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Letter Accepting the Resignation of Faith Ryan Whittlesey as United States Ambassador to Switzerland

December 16, 1987

Dear Faith:

I very reluctantly accept your resignation as Ambassador to Switzerland, as I have so highly valued your splendid services. I do understand, however, your strong desire to be closer to your lovely family and to begin your pursuits in the private sector.

You have been one of my most steadfast and effective supporters, and I have greatly appreciated your efforts on my behalf before I became President and throughout these past seven years. I also know you will leave Switzerland reluctantly, as you did when I called upon you in 1983 to serve on the senior White House staff as Assistant for Public Liaison. Your sacrifice and exemplary performance in the White House helped to create the enormous public support we received for a second term and for many of the policies I asked you to advocate. I have missed you since your return to Switzerland in 1985, but commend you on resuming your duties as Ambassador with customary grace, warmth, and intelligence. I am sure the Swiss will miss you, too. Throughout your two tours as Ambassador, you upheld the highest standards of diplomacy. The fact that Swiss-American relations are cordial and harmonious is a testament to your considerable ability, charm, and energy. But we have your promise that, even in the private sector, you will keep your great talents employed to advance the principles of liberty and peace through strength, and for that I am extremely grateful.

You have my deepest thanks for all you have done for this Administration and for our country.



December 9, 1987

Dear Mr. President:

Having had the great privilege and honor of serving in your Administration for close to seven years, I believe I must begin to make plans to return to the United States and to my three children, all of whom are now residing there. With this in mind, I intend to offer you my resignation and, by your leave, will depart my post on July 15, 1988. I trust the period between now and then will provide the necessary time to select, screen, and complete the confirmation process for my successor.

With the opportunities I will be pursuing in the private sector, I wish to assure you that one of my foremost aims will be to continue to advance the principles which you have so ably represented to the American people. It is those principles which attracted me to you when I served as a delegate committed to your candidacy at the 1980 Convention when it was also my special privilege to serve as co-chairman of the platform subcommittee on foreign policy and defense. I was deeply moved, therefore, when you offered me the opportunity, in September of 1981, to serve as Ambassador to Switzerland; then in March of 1983 to serve as your Assistant for Public Liaison in the White House; and then in May of 1985, to serve again as Ambassador to Switzerland.

The steadfast support you have given me during the times I have been Ambassador to Switzerland and during my service to you in the White House has been a source of great satisfaction. It is particularly gratifying that you asked me to serve for the balance of your Presidential term.

I believe, however, that I have accomplished the major tasks you set for me. This year alone we have concluded four major agreements with the Swiss government in the areas of judicial assistance, law enforcement cooperation, civil aviation, and export control.

Despite the progress we have made in strengthening Swiss-American relations, it is with utmost reluctance that I will leave this beautiful country that has such a deep reservoir of goodwill for the United States. The strong character of the Swiss people, their devotion to the sanctity of the individual, decentralized government, democratic capitalism and military preparedness as the best guarantee of peace with freedom make them natural friends of liberty everywhere. Their understanding of American ideals is profound and enduring, as their own Constitution attests.

It has been an honor to serve you and the people of the United States. You have my best wishes for continued success in the difficult task of leading our nation.

Sincerely yours,


Note: The letters were released by the Office of the Press Secretary on December 18.

Ronald Reagan, Letter Accepting the Resignation of Faith Ryan Whittlesey as United States Ambassador to Switzerland Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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