For Immediate Release
March 1, 2022
Washington, DC – NDI mourns the passing of our dear friend and distinguished Board member, Richard “Dick” Blum, and sends its deepest condolences to his wife Senator Dianne Feinstein and their family.
“Dick Blum was a champion of democracy, an advocate for peace, and a devoted supporter of NDI. We will always be grateful for his friendship, generosity and dedication to our critical mission. He was an indispensable board member and will be dearly missed by the entire NDI family,” said NDI Chair Madeleine Albright.
Dick Blum held a deep and abiding commitment to human rights and dignity. As a long-time member of the NDI board, he participated in election observation missions and board trips to Nigeria, Ukraine and Tunisia; provided strategic advice and guidance on programming in Asia and Latin America; and was a mentor and friend to many members of NDI’s leadership and staff.
"It was my good fortune to share a close friendship with Dick for many decades. His commitment to improving the lives of those around the world who are less fortunate was truly an inspiration to me and many others. The world has lost a great man," said NDI Board member Senator Tom Daschle.
Dick’s passing is particularly untimely given his deep personal affinity for Ukraine.
"Dick Blum’s lifetime interest in global justice issues included a very special personal connection to Ukraine and support for Ukrainians working to create a strong, mature democracy,” said NDI Board member and close friend Ambassador Harriet Babbitt. “His friends at NDI and all those he touched with his many good works mourn his passing."
In addition to his work with NDI, Dick was an avid mountain climber; friend of Nepal, Tibet, and His Holiness The Dalai Lama; and the founder and chairman of the American Himalayan Foundation. He supported a host of global development and human rights organizations.
“After a lifetime of commitment and service to international development and democracy, Dick’s legacy resides in all of NDI’s work,” said NDI President Derek Mitchell. “I valued his counsel and insights, and we all will miss him greatly.”
NDI is a non-profit, non-partisan, non-governmental organization that works in partnership around the world to strengthen and safeguard democratic institutions, processes, norms and values to secure a better quality of life for all. NDI envisions a world where democracy and freedom prevail, with dignity for all.