Brandon Grove (4/8/1929 – 5/20/16) held degrees from Bard College and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. As an amphibious boat group commander in the U.S. Navy, he served to the rank of Lieutenant. Before joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 1959, he worked on the staff of Congressman Chester Bowles, of Connecticut.
His diplomatic assignments took him to posts in Africa, India, East and West Berlin, and Jerusalem, where he was consul general during the war with Lebanon. In 1974, he became the first American diplomat accredited to East Germany, where he established the American embassy in Berlin. During 1984-87, he served as President Reagan’s ambassador to Zaire.
Among assignments in Washington, he had twice filled positions managing U.S. relations with Panama, Central America, and the Caribbean: first as director of the Office of Panamanian Affairs as the 1903 Treaty with Panama was being renegotiated; and later as deputy assistant secretary of state for Inter-American Affairs. He served on the policy planning staffs of secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and Warren Christopher.
Ambassador Grove, during 1988-92, was director of the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute, responsible for foreign affairs training throughout the government. He coordinated the design and construction of its permanent facility at Arlington Hall, Virginia.
Brandon Grove was chairman of the editorial board of The American Foreign Service Journal during 1994-96. He wrote professional articles, and was the author of an essay on Zaire in Oxford University’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Foreign Relations. In 2000, Bard College awarded him its John Dewey Medal for Distinguished Public Service. In 2010, Bard College awarded Ambassador Grove an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters for his work in diplomacy. He had three times received the President’s Meritorious Service Award, and was listed in Who’s Who in America as well as in Who’s Who in the World.
Brandon Grove served on the boards of directors of the American Academy of Diplomacy, the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, and Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. He was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs. At Hamilton College, Grove was the Sol M. Linowitz Professor of International Affairs, teaching a course on diplomacy in practice.
The University of Missouri Press published his acclaimed autobiography, BEHIND EMBASSY WALLS: The Life and Times of an American Diplomat, in 2005.