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Frank A. Weil
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Frank Weil is the Chairman of Abacus and Associates, Inc., a private investment firm in New York, NY. From October 1979 - June 1983 he was a senior partner of the Washington law firms of Ginsburg, Feldman, Weil and Bress, chartered and Wald Harkrader and Ross. Mr. Weil headed the International Trade Administration of the United States Department of Commerce from 1977 - 1979. He was Chairman of the Finance Committee and Chief Financial Officer of the investment firm of Paine, Webber Inc. from 1972 - 1977.

Mr. Weil has served on the for-profit boards of directors of MirrorWorldsTechnologies,SyVox Corporation, Exxel Container, Inc.; Geico Corp.; Paine Webber, Inc.; Cambridge Royalty, Inc.; Dorr-Oliver, Inc.; Hamburg Savings Bank, NYC; J.B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia and Victory Mutual Funds, Cleveland.

Mr. Weil was a Trustee and Vice Chair of The Asia Society in New York City and was Chairman and a member of the National Board of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Mr. Weil is a member of the Century Association and Harvard Club (both in New York City) and the Metropolitan Club (Washington, D.C.).

In not-for-profit activities, Mr. Weil has also served on the boards of directors of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the Center for National Policy, as Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Atlantic Institute for International Affairs and Inform. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Mr. Weil served on the Board of Directors of the Council for Excellence in Government from 1982 – present and was Chairman from 1988 - 1993.

He is a director and President of Hickrill Foundation and Treasurer of the Norman Foundation. He was President of the Education Alliance (NYC); a trustee of Montefiore Hospital and Albert Einstein Medical School (NYC); Teachers College/Columbia University, and Hurricane Island Outward Bound School (Maine); Trustee and Vice Chairman of Northern Westchester Hospital; Trustee and Chairman of the Board of the Harvey School, Katonah, New York; Trustee and Secretary of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York. Mr. Weil served on the Visiting Committee of the John F. Kennedy School of Government and Committee on University Resources at Harvard from 1972 - 1998. He was a member of the Advisory Board at the School for Advanced International Studies, John Hopkins University.

In the field of public policy, Mr. Weil served as Chairman of the Committee on Taxation of the New York State Economic Development Board from 1975 - 1977, and Chairman of the New York State Board of Equalization and Assessment from 1976 - 1977. In 1986 he served on the New York State Advisory Commission on Liability Insurance and has served on Governor Cuomo's New York State Council on Fiscal and Economic Priorities and its sub-committee on New York City Transit.

Mr. Weil was born on February 14, 1931 in Bedford, New York. He graduated cum laude from Harvard College in 1953 and from Harvard Law School in 1956. He is domiciled in Wilson, Wyoming and maintains residences there and in New York City, Washington, DC and Stonington, Maine. He has been married to the former Denie Sandison since 1951. They have four children, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Entries by Frank A. Weil

A New Organizing Principle

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 2:32 PM

In the 1930s the biggest international policy problem was isolationism.

Because the United States had two vast oceans protecting two of its borders, many people thought we were safe from the aggression of both Germany and Japan. Thank goodness Franklin Roosevelt thought otherwise and carefully played his cards to...

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Rules of Life

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 3:20 PM

In primitive societies when the organizing principles were pretty simple, there were some basic rules that were strictly followed. For example, the males did the hunting and the females did the gathering and kept the babies, the hut and what passed for food on the table.

As the lives...

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Obama

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 4:01 PM

While the line of critics of Obama's presidency has been growing, the evidence of his success as president has become clearer and more secure despite the colossal frustrations and disappointments, even to his most ardent supporters, since his reelection.

History is clear. Presidential success is measured by how well...

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What Is the Best Legacy?

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 3:19 PM

A legacy is something that one can leave behind to the people who come after them to "enrich" their lives and better enable the followers to remember the forbearer and continue to make their lives and society better.

Most people think of a legacy primarily as money or property. Many...

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Russia Today Versus the World

(5) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 5:00 PM

We just returned from a boat trip across Russia, from Moscow to St. Petersburg, to see firsthand the world Peter the Great began for Russia in the 1700s. Objective observers are vividly struck by today's Russia and how it is generally seen in the West in ways quite different from...

