Page 66 - Foreign Service Journal - October, 2012b

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66
OCTOBER 2012
|
THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
IN MEMORY
R
agaei Abdelfattah
, 43, an FSO on
his second tour with USAID, was
killed in the line of duty in Afghani-
stan’s Konar province on Aug. 8 in a
terrorist attack by a suicide bomber.
Abdelfattah had been working there
with local ofcials to establish schools
and health clinics and to deliver
electricity.
Mr. Abdelfattah was born in Giza
and grew up in Cairo, where he stud-
ied architecture at Ain Shams Univer-
sity. He worked in urban planning and
ecotourism development in Egypt and
led a project for the U.N. Development
Program before arriving in the United
States shortly before Sept. 11, 2001.
At frst he pursued a Ph.D. at Vir-
ginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., but then
took a job with the Maryland-National
Capital Parks and Planning Com-
mission in Prince George’s County
to support his young family. Tere
he became a supervisor and was
regarded as a rising star.
As one of his colleagues told the
Washington Post
, Mr. Abdelfattah was
“very smart, very passionate about
community development, very knowl-
edgeable.” And, she emphasized, “he
was really a people person who took
time to get to know his co-workers.”
Mr. Abdelfattah became a natu-
ralized citizen several years ago. He
loved everything about the United
States, friends recall, including bad
chain restaurants and suburbia. “I
used to joke with him that he was
even more American than I was,” his
wife, Angela Ruppe, told the
Post
.
Because he had worked as a con-
tractor with USAID ofcials in Egypt,
he began to think seriously of working
with the agency again and applied for
a position. He was ofered Afghanistan
and took it, returning recently for a
second tour.
“He felt like he was doing reward-
ing development work,” his wife told
the
Post
. “He spoke to me many times
about the relationships he was build-
ing. It was fulflling.”
A member of a Provincial Recon-
struction Team in eastern Afghani-
stan, Mr. Abdelfattah played a leading
role in the Highway Seven Economic
Corridor Strategy, a critical efort
designed to increase economic activ-
ity along the highway linking Torkham
Gate with Kabul.
During his posting, Mr. Abdelfattah
kept in touch with family and friends,
including his former colleagues in
Prince George’s County, and planned
to take the American Institute of Certi-
fed Planners exam in November.
“Ragaei died a hero—in service to
our country and our agency’s mission
of providing help to those in need
and advancing our national security,”
USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah said
in a statement on Aug. 9.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham
Clinton praised Mr. Abdelfattah’s
work as “an example of the highest
standards of service,” and condemned
the attack that took his life.
Mr. Abdelfattah’s frst marriage
ended in divorce. He is survived by his
wife of three years, Angela Ruppe, and
two teenage sons.
n
Robert Durrie Barton
, 91, a retired
USIA Foreign Service ofcer, died peace-
fully at his residence in Washington, D.C.,
on April 5.
Mr. Barton was born in London of
American parents from Chicago. On
the family’s return to the United States,
they took up residence in New England.
He graduated from Bowdoin College in
Brunswick, Maine, in 1941, and enlisted
in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve shortly
after Pearl Harbor. He obtained the rank
of captain and fought on Iwo Jima.
In 1942, Mr. Barton married Nancy
Hemenway Whitten. In their wartime
correspondence, the couple vowed to
do what they could to prevent any future
wars. Motivated by this idealism, Mr.
Barton sought and was given a position
in the U. S. Foreign Service in 1946.
Teir frst post was Montevideo, where
he served as assistant public afairs
ofcer from 1948 to 1952. In 1953, he was
posted by the U.S. Information Agency to
Argentina’s second-largest city, Rosario.
Tere he oversaw two binational cultural
centers encompassing seven provinces.
In 1957, Mr. Barton resigned from
USIA and took a position as director of
inter-American afairs for the Institute of
International Education in New York City.
For the next four years he criss-crossed
Latin America, helping to expand the
number and quality of foreign students
invited to study in the United States. His
ofce also administered the State Depart-
ment’s Fulbright programs in Latin
America. In addition, he was involved in
founding the Council on Higher Educa-
tion in the American Republics.
In 1961, Columbia University invited
Mr. Barton to be its director for East
Campus development—namely, building
the School of Foreign Afairs. He also
served as deputy director of the Interna-
tional Fellows Program, which recruited
USAID FSO Killed in Afghanistan