The Foreign Service Journal - May 2017
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MAY 2017


are encouraged to contribute to the

Ozona United Methodist Church’s

“Loaves and Fishes Fund”; Mayo Clinic

Foundation; Friends of the Crockett

County Public Library; Angelo State Uni-

versity Foundation for E. James Holland-

Roy A. Harrell Jr. Foreign Affairs Speakers

Program Endowment, or a charity of your



Charles T. Magee,

84, a retired

Foreign Service officer, died on Jan. 25 in

Washington, D.C.

Born on March 6, 1932, in Clifton

Forge, Va., Mr. Magee received his bach-

elor’s degree from Harvard University

in 1953. After graduation and reserve

officer training with the U.S. Navy at

Newport, Va., he served for two years on

a destroyer in the Atlantic Fleet.

Mr. Magee then elected to attend the

Naval Language School at Georgetown

University in Washington, D.C., becom-

ing fluent in Russian. From 1956 to 1959,

he served as a naval intelligence officer

on submarines in the Pacific Fleet, and

retired from the naval reserve with the

rank of lieutenant commander.

In 1959 Mr. Magee married Maideh

Mazda, a language teacher at the Defense

Language Institute at Georgetown Uni-


In 1961 Mr. Magee joined the U.S.

Foreign Service, where he would enjoy a

distinguished 28-year diplomatic career

specializing in Russian affairs. His first

overseas posting was to U.S. Consulate

Windsor in 1961, followed by an assign-

ment to Paris as political-military officer

in 1964.

He returned to Washington, D.C., and

the Soviet desk at State in 1966. Dur-

ing this tour, in 1967, he had the task of

escorting Svetlana Stalin into the United

States. In 1968 he was detailed to the U.S.

Army school at Garmisch for Russian-

language instruction and area studies

training in preparation for his 1969

assignment to Moscow as a publications

procurement officer and, later, a political


Returning to State, Mr. Magee served

as deputy director of operations in the

Executive Secretariat from 1971 to 1972.

After serving as officer-in-charge at the

French desk from 1971 to 1974, he was

posted to Paris in 1974 as chief of internal

political affairs and executive assistant to

the ambassador.

A posting as deputy chief of mission in

Sofia in 1977 was followed by an assign-

ment in the Bureau of Human Resources

in Washington in 1980 and a tour with the

Office of the Inspector General in 1982.

In 1984, Mr. Magee was posted to

Leningrad as consul general. In 1986 he

was detailed to San Francisco as spe-

cial assistant for international affairs to

Mayor Dianne Feinstein, and in 1988 he

was tasked with directing Russian-lan-

guage operations for the U.S. delegation

conducting arms negotiations with the

Soviet Union.

Mr. Magee retired from the Foreign

Service in 1989 with the rank of ambas-


In retirement, he was senior program

officer with the Citizens Democracy

Corps in Washington, D.C., from 1992 to

1993, and served as an international elec-

tion observer for the State Department

and for the Organization for Security and

Cooperation in Europe until 2009.

He led election monitoring missions

in Ukraine, Russia, Latvia, Azerbaijan,

Georgia, the Czech Republic, Malta and


Friends remember Mr. Magee as a

wonderful raconteur and an adventur-

ous hiker and urban walker. Attending

performances at the Kirov in Leningrad

enhanced his love of ballet.

Mr. Magee’s wife of almost 50 years,

Maideh, a distinguished linguist, a lec-

turer on French and Russian art and the

author of a popular cookbook,

In a Per-

sian Kitchen

, predeceased him in 2012.

He is survived by their daughter, Maya, of

Washington, D.C.


WilliamMichael Meserve,

67, a

retired Senior Foreign Service officer,

died at his home in Arlington, Va., on

Feb. 23 of metastasized colon cancer.

Mr. Meserve was born in 1949. He

grew up in Gardiner, Maine, the son of

two nurses. The first in his family to go

to college, he attended Colby College

in Waterville, Maine, where he became

interested in Japan. After graduation he

lived, studied and worked in Tokyo for

several years.

On returning to the United States, he

pursued graduate studies in Asian history

and political science at Indiana Univer-

sity, and then studied law at Washington

University in St. Louis. Midway through

law school, however, he was invited to

join the Foreign Service, a dream come

true, and he set off for Washington, D.C.

Mr. Meserve’s 30-year career as a

political officer in the U.S. Foreign Ser-

vice centered on Japan and China, but

included extensive work in Korea, India,

Indonesia, the Philippines, Mongolia,

Thailand, New Zealand and Australia.

An excellent linguist, he was fluent in

Japanese, proficient in Mandarin and had

a strong working knowledge of Canton-

ese and Russian.

Mr. Meserve’s many assignments

included serving as political adviser

to U.S. Army Pacific, an office he

established and which strengthened

civilian-military cooperation; minister

counselor for political affairs in Tokyo;

director of the Office of Taiwan Affairs;

deputy director and acting direc-