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Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
900 15th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

Leadership

The Hon. Donald Ritter, Sc.D.

Trustee

After 10 years on the faculty and administration of Lehigh University and as a consultant to industry, Don Ritter served in the United States House of Representatives from 1979 to 1993. Ritter was the Founder and former President and CEO of the Afghanistan Foundation, the President and CEO (now Emeritus) of the Afghan American Chamber of Commerce, and the Senior Advisor to the Afghan International Chamber of Commerce in Kabul. He had been engaged in business in Afghanistan from 9/11 to the U.S. pullout. Given his over 40 years’ experience with Afghanistan, Ritter understands that infiltration by Soviet Russia-backed Afghan communists into key roles in Afghan society, over decades, was the root cause of the modern Afghan wars and the present desperate plight of the Afghan people. In Congress, Ritter was directly involved in combatting the global spread of Soviet communism by authoring legislation providing material aid to Afghan rebels. Ritter believes that the USSR would not have collapsed without losing badly in their Afghan war. While in Congress, Ritter also served on the Congressional Helsinki Commission and as the Founding Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Baltic States and Ukraine. Ritter served as Chairman and President of the National Environmental Policy Institute (NEPI) for a decade after leaving Congress. He is fluent in Russian and spent a year as a NAS-Soviet Academy post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Baikov Institute for Metallurgy in Moscow. Ritter holds a B.S. from Lehigh University and a M.S. and Sc.D. from MIT.