Jurate Kazickas - 2012 Balzekas Museum Woman of the Year
Journalist, writer and refugee advocate Juratė Kazickas was born in Lithuania 1943 and emigrated to the United States in 1947 with her parents, displaced war refugees Juozas and Alexandra Kazickas. After graduating from Trinity College in Washington, D.C., Kazickas volunteered in Kenya as a teacher. She began her journalism career at Look magazine and went to Vietnam as a freelance photojournalist where she was wounded during the battle of Khe Sanh in 1968. She spent 10 years as a reporter for the Associated Press, covering the 1973 Middle East war and American events.
She was a White House correspondent during the Carter administration and subsequently worked as a feature writer for The Washington Star. Kazickas is the co-author of several books on the history of American women, including: Susan B. Anthony Slept Here and War Torn: Stories of War from the Women Reporters Who Covered Vietnam. She edited Odyssey of Hope, her father’s memoir about the Kazickas family’s experiences fleeing from Lithuania in World War II, immigrating to America, and participating in the Lithuania’s political and economic reemergence after the country regained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1990.
A staunch advocate for refugees, Kazickas served on the board of the Women’s Refugee Commission. She visited survivors of crises in Bosnia, Rwanda, Pakistan and Afghanistan and lobbied on their behalf in Washington. She has appeared on PBS’ Charlie Rose in 1996 to report on the suffering of women and children in war-torn Bosnia and again in 2002 to talk about her experiences as a war correspondent in Vietnam. In 2007, she was an Adjunct Professor at New York University teaching an Honors Seminar on “Women and War – From Vietnam to Iraq.” For her refugee advocacy, she received a 2010 Freedom Award from the International Rescue Committee. After the January 2010 earthquake devastated many of Haiti’s schools, Kazickas co-founded Teach the World Online, which enables volunteers in the United States to give free English lessons via the internet to disadvantaged youth in the developing world.
Kazickas supports her family’s philanthropic work, serving as President of the Kazickas Family Foundation, which sponsors educational projects, scholarships and cultural programs in Lithuania as well as the Baltic Studies programs at Yale and Washington Universities. She serves on the board of The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, Veteran Feminists of America, and Carnegie Hill Neighbors. She recently started a new career as an entrepreneur and is now the owner of two retail businesses in Vilnius. Kazickas is married to Roger C. Altman. They have three children and live in New York City.
Posted by Washington Star Alumni