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Acclaimed Georgian scholar Alexander Rondeli dies at the age of 73

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, June 15
The head of the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies, political expert, Ph.D. in Geography and scholar Alexander Rondeli, has died at the age of 73, on June 12.

Rondeli was a doctor in Geography. In 1991-1996, he headed the department of international affairs at Ivane Javakhishvili State University. From 1997 to 2001 he was director of Foreign Policy Research and Analysis Center at the Foreign Ministry. He was invited to be a professor at Emory University in the United States in 1991 and later at Mount Holyoke College in 1995, further at Williams College in 1992, 1995 and 1997.

Alexander Rondeli was also granted the highest diplomatic rank of Ambassador by Georgia’s second president Eduard Shevardnadze.

During his career, Dr. Rondeli wrote books and articles that were published in the United States, Great Britain, Switzerland, Turkey and many other countries. He was a prominent figure head in establishing international relations in Georgia, took part in numerous conferences and delivered lectures in more than 30 universities all over the world.

Also, he often appeared as a commentator for international media and was a highly respected political scientist in the Caucasus region and in many other foreign countries, who always helped to steer Georgia to the West.

A lot of officials, politicians, diplomats and ordinary people expressed their deep condolences about his death.

President Giorgi Margvelashvili has offered condolences to the family of Alexander Rondeli at the presentation of a new book at Tbilisi State University.

“I offer my condolences to Mr. Rondeli’s family. He was a very close person to me,” said the President.

The Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili also expressed his concern over the news. He said that the death of Rondeli was a big loss for Georgia, for he was a real patriot and brought up many students with Western values.

The American embassy to Georgia expressed its condolences in a short statement.

“Ambassador Norland and the entire staff of the American Embassy in Tbilisi join the friends and family of Alex Rondeli in mourning the loss of this distinguished scholar of international affairs. Generations of Georgian students, researchers and diplomats, as well as their counterparts in America and around the world, have benefited from his insights, wisdom and humor.”

GFSIS also released a statement.

“We cannot express what he has done for young generation of professionals, who were educated by him during decades of his pedagogical activity in different institutions. We lost him but we did not lose him as a model in our life,” they said.