The Holland Society of New York presented the Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Public Service to Ambassador William J. vanden Heuvel at its Dutch American Heritage Day celebration on November 9, 2010. Ambassador vanden Heuvel has a long record of public service including being the Deputy United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1979 until 1981. Prior to that posting he was the United States Permanent Representative to the European Office of the United Nations at Geneva, Switzerland, from 1977 to 1979.
In addition to the above positions vanden Heuvel has also served as President of the International Rescue Committee, Chairman of the New York City Board of Corrections, and as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the United Nations Association. He currently serves as Chairman of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.
Earlier in his career vanden Heuvel served as Executive Assistant to General William J. Donovan, as Special Counsel to Governor W. Averell Harriman, and as Assistant to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. He was also actively involved in Robert F. Kennedy’s 1964 and 1968 political campaigns.
William Jacobus vanden Heuvel was born in Rochester, New York on April 14, 1930. He is a graduate from Cornell Law School, and was admitted to the New York Bar in 1952, when he was only 22 years old. While in Cornell Law School he was the Editor-in Chief of the School’s Law Review. After a brief period in a law firm, he served as Donovan’s Executive Assistant at the United States Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand from 1953 to 1954.
Vanden Heuvel’s accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. He has received several honorary doctoral degrees, from Hofstra University in 1997, from Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois, in 1999, and from Hunter College, New York City, in 2004. In 2002 the Special Exhibits Gallery at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park, New York, was renamed in honor of Ambassador vanden Heuvel. At that same occasion he also received the Four Freedoms Medal. A year later, in 2003, he received the Theodore Roosevelt Distinguished Medal.
Vanden Heuvel’s first marriage was to author/editor Jean Stein, and his second marriage was to Melinda Fuller. He is the father of Katrina vanden Heuvel, the long-time editor and co-owner of The Nation Magazine. Katrina’s biographical profile can be found among the listing of Prominent Dutch Americans.
Vanden Heuvel has written extensively on the United Nations and on American Foreign Policy for newspapers and magazines. He is also the author “On his Own: Robert F. Kennedy, 1964-1968”, Doubleday, 1970, and the editor of “The Future of Freedom in Russia”, Templeton Foundation Press, 2000.
Since 1984, vanden Heuvel has been a Senior Advisor to the investment banking firm Allen and Company. He has also held directorships in a number of public companies including the U.S. Banknote Corporation, Time-Warner, Incorporated, and the North Aegean Petroleum Company.
William J. vanden Heuvel, http://www.sourcewatch.org
William vanden Heuvel, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_vanden_Heuvel
Dutch-American Heritage Day Celebration, Holland Society of New York, November 9, 2010.
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