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HIID Exec. Director, Senior Lecturer Dies

Michael Roemer Was 'Magnificent Person'

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Michael Roemer, the executive director of the Harvard Institute for International Development (HIID) died while on a walk Friday morning.

Roemer was 59 years old.

Roemer, a senior lecturer in the department of economics, spent 25 years at Harvard. At the time of his death, he was serving his second term as the executive director of HIID.

Richard H. Goldman, an HIID fellow, fondly remembered his friend of 21 years.

"Michael Roemer was a magnificent person," Goldman said. "He was a really gifted scholar, but also an extremely generous person. He was able to have friendships and provide true leadership and wisdom to a wide variety of people."

As an expert in industrial planning, growth and structural transformationand trade reform, Roemer coordinated HIID projects designed to promote economic growth in dozens of countries in the developing world.

He acted as an adviser on financial aid planning for the governments of Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana and Indonesia and contributed to their economic reform policies.

The co-author of the well-known development text, Economics of Development, Roemer was also an established academic. In addition to the textbook, he co-edited several volumes focusing on reform of economic systems and the application of Asian development lessons on African economies.

Donald R. Snodgrass, another HIID fellow and friend of Roemer for 29 years, said he admired Roemer for his competence and effectiveness within the HIID.

"In the office, [Roemer] was an indispensable person," said Snodgrass. "He had vision, ability and the ability to deal with people very effectively. At the same time, he was a very able and persuasive adviser to ministers [in other countries]. I think that, without exaggeration, hundreds of millions of people in the world were better off because he was there."

In his spare time, Roemer was an avid birdwatcher who sighted 1,600 birds over 12 years. Snodgrass also remembered his friend's passion for the Red Sox, classical music and endless conversation.

"Mike was very accomplished, but the special thing about him is his humanity and the huge amount of love people felt for him," said Goldman.

Roemer is survived by his wife, Linda Cohen Roemer of Lexington; his son, Brian, of Washington state; his daughter, Margery McDonald of Billerica; a granddaughter, a brother and several nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions in Roemer's name be sent to the Massachusetts Audubon Society in Lincoln or to Project Bread in Boston

Donald R. Snodgrass, another HIID fellow and friend of Roemer for 29 years, said he admired Roemer for his competence and effectiveness within the HIID.

"In the office, [Roemer] was an indispensable person," said Snodgrass. "He had vision, ability and the ability to deal with people very effectively. At the same time, he was a very able and persuasive adviser to ministers [in other countries]. I think that, without exaggeration, hundreds of millions of people in the world were better off because he was there."

In his spare time, Roemer was an avid birdwatcher who sighted 1,600 birds over 12 years. Snodgrass also remembered his friend's passion for the Red Sox, classical music and endless conversation.

"Mike was very accomplished, but the special thing about him is his humanity and the huge amount of love people felt for him," said Goldman.

Roemer is survived by his wife, Linda Cohen Roemer of Lexington; his son, Brian, of Washington state; his daughter, Margery McDonald of Billerica; a granddaughter, a brother and several nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions in Roemer's name be sent to the Massachusetts Audubon Society in Lincoln or to Project Bread in Boston

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