Neal Waldrop Concludes Four Years of Active Participation

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Carolyn Kendall

Neal WaldropBy Carolyn Kendall, Illinois, USA

Note: The previous issue of Urantia Online chronicled the contributions of Patricia Mundelius. The August 2007 meeting at which Foundation Trustees bid farewell to Patricia, also marked the end of Neal Waldrop's active participation.

Neal Waldrop encountered The Urantia Book in 1973 and read it cover to cover in just four weeks. He served as a Trustee from 1989 to 1992, when practical circumstances made it necessary for him to resign. As a career Foreign Service Officer employed by the U.S. Department of State, he was transferred from Washington, D.C. to the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, Australia. At that distance he could not have done justice to his duties as a Trustee.

Neal Waldrop was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1947. He was valedictorian of his high school class, then attended Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. His junior year in college was spent in Paris, studying at the Sorbonne and at the Institute of Political Studies. After graduating from Yale with a B.A. in history, he was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy (1971). While serving at a communications station in Morocco, he maintained security control of communications equipment and other classified material. Later, while serving in Washington, he rewrote the U.S. Navy's manual on that subject.

Neal was released from active duty with the Navy in 1975 with the rank of Lieutenant, and in 1976 he began his 27-year career with the U.S. Department of State. His service included postings in Geneva, Switzerland; Taipei, Taiwan; Hong Kong; Canberra, Australia; New York City; and Washington, D.C. His most notable overseas assignment was as a Senior Political Officer on the staff of the U.S. Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, Switzerland (1998-2002) — a period during which he also served on U.S. delegations to disarmament bodies that met at UN headquarters in New York. Other notable service included his role as the chief U.S. delegate on protecting the atmosphere at the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (July 1992), and three years at the U.S. Mission to UN Headquarters in New York during which he worked on human rights topics and sought to promote respect for the principle of free and fair elections (1988-1991).

Along the way, Neal was trained in Mandarin Chinese (1978-1980). He is currently employed as a translator from French to English and English to French. Based on my personal association with Neal during the three years that I served as an Associate Trustee, I can attest to his command of the English language and outstanding ability to express complex concepts and precise meanings.

Neal lives with his wife, the former Vanessa Wong, in a Maryland suburb of Washington, DC. They have a daughter, Charmaine, who is 23 and a son, Kirk, who is 19.

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