Category Archives: Speakers Committee

Washington Post obituary of Warren Unna

Below is the Washington Post Obituary for Warren Unna:

Warren Unna, journalist and Post bureau chief in India, dies at 93

Warren Unna, a Washington Post correspondent in India who later became Washington correspondent for the Statesman, an English-language newspaper based in Kolkata, died Feb. 9 at a retirement community in Mitchellville, Md. He was 93.

The cause was congestive heart failure, said a friend, Marea Hatziolos Grant.

Mr. Unna covered national news after joining The Post in 1952. His aspirations were to cover South Asia, where he had served with the Army during World War II.

In lieu of a Post bureau there, Mr. Unna made a specialty of writing about Asian affairs from Washington by cultivating sources at embassies and international organizations.

Mr. Unna was bureau chief in New Delhi from 1965 to 1967, then returned to cover national affairs in Washington. He was one of many journalists whose names appeared on President Richard M. Nixon’s enemies list in the early 1970s, presumably for his reporting on the Vietnam War for The Post and for a short-lived public television program, “Newsroom.”

He joined the Statesman in the early 1970s and remained with that publication for approximately the next two decades. He also contributed to other publications.

Warren Walter Unna was born in San Francisco on Sept. 14, 1923. He graduated in 1943 from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in international relations. He worked at the San Francisco Chronicle before coming to The Post.

In the late 1950s, he traveled widely as an Institute of Current World Affairs fellow, for which he studied the Non-Aligned Movement countries during the Cold War.

He wrote a memoir, “Letters From America” (1994), and in retirement did consulting for the Westinghouse and McClatchy media companies. He was a member of the Metropolitan Club in Washington.

His marriage to Louise Thompson was annulled. Survivors include a stepsister.

(Copyright Washington Post 2017)

This website has commissioned a more detailed appreciation, which we look forward to publishing in the future.

In the interim, readers may find interesting this article from the Collingtonian of March 2012.

Unna Relates His Experiences in Asia

The March 21 guest speaker was no guest at all, but 12-year (almost) Collingtonian Warren Unna, who spoke of his experiences with celebrities from presidents to foreign heads of state while he was a newspaper reporter.

Warren graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and rst worked for the San Francisco Chronicle. The Institute of Current World Affairs gave him the opportunity to travel- study around the world for a year. He concentrated on how countries achieved neutrality.

He then obtained employment at the Wash- ington Post because, he said, the chronicle’s management didn’t want to pay the Newspaper Guild’s required salary for a senior reporter. For the Post, he primarily covered Asia. Warren rattled off a list of famous people whom he had met, beginning with then past-president Herbert Hoover who was chairing the Hoover Commis- sion for President Dwight Eisenhower. He found Hoover quite pleasant to deal with.

Not so Ike, who did not seem to like doing press conferences and kept the press at bay when he traveled. On the other hand, a John Kennedy press conference was “just a joy.” Lyn- don Johnson, who believed that “every man had his price,” was the best politician of the presi- dents, he thought. “He got his votes,” Warren said

Warren attributed his success in conducting interviews to being friendly and listening to the person being interviewed. It is also important to sit so as to make eye contact, he said. In Indonesia, he managed to obtain a difficult interview by learning that it was the local custom to not turn away any visitor who arrived in the late afternoon. In his travels about Asia, Warren recounted many experiences and listed the many prominent people he met: Indian Prime Minister Jawaharial Nehru who answered 17 questions for him, thereby generating two major stories with Warren’s byline; the King of Bhutan who sought advice on educating his son; an Indian health minister who walked briskly back and forth in a garden while he trailed her trying to take notes; President Lee Kuan Yew of the Republic of Singapore with whom he argued about the Viet Nam War; the daughter of a Japanese Prime Minister for whom a gift of stockings got him an interview and a nice meal in a restaurant; the wife of the president of South Korea who tried to nd eligible ladies for him to marry; Madame Chiang Kai-shek whom he watched squirm as her support from the “China Lobby” in America dried- up and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who rejected his questions.

