Vietnam Center & Sam Johnson Vietnam Archive News and Updates

Friday, October 9, 2015

In Memory of Robert Funseth – May 10, 1926-September 25, 2015

funsethRobert Funseth’s career included 40 years of diplomatic service at American embassies, consulates and on diplomatic missions in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Western Hemisphere and the United Nations. He was the spokesman for the State Department in the 1970s and during his last ten years there, Funseth managed the worldwide U.S. refugee program.

He received numerous awards for his for humanitarian achievements, particularly pioneer work on behalf of refugee women and children, improving refugee mental health, and negotiating the release of tens of thousands of political prisoners.

The following lines are from A Song of Appreciation (Bài Ca Cảm Ơn by Huỳnh Công Anh) dedicated by the Vietnamese Political Prisoners and Their Families to Robert Funseth when he was Senior Deputy Assistant Secretary of State (from the Virtual Vietnam Archive, Item No. 1849150078000):

Some men have such humane hearts
Their love shines radiant like a halo
Their light pierces through the dark prison cells
Which mankind is all too disposed to forget.


Posted by at 9:00 am
Labels: general news


  1. My sincere condolences to Robert’s family and friends. I never met Robert, however, I have read about some of his work. Few men could have given as much of themselves to help others as Robert did. May he rest in peace.

    Comment by 1SG Joseph Welsh USA (R) — Friday, October 9, 2015 @ 10:17 am

  2. We are, a Vietnamese community in Dayton Ohio, would like send our condolences to Mr. Funseth’s family. His dedication and sacrifice for his country and the Vietnamese people in particular will never be forgotten by many Vietnamese here in the US and around the world. We are forever indebted to a friend whom honor, duty and country were held in high regard. May he rest in peace. God Bless.

    Binh and The Vietnamese Association of Greater Dayton.

    Comment by Binh — Thursday, November 5, 2015 @ 10:53 am

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