Francis Joseph Galbraith, 72, a career Foreign Service officer and a former U.S. ambassador to Singapore and Indonesia, died of cancer June 25 at George Washington University Hospital. He lived in Washington.
Mr. Galbraith joined the Foreign Service in 1946 and became an expert in Indonesian and Southeast Asian affairs. He was selected by President Lyndon B. Johnson to be the first American ambassador to Singapore after the island nation seceded from Malaysia in 1966.
From 1969 until he retired in 1974, Mr. Galbraith was ambassador to Indonesia. He later was a consultant on international affairs to various companies, including the Bechtel Corp., Freeport Indonesia and the Weyerhauser Co. In 1974 he was a visiting scholar at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University.
Mr. Galbraith was born in Timber Lake, S.D. He graduated from the University of Puget Sound, which later awarded him an honorary doctorate. He received a degree in library science at the University of Washington in 1940. During World War II, he served in the Army in the Pacific.
Except for two years as a vice consul in Hamburg in the late 1940s, one tour in London, and a year with the Foreign Service inspectorate in the 1960s, Mr. Galbraith's entire career concerned Indonesia and Singapore.
He was a political officer in Indonesia from 1949 to 1951. He spent the next four years as the Indonesian desk officer at the State Department. He returned to Indonesia in 1955 and became chief of the political section. He was minister counselor of the embassy in Jakarta from 1963 to 1965. He was in the inspectorate before being named ambassador to Singapore.
In 1974, he received the First Service Star from Indonesian President Suharto.
Mr. Galbraith was a member of the Army & Navy Club, the Asia Society, the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, DACOR (Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired) and the Cosmos Club.
Survivors include his wife, Martha Townsley Galbraith of Washington; one daughter, Susan K. Galbraith of Boston, and one son, Kelly Galbraith of Jakarta.