From the age of 7, and as a native of Flushing, New York, Richard determined that his real mission in life was to work at the United Nations and meet “all the great people in the world.” This goal was strengthened when he heard the great NY Yankee broadcasters, Mel Allen and Red Barber, interview Branch Rickey, one of baseball’s legendary pioneers and innovators, who said that he had the greatest job in the world, since he “gets to see the greatest baseball players in the world every day.”
Richard determined that this idea was very sound, but that it did not go far enough. Why not hear the greatest opera singers, or orchestras, or meet the greatest people in the world in any field, but also at the only global organization, the United Nations? There was only one flaw in this idea: there was no manual written that told how to do this.
So, the dream lived on. Richard studied Latin and Greek, first at Holy Cross H.S. in Flushing, NY and then at Iona College, New Rochelle, NY. He found a variety of different communities that fed personal interests.
Viewing thousands of movies at the Museum of Modern Art, listening to hundreds of performances at the opera, seeing ballet performances, and studying comparative religion, literature and cultures, he was able to speak with many experts in each of these areas. He also worked for 8 years as a midnight proofreader in three of New York’s top law firms: Cleary Gottlieb; Sidley & Austin, and Fried Frank.
Richard was also was elected as a Trustee of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and of the National Arts Club (now a 118-year old U.S. arts education institute), where he enjoyed 20+ years of service under its legendary President, O. Aldon James, Jr., and other Club leaders such as Jason de Montmorency. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Friends of the United Nations (F.U.N.) and Symphony for United Nations, under the legendary Maestro Joseph Eger.
Having had an interest in the work of the Jesuit anthropologist and philosopher Teilhard de Chardin, Richard joined the Teilhard Society, headquartered in the upper Manhattan house of Fr. Thom Berry, a priest in the Passionist order. He has been fortunate to have served on the Board of Advisors and now on the Board of Directors of the Society for many years.
Being a native New Yorker, he was keenly aware of social inequity and the impact of the Catholic Worker Movement. Eventually, he met some people, Pat and Jerry Mische, who shared similar values as I had and who needed someone to fill a slot to represent their Non-governmental organization, Global Education Associates, in their work at the UN. He then came into contact at the UN with other persons who helped to shape his leadership and work philosophy, such as Canadian Senator Doug Roche, and Fr. Luis Dolan, whose ministry was centered at St. Emerich’s on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
Thus began what is now a 35-year career on a daily basis of service at the United Nations, where Richard has held many leadership positions among Non-governmental organizations. In the process he has collected many publications issued by the UN and its member States, agencies and programmes, 35 tons approximately, all of which have been donated to various libraries, including FUNGLODE in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, former Dominican President Leonel Fernandez’ Foundation.
During the Preparatory Committee work for the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, he was very fortunate, again, to have become one of the five original co-founding editors of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, along with Kimo Goree, Pam Chasek Goree, Johanna Bernstein, and Dan Burdansky.
Along the way, Richard has served as Co-Chair of the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development, chaired the NGO Committee on Sports and Tourism (current), served on the Editorial Board of Disarmament Times, and was elected as the NGO liaison at the United Nations on the work around the Government of Bhutan’s initiative on Happiness.
In 2007, he was selected by his peers and confirmed by the UN Department of Information to serve as the Chair of the 60th Annual UN NGO/DPI Conference on the topic of climate change. Following that conference, he served as a member of the Board for Climate Caucus, the 2-year follow-up to that conference. He also served on 23 Planning Committees for many of the conferences from 1988 onward, and have either coordinated or assisted in drafting final Outcome Documents from those conferences.
Following his work with Global Education Associates, he worked with Rahmi Mayur who directed Global Futures Network out of Bombay, India, while he worked in New York. After representing Rashmi, he represented Dr. Dianne Davis, the founding President of Intl. Council for Caring Communities, dealing with issues of older persons and the built environment.
In 2005, he was selected as a delegate to the Tehran International Conference on Peace, Environment and the Dialogue Among Civilizations and Cultures.
Richard's work with Dr. David Randle centered around the UN Environment Programme’s Interfaith Partnership for the Environment. Prof. Randle and Richard both were selected to serve as North American representatives at the UNEP Ministerial Meeting in Monaco.
Richard also have served on the Board of Directors of the Foundation for Post-Conflict Development.
Through Dr. Randle and his deep contacts within the UN system, he has worked through the USF Patel College of Global Sustainability first to help guide the drafting of the Patel Communique on Sustainable Tourism and to offer input into the application of the College’s application to become the first UN World Tourism Organization Global Observatory on Sustainable Tourism, in North America. His interest in sustainable tourism stems from his election as the European Union’s Rapprteur at the Lanzarote World conference on Sustainable Tourism in 1995.
In 2015, Richard received a courtesy faculty appointment at the USF Patel College of Global Sustainability. In that capacity he serves as the College's liaison for student interns at the UN World Tourism office in NYC at the UN and other sustainable development initiatives.
For the past four years, he has represented Her Royal Highness Princess Dr. Nisreen El Hashemite, Ex. Dir. of the Royal Academy of Science Intl. Trust, at the UN. As RASIT’s representative. In this capacity he has helped organize the Inaugural World Women’s Health and Development Conference, helped facilitate the creation of the Intl. Day for Women and Girls in Science, and organized The Inaugural Agora, a partnership of private sector, academia, scientists, and entrepreneurs/innovators, with the collaboration of the Permanent Mission of Honduras to the UN.