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Richard Davies; U.S. Envoy To Poland From 1973 to '78

By Adam Bernstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 4, 2005; Page B05

Richard T. Davies, 84, a career Foreign Service diplomat who was the U.S. ambassador to Poland from 1973 to 1978, died March 30 at Washington Hospital Center. He had leukemia.

After joining the Foreign Service in 1947, Mr. Davies was a consular and political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw for two years.

Richard T. Davies's work with the Foreign Service took him to the U.S. embassies in Warsaw and Moscow.

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His later assignments included counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, and U.S. Information Agency assistant director for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe from 1965 to 1968.

He was serving as deputy assistant secretary of state for European affairs when President Richard M. Nixon named him ambassador to Poland.

In Poland, Mr. Davies worked on trade issues and helped arrange state visits by presidents Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter. He had U.S. officials meet Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski, the primate of Poland's Catholic Church.

He also established a relationship with Karol Wojtyla, the Catholic archbishop of Krakow who became Pope John Paul II.

He retired in 1980 as director of the State Department's human intelligence tasking office in Washington.

Richard Townsend Davies was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and raised in Plainfield, N.J. He graduated from Columbia University in 1942 with a degree in international relations.

He served in the Army in Europe during World War II. He worked in civil affairs and military-government teams during the liberation of Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

After retiring from the Foreign Service, he was involved in human rights organizations focused on Eastern Europe and was a frequent contributor to op-ed pages.

He had had a home in the Washington area since the 1950s. He was a Silver Spring resident.

Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Jean Stevens Davies of Silver Spring; four sons, John Davies of Carrollton, Texas, Michael Davies of Middletown, Calif., Glyn Davies of Washington and Stephen Davies of Takoma Park; two sisters; and six grandchildren.

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