On Sunday evening, the Lithuanian Foreign Minister, Linas Linkevičius, awarded in Los Angeles the diplomatic start to Dr. Richard Maullin.
Foreign Minister Linkevicius awarding Lithuanian Diplomatic Star-to Dr. Richar Maullin Photo Ludo Segers

Dr. Maullin with his wife and two daughters on hand was visibly moved by the honour bestowed on him by the Lithuanian government. Richard Maullin is the Chairman of the Board of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute at Vilnius University. Minister Linkevičius praised Dr. Maullin for his contribution and the great efforts to expedite better relations between the Lithuanian and Litvak communities. A very kind Dr. Maullin praised the democratic institutions and the progress made over the last decades in Lithuania. He reminisced during his remarks about young Lithuanians socialising with visiting Jewish students in harmony and hearing them sing Yiddish songs together.

Born in Santa Monica, Dr. Maullin held various high-level state government and corporate leadership positions during a reach life, including President and CEO of Geothermal Corporation. He was California Deputy Secretary of State from 1971 to 1974 and served as the Chairman of the California Energy Commission from 1975 to 1979. Dr. Maullin was also a member of the Social Science Research Staff at the RAND Corporation from 1965 to 1970, specializing in Latin American politics and economics. He has been Chairman of Board of Governors at California Independent System Operator Corporation since September 2014.

Dr. Maullin taught international relations at UCLA and is fluent in English, Spanish and French. He started going to Lithuania about 15 years ago and was instrumental establishing the Yiddish Institute in Vilnius. It is the first Yiddish centre of higher learning to be established in post-Holocaust Eastern Europe. Now an integral part of the 400 year old Vilnius University and located in the heart of the Unesco World Heritage Vilnius old city. The Institute is dedicated to preserving the centuries-old heritage of Yiddish language and culture through teaching and scholarly research of the highest quality. Through intensive instruction by an international faculty the Institute fosters literacy in Yiddish among new generations of students mainly from Europe and the Americas and even from further abroad. The Institute also trains young new teachers and scholars and aspires to inspire those that come to the unique beautiful old town of what was once called the “Jerusalem of North”.

Lithuanian Ambassador Pavilionis, who often speaks about out promoting harmony between Lithuanians and Litvak community said, “It is wonderful to see Dr. Richard Maullin being honoured here tonight. Dr. Maullin went beyond speaking about promoting better relations and provided the drive and (financial) resources to establish a now thriving Yiddish Institute”.

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