Advocate for Refugees, Kenneth Bacon, Dies at 64
Kenneth Bacon, the president of Refugees International died on Saturday from melanoma. Mr. Bacon began his career as a Wall Street Journal reporter and later became the chief Pentagon spokesman for the Clinton administration. During the US and NATO operations in Kosovo, he was convinced that the international community should play a greater role in defending human rights and aiding refugees.
In 2001, Mr. Bacon became president of Refugees International, which “advocates for lifesaving assistance and protection for displaced people and promotes solutions to displacements crises.” During his tenure, the organization doubled in size. He focused on improving the effectiveness of the group’s advocacy work and was successful. Relying on his connections in the media and in Congress, Mr. Bacon brought the largely ignored issue of Iraqi refugees to light in 2006, resulting in extensive media coverage, the creation of a State Department task force on the issue, and a drastic increase in international funding for the displaced Iraqis. He also worked extensively in Darfur, Afghanistan, Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Columbia, and Thailand.