THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL
“[Petree] was fully prepared to serve loyally
under Kirkpatrick but … found himself left
out of the inner circle.”
Amb. Petree served as the first presi-
dent of the U.S.-Japan Foundation from
1981 until 1988. He was an active member
of the Council on Foreign Relations and
lectured at small U.S. colleges under the
WoodrowWilson Fellowship Program.
Amb. Petree is survived by his wife of 67
years, Virginia; three children: RichardW.
Petree Jr. of New York City, Susan H. Petree
of Newport, R.I., and Daniel H. Petree of
Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.; six grandchildren:
Sarah Petree, Catherine Petree, Emily
Petree, Isabel Petree, Laura Petree and
Richard Emir Petree; and brothers, Lt. Col.
Bruce E. Petree (USA, ret.) and Cdr. Noel
H. Petree (USN, ret.).
Robert A. Senser,
94, an FSO and
organized labor official, died of Parkin-
son’s disease on July 29 at his home in
Mr. Senser was born on July 21, 1921,
in Chicago, Ill. He served in the U.S. Army
during WorldWar II in positions as a cryp-
tographic technician and a public relations
specialist before being honorably dis-
charged as a staff sergeant (1942-1945). He
was also enlisted in the Air Force Reserve
and was a first lieutenant when he was
honorably discharged in 1957.
He earned a B.S. in social science
fromChicago’s Loyola University, where
he attended late afternoon and evening
classes while working full-time.
Mr. Senser joined the Foreign Service in
1961. His postings included Algiers, Bonn,
Brussels and Saigon as a labor attaché.
After leaving the department in 1983, he
spent a decade as programdirector for the
AFL-CIO’s Asian-American Free Labor
Two important strands ran through
nearly all of his jobs: a basic concern for
human rights and a fondness for writing.
The two strands came together early. While
still in high school, he wrote a feature on a
blind Boy Scout troop that was published
and an exposé for
on how a corrupt union leader got his
His writing skills and human rights
concerns served himwell in the major jobs
he held, such as assistant editor of
published by the Catholic Council on
Working Life in Chicago.
In retirement, Mr. Senser was active in
the Washington, D.C.-based Child Labor
Coalition and the International Commit-
tee for Human Rights in Vietnam. In the
summer of 1995, he worked pro bono on
an AFL-CIO campaign that helped win the
release of activist Harry Wu from a jail in
He also traveled to various Asian
countries to gather first-person accounts of
factory conditions, which helped generate
public awareness of sweatshops and the
struggles of laborers.
In early 1996, Mr. Senser launched a
Human Rights for Workers
senser.com), dedicated to exploring how
globalization affects working men and
women. In early 2008, it evolved into a blog(www.humanrightsforworkers.blogspot
com), which he maintained until 2012.His book Justice at Work: Globaliza- tion and the Human Rights of Workers
(Xlibris, 2009) has served as a college
Mr. Senser was predeceased by his
parents, Anton and Frieda Senser, and his
sister, Louise Middleton. He is survived
by his wife, Dzung Senser; children: Thuy
Senser (and his wife, Kelly), Sonny Senser,
Han Arthurs and Tony Senser (and his
wife, Monika Kelley); grandchildren: Anton
Arthurs (fiancé Ciara West), Levi Arthurs,
Mai Senser andThuy Robert Senser; and
sister, Frances Denver.