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John "Jack" Bligh, Class of 1954, Inducted in 2002

Seoul, Monrovia, Bonn, Barcelona, Sydney, Madrid, Brussels, Ottawa, Washington, DC.  Jack Bligh's career in foreign service reads like a world atlas.  As a member of the diplomatic service of the United States, he's lived in places most people only dream about. 

After graduating from F-M and a three-year stint in the U.S. Army, Jack received both his BA and MS degrees at Syracuse University, then continued on for post-masters hours at Cornell University. 

He spent the next thirty years as a foreign service officer of the United States, with jobs ranging from Consul, U.S. Embassy, in Seoul, to Commercial Program Advisor for Fiji and Papua, New Guinea.

Jack's career was devoted in a significant degree to advancing the international interests of American business and its employees through diplomacy and hands-on assistance.  While serving at the Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Jack developed the U.S. Government's first regional marketing plan for the continent, and established the right of American companies to participate in a key-EU sponsored activity. 

A number of his innovations became standard elements in the government's world-wide program of support for American business overseas.


In recognition of his achievements, President Bush accorded him the Presidential Award for Meritorious Public Service for his overall creativity in promoting job-creating exports.  He was also named the International Trade Administration's Manager of the Year in 1991. 

The Secretary of Commerce further recognized Jack for his leadership in opening the market in eastern Germany to U.S. firms.  Jack has also received citations and awards from other organizations throughout his career, such as the American Chamber of Commerce.


After his retirement in 1996, Jack spent several years in Germany, promoting business in Europe for the State of Tennessee.  During these globetrotting years, Jack and his wife, Helga, raised two sons and a daughter before settling back in Manlius in 1999.


Of his success Jack says, "Somewhere along the line, I realized that there will always be some, perhaps only a few, that recognize and appreciate candor and commitment."

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