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In Memoriam: Peace advocate, scholar, and philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis

Kathryn Davis receiving an honorary doctorate at IWP, 2007The Institute of World Politics mourns the loss of Kathryn W. Davis, distinguished scholar, philanthropist, and public servant, who passed away at age 106 on April 23, 2013.

Mrs. Davis, who dedicated her life to the cause of peace, was a longtime friend and benefactor of the Institute. Her daughter, Diana Spencer, and granddaughter, Abby Moffat, are supporters of the Institute, and Ms. Moffat currently serves on the Board of Trustees.

“The world will be without a great benevolent spirit who deeply wanted to make the world a better place,” said IWP president John Lenczowski. “Mrs. Davis was committed to addressing some of the most wrenching problems that plague humanity, and she helped so many of those who shared her concerns.”

Mrs. Davis received her Ph.D. from the University of Geneva , and authored the book The Soviets at Geneva: The U.S.S.R. and the League of Nations, 1919-1933. “I always enjoyed talking to her about Russia ,” remembers Dr. Lenczowski, who had served as the Director of European and Soviet Affairs at the National Security Council under President Reagan.

At age 100, Mrs. Davis launched 100 Projects for Peace, an innovative initiative that brought together young people to make a positive impact for peace around the world. “She was an indomitable spirit,” remembers Dr. Lenczowski. “She was one of those larger-than-life people – a great lady of enormous talent, energy, creativity, and love of neighbor.”

She was also an internationally recognized artist and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and had won many awards, including the Woodrow Wilson Award for Distinguished Service. On June 8, 2007, she was awarded a Doctorate of Laws Honoris Causa at the Institute’s fifth annual commencement ceremony.