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THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL

|

JULY-AUGUST 2017

65

IN MEMORY

n

Donald K. Bandler,

69, a retired

Foreign Service officer and former ambas-

sador, died on Feb. 24 in Bethesda, Md., of

complications from early-onset Alzheim-

er’s disease.

Mr. Bandler was born April 19, 1947,

in Philadelphia, Pa., to Fred and Estelle

Bandler. He grew up in Bala Cynwyd, Pa.,

with his two younger sisters, Beth and

Amy. He graduated fromKenyon College

with a B.A. in political science with honors,

and also earned a J.D. fromGeorge Wash-

ington University and anM.A. in liberal

arts from St. John’s College.

Mr. Bandler took the Foreign Service

exam in 1974 at the U.S. consulate in

Kaduna, Nigeria, while teaching at Gov-

ernment Teachers’ College in Bida with his

newwife, Jane Goldwin Bandler. He joined

the Foreign Service in 1976.

Mr. Bandler was attending night law

school at George Washington University,

and the State Department allowed him to

complete his degree before being posted

overseas. After serving in the Bureau

of African Affairs (1976-1978), he was

detailed to the Carnegie Endowment for

International Peace to direct the ‘Face to

Face’ program (1978-1979).

He then did congressional liaison work

(1979-1980), and had the exciting experi-

ence of traveling withMohammed Ali on a

diplomatic mission tomany African coun-

tries to encourage them to joinWashing-

ton in boycotting the 1980 Olympics.

In 1980 Mr. Bandler was posted to

Yaoundé as a political officer. He returned

toWashington in 1982 to serve as special

assistant on the Policy Planning Staff, and

went on to the Office of European Security

and Political Affairs in the Bureau of

European Affairs in 1983, where he served

as the coordinator for the Conference on

Security and Cooperation in Europe.

From 1985 to 1989, Mr. Bandler served

as the head of political-military affairs in

Paris. Besides the fascinating work, the

thrill of becoming fluent in French and

spending every vacation visiting all corners

of the beautiful country, his third child,

Jeffrey, was born in Paris in 1987.

From 1989 to 1993 the Bandler family

was posted in Bonn, where Mr. Bandler

was minister-counselor for political

and legal affairs. He participated in the

diplomacy leading to German unification

and led the U.S. effort to negotiate a new

legal basis for the presence of U.S. forces in

Germany. It was a fascinating time to be in

Germany, close to the action as the Berlin

Wall came tumbling down.

Mr. Bandler participated in the Senior

Seminar in 1993. He spoke fondly of the

many experiences he had during that year

reacquainting himself with America and

its diversity. From 1994 to 1995 he was

director of Israel and Arab-Israel affairs at

State and had an active role inMiddle East

peace process negotiations that yielded

bilateral andmultilateral agreements.

Mr. Bandler was deputy chief of mission

(DCM) and then chargé d’affaires in Paris

from 1995 to 1997, serving under Ambas-

sador Pamela Harriman, who sadly passed

away during his second year as DCM.

From 1997 to January 1999, Mr. Bandler

was special assistant to the president and

senior director on the National Security

Council, responsible for U.S. relations

with Europe and Canada. From January to

May 1999, he was special assistant to the

president and counselor to the National

Security Advisor for the 42-nation NATO

Summit, the largest gathering of world

leaders ever held inWashington, D.C.

Mr. Bandler was appointed U.S. ambas-

sador to Cyprus from 1999 to 2002. During

his tenure, Ambassador Bandler fell in love

with Cyprus and traveled to all corners of

the country to photograph its beauty. He

held an exhibit of his photos in Cyprus and

also published them in book form.

Amb. Bandler retired from the Foreign

Service in 2002 and spent the next six

years working as a consultant with several

international firms, including Kissinger-

McLarty Associates inWashington, D.C.

In 2008 he did a six-month stint at the

University of Southern California, Los

Angeles, as a diplomat-in-residence. He

donated his collection of Cypriot pho-

tographs to the Fisher Museumof Art at

USC, where they were exhibited (“Donald

Bandler: A Roving Eye on Cyprus”) while

he was in residence.

He also had an exhibit at Waverly Gal-

lery in Bethesda, Md., in 2010, and won

several prizes for his photography from

Montgomery County.

In retirement, Amb. Bandler partici-

pated in the Boys toMen national organi-

zation, mentoring boys who needed role

models and encouragement. He was an

active member of the Council on Foreign

Relations, the Washington Institute of

Foreign Affairs and the American Academy

of Diplomacy.

After receiving a diagnosis of early-

onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2008, Amb.

Bandler became an active advocate with

the Alzheimer’s Association. He continued

to travel, taking a trip around the world

(Hawaii, Japan, Malaysia, China, India,

Russia and Portugal) with his wife in 2010.

He visitedMachu Picchu in 2011.

Amb. Bandler received the State

Department’s Superior Honor Award

on four occasions, and was awarded the

French Legion of Honor in 1998.

Amb. Bandler was very proud of his

family. He is survived by his loving wife,

Jane Goldwin Bandler; his daughter Lara

Hogan (and her husband, Chad) of Los

Angeles; his daughter Jillian Parekh (and

her husband, Neel) of New York City; and

his son Jeffrey of Los Angeles; his grand-

sons, Jasper, Nikhil and Zion; and his

sisters, Beth and Amy and their families.