Jonathan Dean, Foreign Service officer

February 11, 2014
Jonathan Dean
Foreign Service officer

Jonathan Dean, a Foreign Service officer and adviser on international security issues for the Union of Concerned Scientists, died Jan. 14 at his home in Mesa, Ariz. He was 89.

The cause was congestive heart failure, said his daughter, Theodora Schiro.

Mr. Dean’s Foreign Service career spanned 30 years, and his assignments took him to Europe and Africa. He was deputy director of the United Nations Political Affairs office at the State Department, deputy U.S. negotiator for the quadripartite agreement on Berlin, and a negotiator in conventional force reduction talks between NATO and the Warsaw Pact before leaving the Foreign Service with the rank of ambassador in 1982.

For two years, he was with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He then joined the Union of Concerned Scientists, where worked on issues including nuclear weapons policy, missile defense and conflict resolution. He wrote three books, “Watershed in Europe” (1986), “Meeting Gorbachev’s Challenge” (1989), and “Ending Europe’s Wars” (1994). He retired in 2007.

Jonathan Dean was born in New York City, and entered Harvard at age 16. He enlisted in the Canadian army when he was 17 because he was too young to join the U.S. Army without parental consent.

In France after the Normandy invasion of 1944, he was transferred to the U.S. Army, where he served until the end of World War II. He was wounded while crossing the Rhine River.

After the war, he resumed his education and graduated from Columbia University.

In 2011 he moved from Great Falls, Va., to Mesa.

His wife of 62 years, Theodora George Dean, died in 2012. Survivors include five children, Gordon Dean of Herndon, Va., Felicity Dean and Nick Dean, both of Great Falls, Patience Stevenson of Bethlehem, Pa., and Theodora Schiro of Mesa; and nine grandchildren.

— Bart Barnes

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