January 9, 2023
August 6, 1927 – January 3, 2023
With profound sadness, we report the passing of the beloved and respected co-Founder and longtime Board member of the French-American Foundation, Ambassador (ret.) James G. Lowenstein. Jim touched the lives of all who had the privilege of knowing him, and he will be missed dearly by the FAF community. We celebrate, and are humbled by, his remarkable legacy and unwavering commitment to transatlantic understanding.
Jim enjoyed a long and distinguished career in foreign relations beginning his work in government at the Marshall Plan in Paris in 1952. Subsequently, he joined the U.S. Department of State as a commissioned Foreign Service Officer, serving successively at the State Department, the American Embassies in Colombo and Belgrade, on detail to the Foreign Service Institute, on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs. He later worked as a consultant to APCO Associates and served as Chair of both Baltic Investments SA and the Ukraine Fund. From 1977 until 1981, he served as U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg, having been nominated by President Carter. He was decorated with the Legion of Honor (France) and the Grand Croix de l’Ordre de la Couronne de Chêne (Luxembourg) for services to both countries.
Jim was a member of the Board of FAF since its inception in 1976, serving as Vice Chair for a period of years. Jim co-founded the French-American Foundation, together with then-Foreign Affairs Editor James Chace and historian Nicholas Wahl. While serving on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jim was struck by the anti-French attitudes he observed there as well as in his previous assignments at the State Department. He co-founded FAF to build an organization that would strengthen Franco-American relations outside of official diplomatic circles. Jim also helped to establish the signature Young Leaders Program which has identified many national and local government leaders early in their careers.
Jim was a man of enormous energy and commitment, a passionate Francophile, and a heartfelt philanthropist. The Board of Directors and the staff of the Foundation extend their deepest sympathies to his children Laurinda Lowenstein Douglas and Price G. Lowenstein, and to his extended family and friends.