John "Tom" McKechnie 1942-2016

John Tom McKechnie—or Tom as he was known to his colleagues—began as the Assistant Director of the University Center for International Studies in July 1981 and was promoted to Associate Director in October 1984; a post he held until September 1996. He then returned to an academic lecturing role in the Department of Political Science. As associate director for UCIS, he was the contact person for the Center and was involved in grant writing and program management. He was also known for his sharp, analytical mind coupled with a quick wit.

"He would spend time talking with you to get to know you on a personal level, and he was extremely witty and funny," reflected former colleague Bob Donnorummo, former Associate Director of the Center for Russian and East European Studies. "In 1989, Tom and I worked on the Chautauqua Conference to bring high-level academics and officials from the USSR. Tom handled all the planning and staging but he also knew the content area as well as anyone."  

The Fifth General Chautauqua Conference on US-Soviet Relations brought 250 Soviet citizens to the University of Pittsburgh. It was the first of the series of Chautauqua Conferences to be held in a major American city.

Tom McKechnie was a specialist in East European studies and a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Political Science. He taught at Chatham College, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Pittsburgh prior to joining UCIS. Tom McKechnie was 74. He lived in Highland Park and more recently in Oakmont.