Frederick “Rick” Machmer died November 18, 2017 in his home in Alexandria, Virginia. He was 77. The cause of death was complications from pancreatic cancer, resulting in heart failure.
Dr. Machmer was born in Sunbury, Pennsylvania and subsequently spent his younger years in Akron, Ohio until he enrolled in Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio as an undergraduate student. After earning his degree at Mount Union, he attended Cornell University where he received a Doctorate in International Law. He served for three years in the Peace Corps in Nigeria and Liberia,
Machmer was a Senior Foreign Service Officer with the rank of Minister Counselor, who served as USAID Mission Director in seven overseas posts in his 35-year career, including Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Nepal, and Tbilisi, Georgia. In addition to his role as USAID Director, he served as Director of the USAID/Washington Office of Middle East Affairs, an office which included Iraq in its portfolio. At that time, he was also named acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Asia/Near East Bureau. His work as Senior Foreign Service Officer included extensive roles in the Middle East – as Head of the 1994 U.S. Government Delegation to the regional Middle East Peace Conference in Cairo, Egypt; as USAID Disaster Resistance Team (DART) leader for Afghanistan (2001); and as Senior Development Advisor, Senior Deputy Civilian Representative, and Chief of the Office of Stabilization, Regional Command-East, Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan (2009-2010). He also led USAID disaster response efforts in Ethiopia and Georgia in 2000.
Dr. Machmer earned numerous awards during his career, including the 2001 State Department Group Meritorious Honor Award “For outstanding sustained effort to prevent a human catastrophe in Ethiopia,” the 1992 Presidential Meritorious Honor Award from George H.W. Bush, a USAID Distinguished Honor Award (1988), and, in 1985, a USAID Superior Honor Award.
Dr. Machmer spent the nearly 25 years in the Belle Haven neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia. He is survived by his beloved Golden Labrador Retriever, Jessie, who has a new home with a caring family in the neighborhood. Surviving relatives are cousins Joan Altmayer (Parma, Ohio), Mike McDonnell (Mashpee, MA), and Pat (McDonnell) Long (Dade City, Florida). Most notably, Dr. Machmer will be greatly missed by family, friends and colleagues throughout the world and his neighborhood family.