USIA and deputy director of Voice of America. His first overseas posting was to Korea. There, following training, he served as branch public affairs officer in Kwangju (now Gwangju). He then served in Burma (nowMyan- mar), first as assistant cultural officer and later as press attaché in Rangoon. Given the intensity of the Cold War, which raged daily in the then-vigorous Burmese press, he saw the press job as akin to a Brooklyn street fight, colleagues recall. Returning to Washington in 1963, he was desk officer for Burma and the Philippines in the Office of East Asian Affairs at USIA and then regional policy officer. He returned to Korea in 1967 for language training at Yonsei University and assignments there as deputy public affairs officer and public affairs officer. After attending the Senior Seminar he was assigned to the State Department East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau as director of the Office of Public Affairs. Mr. Smith was the spokesman for the Woodcock Commission on its visit to Hanoi and Vientiane to discuss MIAs, and for the delegation led by Assistant Sec- retary of State Richard Holbrooke in the Paris meetings with the Vietnamese that eventually lead to normalizing relations. Returning to USIA, he became the agency’s area director for East Asia and the Pacific. After normalization of relations with the People’s Republic of China in December 1978, he accompa- nied Deputy Secretary of State Warren Christopher to Taipei as a representative of USIA. The delegation’s motorcade was met by a violent mob at the airport and was trapped and attacked before it was finally able to escape. In 1979 Assistant Secretary Holbrooke asked Mr. Smith to serve as deputy chief of mission in Singapore. He returned to Washington, D.C., in 1983 to lead the multibillion-dollar Voice of America modernization program aimed at overcoming Soviet and other interference with VOA and Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty broadcasts. Agreements with potential host govern- ments for new relay sites were negotiated; old agreements were updated; and an unprecedented technical improvement program was developed. The most high-profile of these proj- ects was for a relay station in Israel, the agreement for which was signed at the Executive Office Building with President Ronald Reagan looking on. Because of environmental concerns, the Israeli Supreme Court eventually ruled against the project, and it was terminated. After five years at VOA, Mr. Smith was assigned as Diplomat-in-Residence at Reed College in Portland, Ore. Later in his career, he was a visiting professor at the National War College and, after retire- ment, an adjunct professor at Lewis and