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Chemonics Founder and Board Chairman Tony Teele Dies at 70

Thurston “Tony” Teele, founder and chairman of the board of Chemonics International, died March 21, 2005, of complications related to cancer. He was 70.

Mr. Teele founded Chemonics in 1975 and served as its president until 2002, when he became chairman of the board. Scott Spangler, vice chairman of the board, will serve in an acting capacity until a new chairman is elected.

Under Mr. Teele's stewardship — lasting nearly 30 years — the company grew from a two-person operation to one of the largest private firms in the Washington, D.C., area. Today, Chemonics employs more than 2,000 professionals across 90 countries, working in all sectors of international development.

Mr. Teele began his career in the U.S. foreign service, working in Greece as a political officer and an analyst for USAID’s executive secretariat. In 1964, he went on to work for Checchi International, where he managed one of the earliest USAID assistance programs in Afghanistan before leaving Checchi to start up Chemonics.

Passionate about international development, Mr. Teele worked on five continents over the course of his long career. He devoted an extraordinary range of management and technical skills, as well as energy and commitment, to initiatives funded by USAID, the World Bank, and other donors. He served four times as chief of party for large assistance efforts in Afghanistan, Mali, Thailand, and Turkey.

Mr. Teele poured much of his energy into garnering support for U.S. foreign assistance programs and practical approaches to program implementation — one of the hallmarks of his career. Among many industry affiliations, he served as vice president and board member for the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign, board member for the Society for International Development, and co-chair of the International Development Task Force of the Professional Services Council.

Mr. Teele is survived by his wife, five children, and nine grandchildren.

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