Henry D. Owen



MOUNT DESERT — Henry D. Owen, a long-time summer resident of Seal Harbor, died Nov. 5, 2011 at Georgetown University Hospital at the age of 91 after a brief illness.

Born Aug. 26, 1920 in Forest Hills, N.Y. to Sara Goldsmith and O. Henry Owen, he enjoyed a long career at the U.S. State Department, culminating in his service as director of the Policy Planning Council in the 1960s, as well as in the White House, as Ambassador-at-Large and coordinator of the then G-7 economic summits in the Carter administration. As coordinator of the Bonn economic summit, he helped oversee a deal by which the United States agreed to pursue deregulatory and anti-inflationary policies in exchange for German fiscal expansion.

From 1969 through 1977, he served as director of the Brookings Institution’s Foreign Policy Studies program; during this period, he helped organize the Trilateral Commission, designed to promote Japanese and European partnership with the United States and later served as chairman of the Bretton Woods Committee, a group organized to support the economic development efforts of the World Bank.

After his service in government, Henry worked in the private sector in international finance.

Mr. Owen co-founded and served as longtime chairman of Capital Partners for Education, an organization promoting education for low-income youth in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

He attended Birch Wathen High School in New York City, graduating in 1937; and Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude in 1941. During World War II, he served with the U.S. Navy in the Pacific theater.

Henry will be greatly missed by his family, including his wife of 55 years, Hertha, sons Francis and Christopher, their spouses Cara and Kathleen, and grandchildren Caleb, Henry, Anna, Caroline and Peter.

In remembrance of Henry’s life, donations should be made to:

Capital Partners for Education, 1413 K Street NW, 2nd floor, Washington, D.C. 20005.


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