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PD Editorial: Ted Eliot, Sonoma County’s diplomat

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Ted Eliot was no stranger to battlefields. As the U.S. ambassador in Kabul, he witnessed the revolution in Afghanistan in the late 1970s. After settling in the Sonoma Valley a decade later, he applied his diplomatic skills to local open space and environmental conflicts. Eliot, who died last week at age 91, also was a regular contributor to these pages, generously sharing his knowledge and informed analysis after 9/11 and the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan that otherwise might have appeared in much larger newspapers or foreign policy journals.

Eliot had a stellar career: 30 years in the Foreign Service, an ambassadorship, dean of the Fletcher School of Diplomacy at Tufts University. He and his late wife, Pat Eliot, also made a mark on Sonoma County, helping pass and reauthorize the quarter-cent sales tax that funds the open space district; working to preserve the Sonoma Developmental Center property; and establishing a loop trail linking Jack London State Historic Park with county parkland east of Rohnert Park. He said life’s purpose is being “of service.” Ted Eliot was that, and much more.

You can send a letter to the editor at letters@pressdemocrat.com.

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