Alan W. Lukens, a former diplomat and active member of the DC community for 68 years, died January 5, at his home in Chevy Chase, MD. Cause of death was congestive heart failure.
Ambassador Lukens' public service spanned four decades. He was born in Philadelphia and attended Episcopal Academy. He interrupted his university studies at Princeton and served with the 10th Mountain Division and the 20th Armored Division in Europe, where his unit liberated the concentration camp at Dachau. In 2015 the German Government invited Amb. Lukens to return for the 70th anniversary of the liberation and he joined Chancellor Merkel at the podium, representing US troops. Mr. Lukens graduated from Princeton University with honors as part of the class of 1946, finishing in 1948, and he remained active in Princeton alumni affairs his entire life, including serving as class Secretary and President.
Mr. Lukens joined the Foreign Service in 1951 and served for 36 years. He served in Istanbul, Ankara, Martinique, and Paris, then in 1960 he represented the US at independence ceremonies for Chad, Central African Republic, Gabon, and Congo and opened the US Embassy in Brazzaville. He returned to Brazzaville as US Ambassador from 1984-1987. In the intervening years he served in Bangui, Paris, Rabat, as Deputy Chief of Mission in Dakar, Nairobi, and Copenhagen, and Consul General Cape Town. In Washington he ran the Junior Officer Division in the Bureau of Personnel and worked on Western European Affairs.
Amb. Lukens was co-chairman of the Peace Commission of the National Cathedral from 1997-2002. He served as President of DACOR, the retired diplomats foundation and club. He belonged to the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs, the American Foreign Service Association, the Explorers Club, and the Woodrow Wilson House Council. He was a member of the Board of Governors of the Chevy Chase Club and President of the American Friends of Turkey.
Amb. Lukens is survived by his wife of 56 years, Susan Atkinson Lukens, and by his four children, Lewis (and Andrea) Lukens, Francie (and Jeff) Bennett, Susie Lukens, and Timothy (and Jenny) Lukens, and ten grandchildren.