Jack Heller of Washington, D.C. died on Saturday, July 2, 2022, at the age of 90. He was the beloved husband of the late Naomi Birnbaum Heller, devoted father of Michael (Deborah Cahn), Dan (Eli Penberthy) and Rafael (Michal Avni) Heller, and loving grandfather of Ellie and Jonah Heller, Joelle Dong-Heller and Hannah Heller and Eitan and Gilad Avni-Heller. Graveside funeral services will be held on Sunday, July 10, 2022, 10 a.m., at Judean Memorial Gardens, Olney, MD. Arrangements have been entrusted to Torchinsky Hebrew Funeral Home, 202-541-1001.
Jack Heller served at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from 1962 to 1972 in various positions, including Director of Programs and Policies for Latin America, Legal Advisor and Director of Operations, USAID/Brazil, and Senior Tax and Fiscal Advisor for Latin America.
Before joining USAID he was a teaching fellow and research associate (1958-1961) at the Harvard Law School’s International Program in Taxation. His other academic experience includes Lecturer and Co-Director, Special programs in International Transactions for Latin American Public Sector Attorneys (1976-1984) and International Transactions for the Peoples Republic of China (1982-1987).
Mr. Heller practiced law in Washington, DC from 1974 specializing in international matters until his retirement. He was General Counsel and a member of the Board of Directors of the Pan American Development Foundation (1981-1998) and served as the Foundation’s President 1998-2000.
He was a founder in 1993 of the Fund For Democracy and Development (FDD), a US Foundation that provided emergency commodity (food and heating oil) assistance and technical assistance to Russia, Armenia, and other former Soviet Republics. In 1995 he co-founded and was President until 2000 of the FDD’s New Russia Small Business Investment Fund, a Moscow-based not-for-profit corporation, which provided training to Russian bankers and extended supervised financing to Russian banks for small business lending. Mr. Heller co-founded the Ukraine-United States Business Council in 1995 and served as its General Counsel for many years.
Mr. Heller received his BA from the University of Chicago and an LL.B from Columbia University Law School.