Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Passing of Howard Wolpe

Susan E. Rice
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations 
U.S. Mission to the United Nations 
New York, NY
October 27, 2011


I am deeply saddened by the death of my dear friend and cherished colleague, Howard Wolpe. Howard was an exemplary public servant and an even finer human being.

Those of us who worked with Howard were extremely fortunate to benefit from his wisdom, kindness, and mentorship. We will remember his absolute dedication to his constituents, his colleagues, and the work of making the world more decent and just. We will remember his boundless compassion for others. And we will cherish his uproarious laugh and self-deprecating humor. 

As both an accomplished professor and Chairman of the House Africa Subcommittee, Howard was one of our nation’s leading authorities on Africa. Over decades, he exerted great positive influence on U.S. policy towards Africa, often leaving behind the spotlight to do good work during long trips overseas. It is not an exaggeration to say that he knew almost every leader in Africa. Upon the end of apartheid and the release of Nelson Mandela from prison, Mandela personally thanked Howard for his efforts to help pass the landmark Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. 

I had the great honor to work very closely every day with Howard when he served so effectively as President Clinton’s Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region of Africa. I learned a great deal from him in that role, and he truly made me a better policymaker and a better person.
I extend my deepest condolences to Howard’s beloved wife, Julie Fletcher, and son, Michael.


PRN: 2011/219