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In memoriam: Diplomat and public servant Laurence Foley


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October 31, 2002

Laurence Foley Laurence M. Foley, Sr., a 1969 graduate of the SFSU Master's program in Rehabilitation Counseling, died Monday, Oct. 28, 2002. Foley was shot and killed outside his home in Amman, Jordan, where he was an employee of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

"This morning, the USAID family suffered the loss of one of our dearest members," USAID Administrator Andrew S. Natsios said in a statement made Oct. 28. "Larry was a highly decorated foreign service officer, but will be remembered even more vividly by all those who knew him for his charm, wit and friendship."

Foley entered SFSU after completing two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Andhra Pradesh, India, where he built and maintained poultry farms. Following graduation, he served as a Supervising Probation Officer for Contra Costa County, working to counsel and rehabilitate juvenile offenders. In 1980, he returned to the Peace Corps as administrative staff in the Philippines. He came back to Northern California in 1985 to direct administrative services for Rehabilitation Services of Northern California, a rehab facility for victims of head injury, Alzheimer's disease and stroke.

He joined the International Agency for International Development in 1988, and in 1990 was appointed to his first Supervisory Executive Officer position with the U.S. Agency for International Development, in La Paz, Bolivia. Appointments in Lima, Peru (1992-1996), Harare, Zimbabwe (1996-2000) and Amman, Jordan followed.

"Larry Foley's life was about helping people," U.S. Ambassador Edward W. Gnehm said in his statement to the press. "Larry was working in Jordan to help deliver clean drinking water to Jordanian families. He was working in Jordan to help rehabilitate primary health care centers throughout the Kingdom. He was helping to administer micro-lending programs which have provided loans to many, many Jordanians so they might start new businesses and gain independence in their own lives." He continued: "Larry represents the very best in America-a man dedicated to his country and to helping other people."

Foley is survived by his wife of 34 years, Virginia; daughters Megan and Jeremie; son Michael; and two grandsons.

Consistent with Foley's career-long commitment to helping others, his family has asked that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Missionaries of Charity Home of Love, a Jordanian orphanage. For information on donating, contact the U.S. Embassy in Jordan. Brief statements of condolence may also be posted at the Embassy's website.

Photo: U.S. Embassy, Amman, Jordan

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Last modified October 31, 2002, by the Office of Public Affairs