It is with a heavy heart that the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) marks the passing of James (Jim) Denton—a friend, statesman, and stalwart Atlanticist.
He dedicated his life to public diplomacy and a strong transatlantic partnership. As the Cold War ended, he established new ties between Americans and Central and East European (CEE) citizens – to both solidify the bonds of democracy and freedom and to shape, grow, and cultivate civil society. He later co-founded the Transatlantic Renewal Project to bring the best and brightest CEE policy professionals to the United States to facilitate an exchange of ideas on the most pressing issues facing the transatlantic partnership. He dedicated his career to building bridges, networks, and friends between the U.S. and Europe; bridges that would withstand upheavals of government and weather the test of time.
At CEPA, we will greatly miss Jim. We honor his memory by continuing to uphold his legacy of strengthening Atlanticism and especially his vision for the U.S. and Europe to overcome challenges united rather than divided.
"Jim's unstoppable optimism and ability to inspire others left a lasting impression on everyone who met him. I am honored to have known him and call him a friend. He will be dearly missed."
-Peter B. Doran, CEPA President
"We lost a great Atlanticist, a strategic thinker, a real architect of Atlantic cooperation in Jim. As one of the first people to come to the “New Democracies” in the early nineties, he inspired generations of Central Europeans to work towards strengthening Atlantic values. It is my honor to have had his friendship for thirty years. I lost a dear Friend."
-Amb. Dr. Réka Szemerkényi, CEPA Executive Vice President
"James Denton was a great professional and a colleague who contributed a lot to promoting democracy in Eastern Europe. I am particularly grateful for his effort of connecting people with different worldviews and mindsets that helped develop a more nuanced understanding of Eastern Europe and better U.S. foreign policy. His death is a tremendous loss for the community."
-Maria Snegovaya, CEPA Adjunct Fellow
"The loss of Jim Denton is painfully felt everywhere in the Baltics too. Jim was a great friend of Estonia and one of the most passionate believers in the value of the Transatlantic Alliance. Earlier this year, the Estonian Ministry of Defense decorated Jim with a medal and there is nobody who deserves this more. Jim devoted his life to building links between Europe and the United States and convening like-minded current and future leaders from both sides of the Atlantic. Jim understood too well the challenges and opportunities of the Western liberal democracies. It was a true privilege to work with him on the Transatlantic Renewal Project together with President Ilves back in October 2015 in Tallinn, as well as on the Transatlantic Fellows Project this year. I firmly believe and support CEPA’s initiative that carries his name.
-Merle Maigre, NATO Cyber Centre Director
19 June 2018