Remembering Lloyd (Tom) Green


Tom Green was seldom what people expected.

The first time we met I wasn’t quite sure what to make of him. It was the typical kind of cloyingly hot day in Indonesia where the spiced smell of cigarettes sinks into your clothes. Tom had a ready smile and a big handshake. Southern style, I guess. Easy to like.

But as anyone who worked with him learned, you didn’t want to wind up in his cross hairs. He had made Lt-Col in the ‘80s by the time he left the “active” part of the US Army for life as a diplomat. The active bit was mostly leading men jumping out of airplanes into places they wouldn’t easily have chosen to go on their own. The ready smile was driven by a fierce brain and by a steady determination to make progress.

Tom died in Manila on December 26, 2016, reportedly of a heart attack, while jogging in his neighborhood of Makati.

As his old friend and colleague Don McFetridge says, “He was a positive force in people’s lives — a giver, not a taker; he was a guy who lifted you up.”

He did. The last time Tom and I talked we were trying to figure out how to get one of our key experts out of a place we could see was wobbling toward community conflict.


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