The Wilson Center Mourns the Passing of Board Chairman Frederic V. Malek
The Wilson Center family is mourning the loss of Board Chairman Frederick Malek, who passed away on March 24, 2019. Malek, a businessman and philanthropist, took the helm of the Wilson Center in the fall of 2017.
WASHINGTON — The Wilson Center family is mourning the loss of Board Chairman Frederic V. Malek, who passed away on March 24.
Malek, a businessman and philanthropist, took the helm of the Wilson Center in the fall of 2017.
"Fred and Marlene were dear friends long before he ably chaired the Center's Board," said Jane Harman, Wilson Center President and CEO. "The Maleks and the Harmans were honored together in 2004 at a Center awards gala. Fred believed to his core in military and government service – and in helping to tap talented candidates for Congress and governorships. On behalf of the Wilson family, we thank and will sorely miss a true American patriot."
Upon accepting his presidential appointment to the Wilson Center, Malek said he was honored: "The Wilson Center is a trusted voice for our leaders across government, business, and academia, giving the public the tools and opportunities to join the [global foreign policy] conversation."
"The Wilson Center prides itself on being a 'living memorial' to our nation’s 28th President, and I am grateful to continue that legacy with my appointment to serve as its Chairman," he added.
Under Malek's leadership, the Center was named the number-one think tank in the world for regional studies and retained its ranking as one of the top five think tanks in the United States. He was instrumental in building an effective Global Advisory Council at the Center, a group of thought and industry leaders that is now chaired by two preeminent global security and risk experts, former Chief of British Intelligence Sir John Scarlett and U.S. General David Petraeus (Ret.).
Members of the Wilson Center Board of Trustees are appointed to six-year terms by the President of the United States.
"Fred Malek was my good friend for many years. He was a man of character, integrity, and intelligence, and was a respected leader and visionary," said Ambassador Joseph Gildenhorn, head of the Wilson National Cabinet and Chair from 2002 to 2012. "He brought these wonderful qualities to his chairmanship of the Wilson Center. He will be deeply and sadly missed."
In 2002, Malek was named Chair of the American Friends of the Czech Republic, and in this capacity, he often honored his Czech heritage and devoted time and resources to promoting democracy and enlightened policy between the Czech Republic and the United States. Last fall, he headlined a Wilson Center discussion with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at the Czech Embassy. In 2011, he traveled to Prague with Harman and Albright to dedicate a statue of President Woodrow Wilson, one of the few of an American President on foreign soil, at the main train station.
Malek was the Founder and Chairman of Thayer Lodging Group, a private equity firm which is now part of Brookfield Asset Management. In addition to his business career, Malek served as an advisor to four U.S. Presidents. He was a graduate of West Point and Harvard Business School, and was an Army Airborne Ranger serving with a Special Forces (Green Beret) team in Vietnam.
Malek is survived by his wife, Marlene, who resides in McLean, VA, two children, and five grandchildren.