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Freedom House Mourns the Loss of Longtime Board Member Max Kampelman
Today, it is with a heavy heart that Freedom House mourns the death of its longtime board member and an exemplary human being who dedicated his life to peace, security and diplomacy, Ambassador Max Kampelman. He was 92 years old.
Ambassador Kampelman was chairman of the Freedom House Board of Trustees from 1983 until 1993 and was one of the organization’s greatest champions.
With a public service career spanning more than thirty years, Mr. Kampelman was among the most esteemed diplomats of our time. Respected for his strong leadership and diplomatic acumen, he was selected by President Carter in 1980 to serve as Ambassador and Head of the U.S. delegation to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). In that capacity, he played a critical role in helping secure the release of hundreds of political prisoners from Soviet jails. A patient and skilled diplomat as well as a tough negotiator, he was reappointed to the position by President Reagan and was later asked to lead the American delegation to the crucial and sensitive negotiations with the Soviet Union on nuclear arms. Those talks led to consequential treaties between the two countries.
Following the negotiations, Mr. Kampelman served as counselor at the Department of State. Since leaving the diplomatic corps, he advocated for a nuclear-free world and global nuclear disarmament and was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal by President Reagan in 1989, the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton in 1999, the Democracy Service Medal by the National Endowment for Democracy in 2008 and in 2011 Freedom House recognized him with its Lifetime Achievement Award at its 70th Anniversary Gala.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.