Of particular interest to residents was his accompanying G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams, then assistant secretary of state for African Affairs, on a whirlwind tour of 16 countries in 31 days for President Kennedy. In Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia, he met and lunched with Collingtonians Bill and Nancy McGhee, who were then stationed there. He apologized to them (they were in the audience) for impertinently asking if they “always ate that well.”

(Copyright Collington Residents Association 2012)

A Historian Treat For Us Wednesday Evening (the 14th) — George W. Liebman

Paul Carrington has recruited another excellent speaker for us, to be heard today or tomorrow, depending on whether you are reading this on Tuesday of Wednesday.  The presentation by George Liebman will be at 7:30 in the Auditorium on this Wednesday.

Liebman’s most recent book, described here by the American Law Institute, is:

The Fall of the House of Speyer: The Story of a Banking Dynasty, was recently published. The work tells the story of the Speyer banking dynasty, one of the largest investment banking firms in the United States in the early 1900s.

Other books by Liebman are:   The Common Law Tradition: A Collective Portrait of Five Legal Scholars; Diplomacy Between the Wars: Five Diplomats and the Shaping of the Modern World; and The Last American Diplomat: John D. Negroponte and His Times, 1960-2010.

A huge range of knowledge.  Should be fascinating.

 

Director of Foreign Policy Institute (SAIS) talks Tuesday April 26 at 7:30 PM

This did not get proper attention in the Courier, and we are highlighting it here.

On Tuesday April 26, tomorrow, the Speakers Committee will welcome  Carla Freeman, Director of the  Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International
Studies (SAIS).

She will speak on “Asia’s Hotspots and the US-China Relationship”.  It will be on Tuesday April 26 at 7:30 p.m. Auditorium.

According to the SAIS bio, linked to above, the speaker:

.  .  .   [C]ompleted her B.A. in Southeast Asia and History at Yale University, a certificate in Chinese language studies at Beijing Foreign Languages University, and a certificate in political science from Sciences Po in Paris. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from SAIS, writing her dissertation on the political economy of reform in China and the challenges posed to its heavily industrialized Northeast region.
 
Current projects include a book with a working title China and the Global Commons, and edited volumes on China and developing countries; China’s international relations; and Chinese perspectives on North Korea. Recent publications include a collaborative study of China’s carbon market development and several pieces on China’s international relations.

We look forward to a fascinating and future-looking presentation.

 

Ad Hoc Auditorium Committee Listing of Issues and Suggestions Lays Groundwork for Wednesday April 20 Meeting

The Auditorium Committee has taken an important step forward both in improving our wonderful auditorium, so critical to our communities sense of, well, community.  There is always something going on there, and it is through events there that we often are reminder of our specialness.

The Ad Hoc Committee has generated a list of issues and suggestions, which can be seen in full here.  The suggestions are divided into four areas from four groups: the User Group, the Facilities Group, the Audio-Visual Group, and the Stage Group.

Suggestions range from allowing short term “holds” on thermostats to installing remote control video cameras, from use of student volunteers to expansion of the room, from multi-purposing of the stage to making it easier to move small events to other meeting rooms.

The group will meet next on Wed April 20 at 4:00 PM.

I understand that the plan is to break into work groups focusing on these four areas of focus, to develop recommedations that will then be integrated by the group as a whole for presentation to the RA and beyond.

It seems that this approach will be a good model for other such areas as we move forward. Jim Giese is to be congratulated on starting a measured and comprehensive process. I am sure that he and the group would welcome additional thoughts and suggestions.

Collington Embraces the Raptors

Last night there was a wonderful presentation on raptors and on the Owl Moon Raptor Center.  Collington’s connection came out of our (sadly failed) attempt to rescue a hurt hawk, described here.

The woman who helped us, Suzanne Shoemaker, came to Collington and showed us her wards, patients and friends.  Here are some wonderful photos of that event.  These are all courtesy of Joe Howard

If you want to support the work of, or find out more about, the Center, it is at:

Owl Moon Raptor Center
20201 Bucklodge Road
Boyds, MD 20841
Or
www.owlmoon.org

 

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