In Memoriam: Faith Whittlesey (1939-2018)
Ambassador Whittlesey was the Grande Dame of American-Swiss relations for almost four decades. She led the American Swiss Foundation as Chairman, and later as Chairman Emeritus, for almost 30 years.
Faith Whittlesey served as U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland for nearly five years in two tours (1981–1983 and 1985–1988) during the administration of President Ronald Reagan. She also served on the White House Senior Staff (1983–1985) as Director of the Office of Public Liaison.
Upon her return from Switzerland, the American Swiss Foundation invited her to serve as Chairman and President. In 1990, she initiated the annual Young Leaders Conference—ASF’s successful flagship program. Over the ensuing 28 years, she guided the conference planning and recruitment of U.S. Young Leaders, and attended every Young Leaders Conference.
Ambassador Whittlesey touched the lives of 1,200 conference alumni in Switzerland and the U.S. in a deeply personal way. She formed and fostered friendships with ASF board members, as well as with members of the extended community of business, media, and educational leaders and public servants mindful of the significance of American-Swiss relations.
A book about her life and career, Backwards in High Heels: Faith Whittlesey, Reagan’s Madam Ambassador in Switzerland and the West Wing, appeared in 2012.
Faith Whittlesey Remembered
The Life of Faith Whittlesey