ICDT International Board member, John C. Whitehead has died at the age of 92
7 February, 2015
ICDT International Board member, John C. Whitehead has died at the age of 92

The International Centre for Democratic Transition mourns the death of Board member John C. Whitehead, who passed away in his home on February 7.

John Whitehead was an outstanding personality who left an important heritage in many areas. He established Goldman Sachs as it is known today.  From 1976 until his retirement in 1984, he ran the firm.

Mr. Whitehead left Goldman in 1984 to become deputy secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan. He was recruited to the post by the then Secretary of State George Shultz. His portfolio covered relations with Eastern Europe at a time when the U.S. was negotiating arms-control agreements with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, the father of perestroika.

His visits to Hungary in the 1980s were highlights of the US-Hungary relations: whenever he came, he brought some business to the Kadar regime and negotiated, in exchange, some relief in the human rights situation in the country; the release of political prisoners as well as easing certain restrictions.

Following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks by al-Qaeda that destroyed the World Trade Center, Mr. Whitehead became chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation.

He worked long years as a member of the International Board of ICDT.  His advice, as always, were to the point and reflected his life-long commitment to democracy and human rights, in business, politics, the NGO world and his private life.

We are proud that we were able to have him as member of our Board and a close and dedicated friend of our cause. We will miss you, John – as the whole world got poorer with your passing away.

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