Wrote the original text of the Rediscovering Armenia Guidebook in 1999 (which Raffi Kojian has been updating since). Worked for the US State Department, including in Armenia in the late 1990s. Quit his job while working at the US Embassy in Athens to protest the Iraq war.
After Resigning to Protest War, A Diplomat Turns Peace Envoy
The Wall Street Journal
April 1, 2003
BY PETER WALDMAN, Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
... The most studious sibling in a family of four overachieving kids from Palo Alto, Calif., Mr. Kiesling immersed himself in Dungeons & Dragons and Thomas Pynchon novels in high school. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in ancient Greek from Swarthmore College outside Philadelphia, and earned a master's degree in ancient history and archaeology at Berkeley, before joining the Foreign Service.
He speaks Greek, Armenian, German, Italian, Spanish and "passable" Turkish, Arabic and Hebrew. While posted in Armenia in the late 1990s, he used his spare time to write the first English guidebook to that nation's monuments.
Mr. Kiesling's personal crisis began in October, at a diplomatic party in Athens. He ran into an old friend and source from a stint in Athens 15 years earlier, a Communist who had spent years in Greek prisons. The pair had always sparred politically, but a warm friendship endured.
He holed up and read, but the cloud of despair wouldn't lift. Finally, in late February, when Mr. Bush made clear he wouldn't be defied, even by the U.N. Security Council, Mr. Kiesling drafted his resignation letter and quit. Suddenly, he felt "a certain lucidity, a strong, liberating feeling," he says.
Write to Peter Waldman at (peter.waldman @ wsj.com)
URL for this article: http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB104906398323807000,00.html
- http://bradykiesling.com - personal website