February 20, 2009
Gerald Loftus began blogging in 2007 with “Avuncular American,” which looks at America and the world from Europe.
His career in the U.S. Foreign Service (diplomatic corps) from 1979 through 2002 took him to North Africa and the Middle East, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean, and to Western Europe. He covered Algeria’s failed attempts at freely contested elections in the early Nineties, and helped prepare NATO’s first post-Cold War enlargement while at the U.S. Mission from 1994 to 1998. His last diplomatic posting was as Chargé d’Affaires at the American Embassy in Luxembourg 2000 – 2002.
As a student in the Seventies, he saw the challenges of Israeli-Palestinian peace-making first hand as a volunteer in the West Bank town of Ramallah, and later was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tunisia. Later he returned to Tunisia as a diplomat, and continued to serve in the Arab world in Alexandria, Egypt and Muscat, Oman.
In his post-Foreign Service consulting, he has worked on U.S. Defense Department programs to integrate civilian advisers into the regional military commands, especially EUCOM in Stuttgart. Working with the Africa Center for Strategic Studies of National Defense University in Washington, he organized seminars on security topics in Africa, developing programs with ECOWAS, The Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, and the African Union.
In addition to blogging, Gerald Loftus has written for the Foreign Service Journal, American Diplomacy, The Middle East Journal, and the USC Center for Public Diplomacy, publications based in the United States. In Brussels he has written for New Europe, and as a spokesman for Democrats Abroad Belgium, appears regularly in the Brussels media circuit. He assists the Brussels-based Institut Européen des Relations Internationales (IERI) in its relations with North American academic institutions and think tanks.
With family roots in Ireland, this Euro-American has decided to end his errant ways and settle in this most international of European cities, Brussels, which is the place he’s lived the longest in his adult life. Irish, American, and now Bruxellois – in other words, a typical denizen of polyglot Brussels.