GMF Remembers the Life of Second President Robert Gerald Livingston
It is with great sadness that we learned of the news that Robert Gerald Livingston, the second president of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, has passed away. Gerry—as he was known to his many friends and colleagues—believed strongly that Americans and Europeans could learn from each other’s practices and policies in finding solutions to shared challenges.
During his distinguished Foreign Service career, Gerry served in Yugoslavia, Austria, and Germany, with several important postings in both Bonn and Berlin. After a stint on the National Security Council, he joined the German Marshall Fund as vice president in 1974. When President Benjamin Read left to join the Carter administration in 1977, Gerry became our second president.
As president, Gerry sought to address issues that GMF had not previously tackled, including the environment and women in the labor force. He was a strong believer in the crucial role of GMF exchanges in which US policymakers and practitioners were sent on tours to Europe to observe and learn—an important aspect of GMF’s work that continues today in our Marshall Memorial Fellowships.
“Gerry Livingston was a passionate transatlanticist and committed steward of GMF”, GMF President Heather A. Conley remarked. “The values and leadership principles that Gerry modeled for us during his time as president continue to animate our work today, in the spirit of the Marshall Plan. We will miss his presence, but his work endures.”
“Gerry Livingston’s legacy is his tireless commitment to connecting people and ideas during his life-long devotion to the transatlantic community,” noted Jackson Janes, GMF senior resident fellow and the first full-time GMF representative in Europe in the early 1980s. “It was my privilege to work for a man whose dedication to the mission of GMF was shaped by his desire to build bridges across boundaries.
Gerry made many significant contributions to this organization and to transatlantic relations more broadly. He will be sorely missed. Our deepest condolences go out to his family.