With Ambassador Faith Whittlesey, Holzegg Switzerland, 2006.
It is with deep personal sorrow that I announce to our readers the passing of dear friend, mentor, and Ron Paul Institute Board Member, Ambassador Faith Whittlesey. Ambassador Whittlesey was truly a remarkable woman whom I admired so very much and cared about deeply.
I first met Ambassador Whittlesey when I was selected to be an American-Swiss Foundation Young Leader in 2006, spending a week in Zurich with our “Young Leader” counterparts in Swiss government, culture, and industry. Long after many of the other “Young Leaders” had gone to bed, Ambassador Whittlesey would remain awake with a hard core of us, passionately debating politics and especially foreign policy into the wee hours of the morning. She was conservative to the core and robustly rejected the globalism of the neoconservatives and their endless wars. I remember those often heated discussions, where she would refute one after the other of the neocon talking points that some would throw at her. But she always did it with a smile on her face and a deep belief that with patience they would come around to share her view.
I’ve noted with some interest that several of those once gathered around that very table have gone on to national and international renown. I hope they remember her words of wisdom shared at that late-night table at the Credit Suisse retreat house that served as our headquarters for the week.
Ambassador Whittlesey was always charitable in her dealings with even those who sharply disagreed with her. She remained convinced that given enough time, everyone would come around to our point of view that our foreign policy was deeply broken and we needed to end the neocon idea of remaking the world in our own image through the barrel of a gun. She was an eternal optimist and it was one of her most endearing traits.
Though an amazing diplomat, Ambassador Whittlesey was never afraid to speak her mind and never minced her words. I remember at the 2007 annual get-together of American Swiss Young Leaders at the Swiss Embassy in Washington, DC, when a group of us gathered around Ambassador Whittlesey to discuss who we supported in the upcoming US presidential race. Some liked Romney, others said McCain, or Huckabee, or one of the others. When all eyes turned to Ambassador Whittlesey, she said in a clear, strong voice and without a moment’s hesitation, “I’m for Ron Paul for President!” The others looked shocked to hear her endorse the anti-establishment candidate. I was so proud to hear her spirited defense of Dr. Paul. That’s classic Faith Whittlesey. Ask her what she thinks and she’ll tell you. She never wavered in her enthusiastic support for Ron Paul in both 2008 and 2012.
From the earliest pre-planning stages of what became the Ron Paul Institute, Ambassador Whittlesey was always there to help. We would have lunches and breakfasts together and she would so generously share her enormous wisdom and experience in the business. She always had time to answer a question, re-assure me when I had a crisis of confidence in myself and the project, and encourage me to keep up the hard work. I was so honored when she agreed to join the Advisory Board of the Ron Paul Institute and I have been grateful for her ongoing encouragement and involvement in this project. I last saw her at our annual Washington, DC conference in September, 2017. It was always so exciting to speak with her because she was so incredibly plugged in to what was happening both in front of and especially behind the scenes.
Dear Ambassador Whittlesey, Dear Faith, the world is a darker place with your departure. You are so very missed. I pray you receive your eternal reward for your strong and enduring Catholic faith.