12 Jun 2015 - 22:56
Dr. Alexander (Alex) Rondeli, president of the Tbilisi-based think tank Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies and one of the most highly respected political scientist in the Caucasus region, passed away today, June 12, aged 73.
Ambassador Rondeli was one of Georgia’s leading specialists in internal affairs and regarded as one of the founders of the academic discipline of international relations in Georgia. He chaired the International Relations Department at Tbilisi State University for seven years in the 1990s.
He was also granted the highest diplomatic rank of Ambassador by Georgia’s second president Eduard Shevardnadze.
"We cannot say in words what he has done for the young generation of professionals who were educated by him during decades of his pedagogical activity in different institutions. We think we lost him but we did not lose him as a model in our life,” said the Foundation for Strategic and International Studies today while announcing Rondeli’s passing.
During his career Dr. Rondeli wrote books and articles that were published in the United States, Great Britain, Switzerland, Turkey and many other countries. He was a prominent figure head in establishing international relations in Georgia, took part in numerous conferences and delivered lectures in more than 30 universities all over the world.
In an interview given by Dr. Rondeli 11 years ago to the Brosse Street Journal he said the most pleasant compliment he had ever received came from a respected foreign diplomat: "You are the best ambassador for your nation," said the visitor to the Georgian diplomat.
From 1997 to 2001 Rondeli, Ph.D. (Geography) served as the director of the Foreign Policy Research and Analysis Center at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia. Prior to that, from 1991-1996, Dr. Rondeli was chairman of the International Relations Department at Tbilisi State University.
He was a Research Fellow at London School of Economics and Political Science (1976-77), a mid-career Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University (1993-94), a Visiting Professor at Emory University (1991), Mount Holyoke College (1995) and Williams College (1992, 1995 and 1997).
Click here to read one of his policy papers written in 1998, "Georgia: Foreign Policy and National Security Priorities”.