CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY AND RECONCILIATION IN SOUTHEAST EUROPE

In memory of Founding Director and Honorary Board Member Dr. John Brademas

12July

In memory of Founding Director and Honorary Board Member Dr. John Brademas

Photo credit William E. Sauro/The New York Times

Dr. John Brademas

In Memoriam

 

It is with deep sadness that the CDRSEE announces the death of Founding Director and Honorary Board Member, Dr. John Brademas on July 11th 2016.  It was his ideas, vision and values that gave rise to the concept of the CDRSEE and his effective action that helped to found it.  His contributions to the CDRSEE through nearly 2 decades of work are immeasurable, but he will be particularly remembered for being the central driver in internationalising the Center and building bridges between countries and institutions– attracting Board Members and staff from all over the world and enabling the Center to attain international recognition.

His life and career are both characterised by a steadfast and positive commitment to public service and belief in the capacity of humans to develop better societies for all, through education, the arts and the humanities.  Serving in numerous positions in education, government and on foundations and committees, Dr. Brademas was a tireless innovator and supporter of inclusive education and cultural development; working ceaselessly for equal access to learning and the arts. 

A dauntless champion of democratic principles, John Brademas was a consistent opponent of the Junta that ruled Greece between April 1967 and July 1974 and equally staunch supporter of rule of law in Cyprus after the Junta’s coup resulted in the Turkish invasion.

John Brademas’ unwavering adherence to democracy and rule of law made him unpopular with then senior figures in the executive branch of the US government, but to its credit, represented the majority view in the US Congress.

Effectively, John Brademas and those who worked with him at that time- namely the late Congressmen, Senator Thomas Eagleton and Representative Ben Rosenthal and Senator Paul Sarbanes-played a decisive role in keeping the Cyprus issue open and it is very much to be hoped that a just settlement may be reached in Cyprus over the coming months.

John Brademas, in defending democratic principles and rule of law not only represented what is best in the American tradition but also displayed a sound understanding of the direction in which our world needs to move.

The first Greek-American member of the US Congress, he served as a Representative for Indiana for 22 years (1959-1981) and played a key role in the creation of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for Humanities as well as being involved in every piece of educational legislation during his term; earning him the nickname “Mr. Education”.  He was appointed by Bill Clinton to be the Chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and was also Chair of the American Ditchley Foundation-an institution for establishing and promoting international understanding and cooperation.

Focusing on inclusivity and culture, he held the post of President of New York University for 11 years, transforming the institution into an internationally recognised centre for research and academic excellence.

The CDRSEE is honoured to be able to count him among our Board Members. We recognise our debt of gratitude for all his work and appreciate his commitment to not only the CDRSEE, but to all of his efforts in the fields of education and culture which have impacted on the lives of so many. 

Our sincere condolences to his family.    

Please find below the link to the orbituary of Dr Brademas at the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/12/nyregion/john-brademas-indiana-congres...

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