United States citizen and long-time Geneva resident Andy Sundberg, founder of the lobby group American Citizens Abroad, died Thursday following a heart attack. He was 71.
Sundberg was a key force in bringing about American legislation that made it easier for Americans abroad to transmit their US citizenship to their children. He founded the American Children’s Citizens Rights League in 1977.
Through American Citizens Abroad, which he founded in 1978, Sundberg was most recently involved in town hall meetings held in 2012 for Swiss-based American citizens concerned about new US tax reporting requirements such as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca).
In an obituary published on Friday, GenevaLunch.com described Sundberg as one of the “staunchest defenders” of Americans overseas.
“His work, including thousands of letters sent to people in positions of influence, put him on a first-name basis with politicians, government leaders and celebrities, whether they agreed with him or were targeted by him as someone to be convinced of the need for change,” the obituary said.
Sundberg was born in New Jersey in 1941, and lived in several different regions of the world, attending grammar school in Japan and high school in Germany, then graduating from the US Naval Academy in 1962. He earned a degree in politics, philosophy and economics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes scholar, and served on US combat ships during the Cuban quarantine and the Vietnam War.
Sundberg became politically active after moving to Geneva in 1968, serving as the worldwide chairman of Democrats Abroad from 1980 to 1985 and as a member of the Democratic National Committee from 1981 to 1988. He helped set up the local branches of both the US Democratic and Republican parties in Switzerland.
Sundberg is survived by his wife, Chantal, two daughters and a granddaughter.
swissinfo.ch and agencies