In the early 1960s, William Sommers left his position as a town manager in New Jersey and, taking a leap of faith, moved his growing family to Bangkok, Thailand. This was his first position as a Foreign Service Officer with the State Department’s newly created USAID.
One the first USAID officers in Thailand, he went on to build a career as a local development specialist that spanned 40 years, sending him on assignments around the world, including Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Poland, Bosnia, Hungary and Egypt.
‘Foreign Vistas’ is a deeply-felt memoir of one writer/diplomat’s passionate engagement with the people and cultures where he lived and worked during the latter part of the 20th century, and it is that rare work that captures the essence of what it means to be at home in the world.
Born in Duluth, Minnesota, William Sommers is a graduate of Middlebury College and holds a masters degree in public administration from Harvard’s Littauer Center (now the John F. Kennedy School of Government). He is now retired and living in North Carolina.