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J A N U A R Y 2 0 1 2 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L
communities in Liberia and Somalia
during the conflicts in those countries.
During her husband’s tours as deputy
assistant secretary for African affairs
and, later, for human rights and hu-
manitarian affairs, she helpedmake the
spouses of visiting heads of state more
comfortable at small events hosted by
the wives of the president and the vice
In addition to her spouse, Mrs.
Bishop is survived by her children,
Anne-Marie Wehrly and Elizabeth Pe-
terson of Kirkland, Ore., and Rebecca
Stumpf, of Hewitt, N.J.; her stepchil-
dren, Timothy Bishop of Berkeley,
Calif., Lyn Bishop of Arlington, Mass.,
and Melanie Briggs of Fairfield, Pa.;
her parents, Bill and Ione Kirby of
Meridan, Idaho; her siblings, Michael
Kirby of Kent, Wash., Jim Kirby of
Boise, Idaho, and Patricia Kirby of Ot-
tawa, Ont., Canada; and five grandchil-
dren: Elizabeth, Daniel, Hannah
Kathleen, Jacob and Erin.
Donations in her memory may be
made to: A Space of her Own, 520 King
Street, Suite 100, Alexandria VA 22314.
Richard Joseph Bloomfield
, 84,
a retired FSO and former ambassador,
died on Nov. 22 in Belmont, Mass., of
complications from Alzheimer’s dis-
Mr. Bloomfield was born in 1927 in
New Haven, Conn., to Alice and Jack
Bloomfield. His father was a pioneer
in industrial hygiene, performing some
of the leading research on silicosis and
Black lung disease.
Mr. Bloomfield grew up in Wash-
ington, D.C., graduating from Wood-
row Wilson High School in 1945. The
end of World War II cut short his serv-
ice in the United States Coast Guard.
Taking advantage of a program for vet-
erans, he was accepted to the George-
town University School of Foreign
Service, graduating in 1950. He passed
the Foreign Service exam in 1952 and
for the next three decades pursued a
diplomatic career he described as “per-
sonally fulfilling, almost always chal-
lenging, and at times exciting.”
Mr. Bloomfield’s first overseas post
was La Paz, where he served as assis-
tant to the agriculture attaché and was
eventually promoted to political officer.
Over the next three decades, he as-
cended the ranks of the Foreign Serv-
ice with postings in Austria, Brazil,
Mexico, Uruguay and Washington,
D.C., and was appointed ambassador
to Ecuador in 1976. Two years later he
was appointed U.S. ambassador to Por-
tugal, where he served until 1982.
As the U.S. envoy to Ecuador, Am-
bassador Bloomfield helped that coun-
try move from military rule to
democracy, winning the State Depart-
ment’s Superior Honor Award for his
performance. He arrived in Lisbon
soon after the nonviolent overthrow of
the autocratic Salazar regime during
the Carnation Revolution, which ush-
ered Portugal into the nascent Euro-
pean Union.
During a 30-year career, Mr.
Bloomfield also served as deputy di-
rector of the Office of Regional Eco-
nomic Policy (1964-1967), desk officer
for Ecuador and Peru (1967-1968),
economic counselor and USAID asso-
ciate mission director in Brazil (1968-
1971) and director of the Office of
Policy Planning and Coordination in
the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs
Between postings, he earned a mas-
ter’s degree in public administration at
Harvard University in 1960 and was
awarded a fellowship at Harvard’s Cen-
ter for International Affairs (1971-
1972). There he wrote what came to
be known as one of the most authorita-
tive and most frequently quoted un-
published papers on U.S.-Latin Ameri-
can relations of the 1970s. (The De-
partment of State refused permission
to have the paper published.)
Upon retirement from the Foreign
Service in 1982, Mr. Bloomfield be-
came executive director of the World
Peace Foundation, an international af-
fairs research institute established orig-
inally as the International School for
Peace in Boston by the late publisher
Edwin Ginn.
During his tenure at WPF, Mr.
Bloomfield published three books:
ternative to Intervention: A New U.S.-
Latin American Security Relationship
Regional Conflict and U.S. Pol-
icy: Angola and Mozambique
Puerto Rico: The Search for a Na-
tional Policy
After retiring from the WPF in
1992, he became senior visiting fellow
at The Watson Institute for Interna-
tional Affairs at Brown University. Mr.
Bloomfield took great delight in teach-
ing his young protégés the nuances of
foreign policy and in exhorting them to
take the viewpoint of people of foreign
lands. At the end of a career that
spanned almost five decades, he re-
turned to Harvard University as an af-
filiate at the Center for International
The nattily attired Bloomfield was
an oenophile who would often smile at
the Catholic prayer, “Fruit of the vine,
work of human hands,” during the
Liturgy of the Eucharist. His love of
fishing, food, wine, music, cinema and
humor was infectious. His later years
were devoted to family and to writing
his memoirs at his home in Cambridge,
Mass., with summers at Martha’s Vine-