Remembering Ambassador Warren Clark

Mystic — Warren Clark, 81, a retired foreign service officer and ambassador, who lived in Mystic and Washington, D.C., died of cancer on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 with family by his side.

Ambassador Clark served between 1959 and 1963 on active duty in naval air intelligence based in Morocco, writing and giving briefings to Sixth Fleet commanders on political developments in the Middle East. He then spent 33 years in the U.S. foreign service at State Department posts in Washington, the Middle East, Europe, Canada, Africa and at the United Nations in New York. He served as U.S. ambassador to the Gabonese Republic and to the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe from 1987 to 1989. While in Gabon he hosted a visit by the Rev. Jesse Jackson. In 1989 to 1990, as the first deputy to the assistant secretary of state for Africa, Ambassador Clark played a key role in shaping the George H. W. Bush administration’s efforts to nudge the apartheid regime in South Africa to peacefully relinquish power.

After his retirement from the State Department in 1996 he worked as a consultant on privatization and liberalization of telecommunications in eastern Europe. Between 2008 to 2016 he was executive director of Churches for Middle East Peace, a coalition of national church groups that conducts political advocacy in support of the two-state solution for ending the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. In 2014, he hosted and introduced Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas before a speech at New York’s Cooper Union.

Ambassador Clark graduated from Hotchkiss School and Williams College. He held graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins (SAIS); Georgetown and Harvard (KSG). He also received a master’s in theological studies from Virginia Theological Seminary in 2005.

Ambassador Clark was born Nov. 7, 1936, in Bronxville, N.Y., the son of Warren Clark Sr. and Mary Dillon Clark and the brother of Joan Moffett Cook. He resided for 50 years in the Cleveland Park neighborhood of Washington, D.C., and throughout his lifetime spent summers on Mason’s Island in Mystic. A member of the Mason’s Island Yacht Club, he enjoyed sailing, tennis, and spending time with his family and friends. His other interest and pursuits included books, traveling, music, theater, and the visual arts.

He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Elizabeth Petersen Spiro Clark of Mystic and Washington, D.C.; three children from his first marriage to Alice S. Ritchie of Chestertown, Md., Sarah Clark Stuart of Philadelphia, Pa., Warren Clark III (and wife, Johanna) of Mystic and Westford, Mass. and Hope Elizabeth Clark of Chestertown, Md.; two stepsons, Peter Spiro of Philadelphia, Pa. and Alexander Spiro (and wife, Vanessa) of Pittsburgh, Pa.; and eight beloved grandchildren, Marina, Amelia, Emily, John, Liana, Julian, Henry and Lila. He also leaves two nieces, M. Catharine Moffett of Mystic and Susan Clark Moffett of Westerly; a nephew, William W. Moffett of Pawcatuck; and several great-nieces and great-nephews.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 18, at the Calvary Church, 27 Church St., Stonington and at 11 a.m. Sept. 15, at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 3001 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

The family encourages contributions in Ambassador Clark’s memory be made to Churches for Middle East Peace. Donations made in his honor will go towards the Ambassador Warren Clark Fellowship.

We welcome people to share their memories and celebration of Warren’s life in the comment section below.

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3 Comments On “Remembering Ambassador Warren Clark”

  1. A very fine gentleman, Warren Clark devoted his life to his country, his faith and in support of peace in the birthplace of Christianity.


  2. I enjoyed working closely with Warren during my tenure as CMEP’s board chair. Warren embraced a genuine Christian faith for which peacemaking was among the highest values. His knowledge, relationships and commitment were admirably suited to his “second career” in working in a faith-based context for a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis. I also enjoyed meeting his wife Elizabeth — a delightful person and conversationalist — while traveling with Warren, her and other CMEP delegates to the region.

    Warren’s faithful efforts toward a Middle East Peace remind me of the message for all of us in the words of Archbishop Romero:
    “We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent
    enterprise that is God’s work. We plant the seeds that one day will grow…
    It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an
    opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
    We may never see the end results,
    but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
    We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
    We are prophets of a future not our own.”

    Good work, Warren! Rest in peace.


  3. Warren Clark was a truly wonderful man. I am grateful to have known him and worked with him in his capacity as Executive Director of Christians for Middle East Peace (CMEP). Warren was such an intelligent, tireless and articulate advocate for peace between Israel and Palestinians. His career in diplomacy provided an orientation in this most difficult quest for peace that was hugely beneficial in his dealings with all sides in seeking to calm divisiveness and seek common ground. He sought peace in part by not picking sides. Peace was paramount. May his quest not be in vain.

    Besides his many accomplishments in life, Warren was just a good person using his God-given talents to the best of his ability and a true joy to be around. Warren you are missed already. Heartfelt condolences to Warren’s family and friends the world over.


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