Howard Raymond Handler, a retired Senior Foreign Service officer and longtime international development expert, died September 21, 2021 at age 79, after a short illness. Born in Manhattan on January 15, 1942, he is survived by two brothers, Arthur Handler of New York and Mark Handler of Pennsylvania and three nieces, Karen Handler Ryan, Jennifer Handler Mandell of New York, and Hayley Rubin Handler of Nashville. His parents Herbert and Minnie predeceased him.
Howard answered President Kennedy’s call to join the Peace Corps after graduating from Queens College. He served in Chile from 1964-66, and then attended the University of Pittsburgh. Upon graduation with a Masters degree in economics, he was recruited by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as an intern and thereafter served as a foreign service officer for more than twenty-five years in various official capacities in Washington and abroad, including service as Mission Director in Botswana and Latvia. Upon retirement, Howard continued his commitment to foreign service, serving as a USAID consultant in various foreign countries. His tours of duty included service in Viet Nam, Guatemala, Bolivia, El Salvador, Ivory Coast, Montenegro, Poland, Republic of Georgia and Bangladesh.
Howard’s international assignments took him to Viet Nam – both during and after the War. Howard was especially pleased with his 20-year return to Vietnam and assisting the country in developing economically and becoming a favored U.S. trading partner.