Douglas B. Pete Peterson
Pete Peterson was a U.S. Air Force pilot shot down during the Vietnam war. After spending six years as a prisoner of war at the ‘Hanoi Hilton,’ he returned to the United States, undertook doctoral studies in finance at Central Michigan University, and taught that subject at Florida State University before serving six years in Congress.
President Bill Clinton appointed Pete as the first U.S. Ambassador to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1997, ending over two decades of U.S. isolation from Vietnam. Pete served as U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam from 1997-2001. Pete’s strategy as Ambassador was to serve as a catalyst for reconciliation, and a key goal was to secure an accounting of those still listed as missing in action from the Vietnam war – a project that was ongoing, and of considerable bilateral political sensitivity, following the countries’ mutual recognition – to help resolve the POW/MIA issue. Pete received the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Clinton in 2000.
Ambassador Peterson and his wife are also heavily involved in philanthropic and voluntary work in Asia and Australia. He is co-founder and President of The Alliance for Safe Children (TASC), a US not-for-profit corporation dealing with child injury prevention in Asia. TASC conducts injury prevention research and programs in several countries in Asia, with particular focus on a drowning prevention program called “SwimSafe©” in Bangladesh, Vietnam and Thailand. He holds an Honorary Doctorate from Charles Sturt University and an Adjunct Professorship from Swinburne University of Technology in Australia.
In addition to his work with his wife Vi with The Alliance for Safe Children, Pete also serves as Senior Director of Albright Stonebridge Group, an international strategic consulting firm, and as President and co-founder of Peterson International, Inc., a business consulting firm specialising in the provision of strategic advice and business solutions to companies involved in trade and investment activities in emerging markets.
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