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Connecting People and Ideas for Integrated Development

SUNY/CID Mourns Passing of Dr. Robert Nakamura

Bob Nakamura.

Bob Nakamura

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Dr. Robert Nakamura on July 26, 2018, following a battle with stomach cancer. Bob taught for over 40 years, ultimately serving as an Emeritus Professor of Political Science at the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs. While teaching at SUNY, Bob worked with the SUNY Center for International Development for several decades assisting governments throughout the world to better serve their citizens. This hands-on work was also reflected throughout his academic research. His publications include many works on public policy implementation, as well as widely used practitioner works on legislative development.

Bob had special expertise in assisting legislatures to craft effective policy, hold government to account to ensure more effective services and create the space for citizens to voice their concerns. He worked or carried out policy research in over thirty countries in Africa, Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. Bob believed firmly in the good that government could do and applied his considerable expertise and experience to assist them in that mission.

His colleagues at SUNY/CID and around the world will remember Bob for his sense of humor, intelligence, his encyclopedic knowledge of the best places to eat in every corner of the globe, and his ability to captivate people from all walks of life from students and staffers to Speakers of Parliament. All of us knew and loved Bob for his capacity to shape an idea or turn a phrase so quickly, skillfully, and often humorously. Some of these turns of phrase are permanently embedded in our lexicon. Bob encouraged us never to underestimate the impact “the industrious few” could have in transforming their legislatures and their countries.

There will be a memorial service in Robert Nakamura's honor on September 8, from 2-5 p.m. at the University of Albany's Milne Hall, located at 431 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York. Memorial donations may be made to the Center for Constitutional Rights.

“Bob Nakamura’s contributions to the university and its community were many; he had a positive impact on every faculty member, staff, and student that he worked with. His passion for his work was infectious,” said SUNY/CID’s Director Gina Volynsky. “It is a true privilege for me and our entire team to stand on his shoulders as we continue our work in democracy and governance.”

Posted August 16, 2018