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Remembering Sandy Berger

Sandy Berger Advisory Board Member Sandy Berger speaking to the Segal Network about his journey as a citizen leader (2013 Annual Retreat at the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas)
Sandy Berger, our dear friend and Segal Advisory Board Member, passed away this morning. Sandy was one of our original Founders and continued as a highly valued mentor, advisor, and advocate for our Program. He was a leader-among-all citizen leaders in this nation, and recognized internationally for his many contributions to improving the lives of people all over the world. 

Sandy's family has asked us to pass on details about the funeral services that are scheduled for later this week:
  • Services are to be held at 2:30pm this Friday, December 4 at Temple Sinai located at 3100 Military Road NW, Washington, DC 20015. 
  • The family will sit Shiva Saturday night from 7:00pm to 9:00pm and Sunday afternoon from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at the Berger’s home.
We send our deepest condolences to Sandy's family and friends during this time of mourning. We will miss him very deeply.

I am really saddened to hear about Sandy. I've known him for a few years now and gotten so much from even the shortest of meetings I had the honor to have with him.

He was a mini-mentor to me of sorts and incredibly influential in giving me the energy and confidence to move abroad and change careers. With even a few words he was able to convey great advice and deep meaning.

I am incredibly grateful for the time I was able to share with him and I want to send my best wishes to everyone in his family and all the founders that knew him and are mourning.

~ Brian Schon (2009 Segal Heller MPP Fellow)



In thinking back on the years I've known Sandy, one memory in particular stands out. It was late 2000, and the Clinton presidency was coming to an end. Sandy and Susan were visiting with us (the Segal family, that is) on Martha's Vineyard, and Sandy taught us a new card game that was a favorite of President Clinton's. 

The game was called, "Oh, #*#$!" -- use your imagination -- although it was changed to "Oh, Hell!" when delicate ears were nearby.

We were having a blast. Laughing, swearing, talking a great deal of smack. But Sandy routinely had to leave the game to jump on different phone calls. As the national security advisor, he had a secure phone line available at the house and was involved in a last-ditch effort by the Clinton administration to forge a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Yes, these were Sandy's "days off." 

Those who achieve great things in their professional lives are often remembered publicly for those achievements alone. But like everyone, Sandy was far more than his career. Not long ago, he told me that coaching his son Alex's youth baseball team was one of the greatest experiences he ever had. Sandy deeply loved his family. He was a longtime fan of the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Redskins, and would complain about either team to anyone who dared to bring them upHe was also a master storyteller. A coffee lover. A curmudgeon with a silly streak. And, yes, a #*#$-ing good partner in cards, too. 

He'll be missed. 

Sincerely,

Jeff Lemberg 


 Sandy was a dedicated public servant, colleague, friend and an inspiration to so many. I will miss him greatly. 

~ Segal Founder Lisa Caputo



We join, along with many world wide, in offering prayers and many good thoughts to the Berger family. - Richard McHugh
Sandy Berger1
Mike McCurry (Founder, Coach, White House Press Secretary 1995-1998), Sandy, and Paul Vancea (2012 Brandeis Undergrad Segal Fellow) at the 2012 Segal DC Reception

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