December 9, 2014

excerpts from an unpublished biography of Andrew Cordier

Andrew Cordier taught at Manchester College from 1924-1944. In 1944 he took a job at the State Department in Washington D.C. during which he was involved in the formation of the United Nations. From 1946-1962 he was employed by the United Nations as the Executive Assistant for the first three United Nations General-Secretaries.  The following excerpt was written by his personal secretary, Doreen Geary. It is from an unpublished biography in the Manchester University archives.

"Cordier believed in being accessible and his main instruction to me was that his door was to be always kept "open."  He meant this almost literally. Consequently early on I learned not to "protect" him as one is usually expected to do in secretarial situations.  This was a rather reverse approach and at first difficult for me to accustom myself to. Indeed he was so famous for his "open door" policy to his fellow colleagues and the staff generally that his office was jocularly known as "Andyville."  Although this often meant that several people -- all with different problems -- might gather in his office at the one time, this did not seem to trouble him, and they for their part got what they had come for -- a decision or the guidance they needed."


"It was interesting to me to observe that all during his United Nations career, any honorariums which he received for his public addresses (these were either not to be accepted by a UN staff member or donated to a charitable institution) were without exception given over to the Church of the Brethren, the church of his affiliation."

from "Death of a Stalwart" by Doreen Geary