Mr. Andrew Grene, 1965 - 2010
Special Assistant to the Special Representative (USA)
Andrew Grene, a national of Ireland and the United States, was born in Chicago before spending some of his childhood in his father’s homeland, Ireland, where the family still has a farm.
Andrew joined the UN 15 years ago as an Information Officer in the Department of Public Information. He held various positions within the Organization, as a speech writer in the office of Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and then extensively in the field in the Central African Republic, East Timor and finally as Special Assistant to the head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Hédi Annabi.
A colleague who met Andrew in his first weeks at the UN described him as “gentle and kind.”
Another remembered him as “humorous and gracious,” and recalled that he served excellent chili at parties at his Port-au-Prince home. “He really enjoyed his life and job in Haiti,” the colleague said, adding that “he loved to shop for paintings in local markets.”
Andrew was described by a long-time friend and colleague as having a “formidable intellect. He had an intense desire that the UN do the right thing no matter what the situation was,” said the friend. “He had a very friendly, engaging warmth about him that helped him persuade people to do the right thing.”
Andrew was very family oriented as one friend remembered, “My first impression of Andrew was a whirlwind; his energy, his charm, his handsome beaming face, his passion for life, his work, and most of all, his family. That he absolutely adored his family was so evident, so eloquent when he spoke of them. His courtliness and graciousness was not of these times, it seemed to belong in some past, wiser age.”
The President of Ireland Mary McAleese said, “Andrew dedicated his life to serving others through his work with the United Nations and it is indeed tragic that he should have died in this way.”
“He was a true humanitarian, working for the good of the people of Haiti,” said the Foreign Minister of Ireland Micheál Martin. “Andrew is part of a long and honourable Irish tradition of public service with the United Nations. His family, and indeed Ireland, can be very proud of his work.”
Andrew studied at the University of Chicago and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and at Trinity College, Dublin.
He is survived by his wife, Jennifer, his children Patrick, Alex and Rosamund, his twin brother Gregory, and his mother, Dr. Ethel Weiss.