Ambassador Victor Ashe is a former US Ambassador to Poland, attorney, professor and former Mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee. As the US Ambassador to Poland from 2004-2009, he proved instrumental in facilitating AIPG’s Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention in Oświęcim. In May 2008, for example, he met with seminar participants and delivered a speech on the importance of AIPG’s mission. In 2009, he received two honors for his work in Poland: the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland from President of Poland Lech Kaczynski, and decorations from Poland’s Undersecretary of State, Mariusz Handzlik.
While serving as Ambassador to Poland, Ambassador Ashe participated in the annual March of the Living, a silent march from Auschwitz to Birkenau. According to Ashe:
Visiting the camps made a permanent impression on me. I saw firsthand the incredible human tragedy of the Holocaust. Yet genocide continues today, in different shapes and areas. As a civilized world, we need to bring an end to it. It takes education to reduce and eliminate genocide.
Notable among his civic work within the United States, Ambassador Ashe was elected mayor of Knoxville in 1987 and won reelection in 1991, 1995 and 1999 by large majorities. Ashe served four years on the National Service Corporation Board appointed by President Bill Clinton and he also served on the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations by appointment of both Presidents Bush and Reagan. Ambassador Ashe was an attorney and Resident Fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University. He earned a B.A. in History from Yale University and graduated from the College of Law at the University of Tennessee in 1974.