Brussels It is with an enormous sense of loss that the International Crisis Group says goodbye to Stephen Solarz, who passed away 29 Nov 2010.

Steve was a dear friend to Crisis Group’s staff, Board members and supporters, but for this organisation, he was much more as well.

Steve was there at the beginning, back when Crisis Group was just a proposal on paper some seventeen years ago. He played the key role in initially assessing the financial and political prospects of what was then a bold initiative. He travelled around the world to meet with governments, foundations, multi-national organisations, and key NGOs to get Crisis Group off the ground. In short, Steve was the one who was responsible for, as we wrote a few months ago for our anniversary, “Transforming an Idea into Reality”.

He then served for many years, active until the very end, as a member of the Executive Committee of Crisis Group’s Board, helping to guide and support the organisation through its first decade and a half of growth and success. His decades of experience in public office -- both in the New York State Assembly and in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was on the Foreign Affairs Committee for eighteen years -- were of incalculable benefit to Crisis Group and to our cause of conflict prevention and resolution worldwide.

Steve’s passing has touched all of us at Crisis Group, and our thoughts go out to his wife, Nina Koldin, and his entire family. He will be deeply missed.

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