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A Tidbit From 1979: A Lesson for Today

(1) Comments | Posted July 22, 2014 | 5:01 PM

In the summer of 1979, Jimmy Carter suffered from a political malaise and gave a speech about it. In the following days, he fired with one stroke, five cabinet officers -- the type of purge that was common in the Soviet Politburo but virtually unheard of here -- as if...

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Boomerang Effects of Good Intentions

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 5:36 PM

We go through life full of the best intentions in how we behave and in being helpful to friends and neighbors.

More often than seems fair, those intentions go awry and we find ourselves digging out from under misunderstandings or worse.

For example, you say to your wife, "Honey, you...

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HOW TO MAKE ORDINARY PEOPLE EXTRAORDINARY

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 10:25 AM

In the late 1970s, as penance for earlier sins, I signed on to help Jimmy Carter and my fellow citizens as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

One of the first things I learned needed to be done was to improve the substance and speed of the critical...

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50/50

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 10:24 AM

Most people learn early in life that luck and odds play an important role in their lives. Some of those people are better at playing those odds than a lot of their brethren. There are examples and metaphors galore, some of which may surprise you.

You probably weren't very...

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What Would People Think?

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 3:17 PM

"What would people think?" How many times do suppose you have asked yourself that question? Why do you suppose you ask it?

Perhaps you are vain and care how you look?

Perhaps you are insecure and do not want to appear stupid?

Perhaps you are ambitious and need to...

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Stem Cells vs. Perpetuity?

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 9:22 AM

John D. Rockefeller was not only a great oil man, he was an astonishing visionary.

Envisioning the need for and possibility of achieving what we see as modern medicine, in 1901 he created Rockefeller University in New York City to be a base of research the life sciences.

...
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The Hidden "You" in You

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 10:29 AM

There is a lot of fascinating work being done about how our minds work and how memories are formed, stored and recalled. I am full of admiration for those neuroscientists and claim no real ability to understand their science, but a fascination with what they claim those processes can do.

...
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The Role of Hammers in Life

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2014 | 10:27 AM

We all discover hammers early in life, sometimes to our parent's distress.

Hammers are, of course, used to drive nails mainly into wood to hold things together. They are used to bang things into place, break windows in emergencies and deliver a well-focused punch to some resisting object. People...

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SELLING BEGINS AT BIRTH

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 12:23 PM

At the outset of our lives, we depend on our wails to get our Mom's attention. It's our earliest sales pitch: we cry to get a mother's breast, which quiets the stomach for a spell before we have to sell Mom again to get access to what we need and...

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Tell It to Grandma

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 2:40 PM

A long bunch of years ago a young, cocky, and recently rich entrepreneur had been flying so high he had begun to believe he was out of reach of ground fire. When he suddenly hit an air pocket of reality he quickly became very worried and confused and sought advice...

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Persistence Matters

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 10:33 AM

There are a few aspects to human behavior that matter a lot in getting things done in life. Curiosity, imagination, flexibility and just plain grit are, of course, way up on any list of the most important of these traits.

One other characteristic is also very important, though it...

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Healthy, Wealthy, Wise

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 10:56 AM

As we begin seriously considering what the next decade holds for the U.S. health care system based on the elements of Obamacare, we must bear in mind that it is not simply how many people are covered and how many are not.

Crucial to the success or failure of...

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Speech & Money

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 11:20 AM

Freedom of expression, as required in the 1st Amendment, may be the most important and fundamental right in American democracy. But what does it really mean, and are there any limits to that freedom?

Money is surely one of the most common means of expression, as it is spent on...

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Is Perfection a Wise Goal?

(0) Comments | Posted April 17, 2014 | 3:39 PM

When I graduated from Harvard Law School in 1956, I thought I was pretty hot stuff. I began at a great law firm, run by lawyers trained in the traditional way: namely, producing exceptional work under all circumstances.

Early on in my career there, a senior associate asked me to...

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Cross the Bridge When You Get There

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 5:35 PM

There are, of course, many types of humans. There are those who are always late, always early, placid, confused, or anxious. Perhaps the most troubled are those who worry endlessly about the bridges they may someday have to cross. To them, I can only offer the simplest advice: "Do not...

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