Lev Dobriansky

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Lev E. Dobriansky
United States Ambassador to the Bahamas
In office
October 25, 1982 – August 30, 1986
Preceded byWilliam Bernstein Schwartz Jr.
Succeeded byCarol Boyd Hallett
Personal details
Born(1918-11-09)November 9, 1918
New York City
DiedJanuary 30, 2008(2008-01-30) (aged 89)
Political partyRepublican
ChildrenPaula Dobriansky
Alma materNew York University

Lev E. Dobriansky (November 9, 1918 – January 30, 2008[1]) was a professor of economics at Georgetown University, U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas and anti-communist advocate. He is known for his work with the National Captive Nations Committee and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, and served as the chairman of the latter.[2]

Life and education[edit]

Dobriansky was born on November 9, 1918 in New York City, the son of Ukrainian immigrants. He received an undergraduate degree in 1941 and a master's degree in 1943 from New York University, where he was an instructor of economics throughout the 1940s. He received his doctorate from NYU in 1951.[3] His dissertation was a critique of the economist Thorstein Veblen.[4]

He taught economics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. from 1948 until his retirement in 1987.[3] During his tenure there, he became a Professor Emeritus and taught such classes as "Soviet Economics."[5][6] Among his students was Kateryna Yushchenko (née Chumachenko), the future First Lady of Ukraine.[7] In 1970, he founded and directed the Institute on Comparative Political and Economic Systems at Georgetown.[8]

He was also a faculty member at the National War College in 1957-1958, and served as a consultant for the United States Department of State, the International Communication Agency, and the United States House of Representatives.[9]

Diplomatic service[edit]

Dobriansky briefly worked in an official capacity in Chile (1975–1976).[citation needed]

On October 25, 1982, Dobriansky was nominated by President Ronald Reagan as Ambassador to the Bahamas, succeed the previous ambassador, William B. Schwartz.[9] Dobriansky remained on this post until August 30, 1986.[10]

Anti-communist activism[edit]

Dobriansky wrote the Captive Nations Week Resolution, which was adopted by the United States Congress and signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in July 1959.[3] As a result of his activism, this resolution has been proclaimed every year by each successive president.[11] He also founded and chaired for many years the related National Captive Nations Committee, which advocated for the nations memorialized in the resolution.[12]

In September, 1960, Dobriansky testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee on the role of Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev in crimes against the Ukrainian people perpetrated by his predecessor, Joseph Stalin, such as the Holodomor.[13]

In 1993, Congress authorized the NCNC to begin raising funds to build a Victims of Communism Memorial.[14] To this end, Dobriansky helped create the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, along with such notables as Lee Edwards, Grover Norquist, and Zbigniew Brzezinski.[12] He served as the Foundation's first chairman.[15] After many years of fundraising and advocacy, the Memorial was finally completed on June 12, 2007, less than a year before Dobriansky's death.[16]

Dobriansky also played a role in the construction of another Washington, D.C. monument - a statue of Taras Shevchenko, the Ukrainian nationalist and artist.[15]

Dobriansky was, in the course of his life, also involved in the Ukrainian National Information Service, the American Council for World Freedom, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, and the United States Council for World freedom.[citation needed] His death on January 30, 2008 was mourned by many across the globe, including Viktor Yushchenko, the president of Ukraine.[17]


  1. ^ "TFAS Remembers Ambassador Lev Dobriansky". The Fund for American Studies. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24.
  2. ^ "Principal Officers & Directors". Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. Archived from the original on 2011-05-22. Retrieved 2011-05-20.
  3. ^ a b c Holley, Joe (February 6, 2008). "Lev E. Dobriansky, 89; Professor and Foe of Communism". Washington Post.
  4. ^ Dobriansky, Lev E. (January 1959). "Veblenism: A New Critique". The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 321 (196–197). doi:10.1177/000271625932100175.
  5. ^ "Professors Emeriti". Georgetown University. Archived from the original on 2008-02-14.
  6. ^ "A Georgetown student remembers Prof. Dobriansky". American Conservative Union. Archived from the original on January 6, 2009.
  7. ^ Yushchenko, Kateryna (2008-02-19). "Mrs. Kateryna Yushchenko's speech during сommemoration servise in memory of Lev Dobryanskiy". Press office of President Victor Yushchenko. Archived from the original on 2011-05-19.
  8. ^ "Obituary". The Hoya. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008.
  9. ^ a b Reagan, Ronald (October 25, 1982). "Nomination of Lev E. Dobriansky To Be United States Ambassador to the Bahamas". The American Presidency Project.
  10. ^ "List of American ambassadors to the Bahamas". Office of the Historian.
  11. ^ "Lev Dobriansky". Washington Times. February 9, 2008.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ a b Smith, Dinitia (December 23, 1995). "For the Victims of Communism". The New York Times.
  13. ^ "Crimes of Khrushchev Against the Ukrainian People". The Ukrainian Weekly. 17 September 1960. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  14. ^ Rohrabacher, Dana (July 23, 1993). "Joint resolution to authorize the construction of an international monument in the District of Columbia to honor the victims of Communism". House of Representatives. Archived from the original on May 8, 2010. Retrieved April 16, 2008.
  15. ^ a b "Remembering 'Mr. Captive Nations' Lev Dobriansky". Human Events. Archived from the original on March 18, 2008.
  16. ^ McKeeby, David (12 June 2007). "President Bush Dedicates Memorial to Victims of Communism". America.gov. Archived from the original on 11 April 2008.
  17. ^ "V. Yushchenko moarns L. Dobriansky's death". Press office of President Victor Yushchenko. 2008-02-01. Archived from the original on 2012-02-07.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
William Bernstein Schwartz Jr.
United States Ambassador to Bahamas
1982 – 1986
Succeeded by
Carol Boyd Hallett