- 90 years old
- Date of birth: Oct 11, 1925
- Place of birth:
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
- Date of passing: Nov 12, 2015
- Place of passing:
Stanford, California, United States
|We remember Harry Rowen, a wonderful husband, father, scholar, government official and servant to peace and understanding around the world.|
"I joined Pan Heuristics in 1978. The first project that Albert Wohlstetter and Harry asked me to lead was on the role of nuclear breeder reactors in the future of US energy. It was a very small project of about $40,000 sponsored by the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. Teaching in a small undergraduate college was my previous job and I had no concept of what $40,000 could buy, so I invited Harry and about a dozen staff to the project kickoff meeting. He flew down just for the meeting. Throughout the project, he provided me with valuable suggestions and responded to my questions, as if the project were 10 times larger. Harry was someone who made time for everyone, even those who were much lower on the totem pole.
In 1989, I joined RAND. Harry visited RAND when there were seminars that interested him or when he was invited to RAND for special occasions. He would often ask me to sit next to him, ask me what policy issues I was working on at the time, and point out the key aspects that I should address. On the other hand, as he was asked or expected to sit at the front row, I felt out of place especially when I was prominently sandwiched between Harry and Jim Thomson, another RAND President Emeritus.
My last communications with Harry were on September 17 and October 20, 2015. On the former date, I sent him my space commentary at 4:24 pm and he pointed out the essence of the piece and gave me astute feedback on what I should continue to emphasize at 5:24 pm. On the latter date, I sent him another space commentary at 5:41 pm and he did the same at 8:47 pm.
For almost forty years, Harry was my advisor, colleague and friend. He was always interested in knowing about my work. He listened intently and followed up with penetrating comments and questions. As for his own interests at the time, he would describe them enthusiastically only when I asked.
He was a scholar, RAND president, professor, and senior government official, and he impacted RAND, US and the world. I got to know his accomplishment and influence mostly indirectly by reading his works and those of others, because in our conversations he focused on me and my work.
Harry, I miss you. When I write from here on, I will recall what you told me in the past, as your comments and suggestions are always applicable to my work."
"The last time I met Harry was when we had lunch together, a week before he left us so suddenly, at his favourite Douce France. I encouraged him to get back to writing his memoirs, which he said he must do.
I have so many favourite Harry (and Beverly) stories, it is difficult to pick out some, but let me pick two that show both his impact on our era and the strategic insight combined with great modesty that was his hallmark. He told me, relatively recently, that when he was in the State Department in 1961 he was at a meeting with President Kennedy when they looked at some blurry aerial photographs of Cuba. What, the President asked, are those long things. Maybe they're missiles, volunteered Harry. He says the president wasn't at all pleased to hear that, said check it out, and left.
The other was in 1991, at the time of the Gulf War, when Harry suggested that maybe the US should ask the less combating countries to help pay for the War.
And here's two more. Soon after Beverly and he moved to the Hyatt (as it first was named), I asked him how it was. I still have the email. "It's easier on Beverly, but the food's not as good." Soon after there was a meeting at the Hyatt to come up with a new name. Harry suggested "the Last Resort", which almost everyone there except Hyatt management thought brilliant.
Our family's lives have been enormously enriched by knowing you both. Harry will, as this site says, be forever missed."
Still hard to believe that you have been gone from us, friends in Taiwan. I remember the first time we met each other was at the forum hosted by ITRI in Taiwan in 2009. Ever since we have worked so closed together for the ITRI-SPRIE collaboration platform till 2013 when SPRIE was merged into GSB. Your insight and thoughtfulness in many economic and industrial issues would be forever missed. Most of all, your friendship to those in Taiwan would not be forgoten. Thank you and rest well in peace.
General Director of ITRI/IEK, Taiwan"
"Deeply appreciate Harry's support Taiwan as the part of Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE) since 2004. His passing is the loss of our beloved. Here send my prayers to his wife Beverly, and his family.
Wei-Hsiang Fu (傅偉祥)
Director General, Department of Industrial Technology (DoIT)
Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) from Taiwan"
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