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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7 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.

  4. Warren Clark was my friend. It was a shock to hear of his passing. One of his many achievements was passing on leadership that resulted in the strengthening the important work of Churches For Middle East Peace.

    Leonard Rodgers
    Director Emeritus
    Evangelicals for Middle East Understanding

  5. Joyanne Elkinton-Walker & Carl Walker

    We were very pleased to be able to plan a week’s Speaking Tour with Warren Clark in California. He was speaking on behalf of Churches for Middle East Peace to several Universities, Churches and public events. He was well received and provided thoughtful, inspired messages carrying the essential message of Peace to be always pursued in the fragile Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
    We enjoyed getting acquainted with Betsy also in the social time between assignments. Warren was an exceptional, spiritual man, carrying out his responsibilities with true devotion.
    Sincere condolences to Betsy and the rest of the family and friends.

  6. It was such a privilege to work with Warren Clark over the years. He was truly a scholar and a gentlement, thoughtful and considerate in all of his engagements. He was also a formidable presence, both physically and intellectually. I always enjoyed the monthly conference calls with him, and waited with anticipation to hear his report on the latest in the political and foreign affairs arena around the topic of Israel and the Palestinians.

    I had Warren in Ohio on two occasions for my programming through Trinity Lutheran Seminary. The first time was for the Lakeside Theological Convocation in Lakeside, OH right after Labor Day where he shared some history of the conflict to a group of clergy gathered from around the midwest, and then provided us a framework for thinking and acting in relation to this interminable conflict.

    The second time was as a speaker and workshop provider for our Jewish – Christian conversation on the Israeli – Palestinian conflict in Columbus, OH in June of 2015. While it was a very successful 2 day event with 150 in attendance, we did have some significant conflict in the background — over a particular speaker. For me, it was a marvel to behold, and a great sense of relief, as he took the lead role in airing and resolving differences and finding an amenable outcome. It was an opportunity to watch a Diplomat, an Ambassador, at work on a tough and difficult issue, negotiating with strong personalities.

    The final note is the recognition that Warren was accepting and affirming of everyone in his circles. With regional coordinators, myself included, he listened carefully, and he regularly highlighted and affirmed the work we were doing as a group, and individually.

    Warren will be missed greatly, but his legacy will live on in all of the good work he did as an Ambassador and as a Peacemaker on behalf of the church through Churches for Middle East Peace. Wishing condolences and all the best to his family and close friends, to all who are grieving his passing. Blessings and Peace.

  7. I am saddened to hear of Ambassador Clark’s passing. Mr. Clark visited me in my small village of Junckville during my days in the Peace Corps in 1988. He spent the night and enjoyed the village life. He was attuned to learning from me and the villagers. He took many photos of me during my activities of building a school. He later mailed those photographs to me as keepsakes. His wife taught my Aunt Margie at GW (Margaret Sullivan). I will forever remember his kindness and grace. Many ambassadors stay all their time in the ivory tower of the secure environment of a capital city. Not Ambassador Clark. He sought to learn from the villagers of Gabon and to support the Peace Corps volunteers. An amazing man. I was privileged to meet him. My heart goes out to his family.

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