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.
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