THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
attended Harvard Law School. He also
spent a year at the University of Vienna,
which helped him develop a lifelong
interest in Eastern Europe.
Mr. Fischer joined the Foreign Service
in 1961. His first assignment was to U.S.
Consulate General Frankfurt, where
he performed consular services and
perfected his already strong German
He was subsequently selected for
Polish-language training and assigned to
Warsaw in 1964. It was his first experi-
ence living in a communist-controlled
country, but he was able to develop many
good contacts and friendships, including
with students and dissidents.
In 1968 Mr. Fischer was posted to
Washington, D.C., where he worked in
the Bureau of Intelligence and Research
on Eastern European affairs. He later
joined the Arms Control & Disarmament
Agency and was seconded to the Strate-
gic Arms Limitation Treaty negotiations
in 1969, where he remained until com-
pletion of the agreement in 1972. He was
particularly proud of being part of these
and subsequent arms control efforts.
Mr. Fischer went next to Sofia as head
of the political-economic section. This
was followed by an “out of area” post-
ing in Kathmandu where, among other
things, he and his wife, Pam, indulged
their strong interest in mountain climb-
ing, joining at least one expedition to
Mount Everest during their stay.
In 1977 he returned to arms control
for the SALT II negotiations, and was then
assigned to Dar es Salaam as the deputy
chief of mission. As chargé d’affaires for
an extended period between ambas-
sadors, he was the key U.S. contact with
Tanzania’s President Julius Nyerere.
In 1982 President Ronald Reagan
appointed Mr. Fischer ambassador to
the Republic of the Seychelles. He was
the first resident U.S. ambassador to that
country, which was particularly impor-
tant to our missile-tracking program
during that period.
In 1985 Ambassador Fischer returned
to Washington, D.C., as director for East
African affairs, responsible for 13 African
countries. In that position he helped
manage the massive Ethiopian famine
relief effort, as well as dealing with strife
in Somalia and Sudan.
He returned to Germany in 1989 as
consul general in Munich, then one of
our largest and most important consular
posts, where he managed U.S. interests
during a critical time as the Cold War
faded and German reunification took
Fluent in German and a skilled com-
municator, he had a legendary network
of contacts, including Franz Josef Strauss,
one of Germany’s top postwar lead-
ers. Along with his arms control efforts,
Fischer considered his work in Munich
to be the most satisfying of his Foreign
Amb. Fischer retired from the Foreign
Service in 1990 and went to San Fran-
cisco as president of the World Affairs
Council of Northern California, one of the
country’s most influential foreign affairs
organizations. He boosted its member-
ship substantially and hosted important
speakers, including many heads of state,
academic leaders and opinion-makers
from around the globe.
In 1998 he took up a career in aca-
demia as a faculty member at San Fran-
cisco State University. Highly respected
as a teacher, his innovative courses in
arms control, intelligence and terrorism,
and national security decision-making
were always full.
He was a member of the Council
on Foreign Relations and was awarded
the Foreign Policy Association’s Medal
of Highest Achievement. In 1994 he
received the German Service Cross,
Germany’s highest civilian honor, for his
contributions to U.S-German relations.
Amb. Fischer is survived by Pamela,
his wife of 55 years, who accompanied
him to all his posts; his sons, Mark and
Keith; daughter-in-law, Stephanie; a
daughter, Anne, and son-in-law, Nathan-
iel Gleason, M.D.; as well as three grand-
sons; and a brother, Keith Fischer.
Russell Frost (Rusty) Graham,
a retired Foreign Service officer, died on
Jan. 24 in Greenwich, Conn., after a brief
Born in Norwalk, Conn., Mr. Gra-
ham attended the Hotchkiss School in
Lakeville, Conn., and Beloit College in
Wisconsin. He received his MBA from the
University of Connecticut.
He served in the U.S. Army before
joining the State Department as a Foreign
Service officer in 1974. There he met
his wife, fellow Foreign Service Officer
Virginia Lancina Graham.
Mr. Graham served overseas in Costa
Rica, Morocco, Pakistan and Peru before
returning to Washington, D.C., to study
at the National War College. He served
at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations
in New York City for the remainder of his
career, retiring as minister counselor for
host-country affairs in 2012.
An avid traveler, Mr. Graham is
remembered as a consummate diplomat
and a master storyteller. He was passion-
ate about cartography, had an encyclope-
dic knowledge of the world’s geography
and was fluent in French and Spanish.
Mr. Graham was predeceased by his
wife of 40 years, Virginia.
He is survived by his daughter, Eliza-
beth Graham Field (and her husband,
James) of Annapolis, Md.; his son, Russell
Frost Graham Jr. (and his wife, Adriane)