VALE JOHN HARRISON STREICKER
John Harrison Streicker, AUSTRALIAN AMERICAN LEADERSHIP DIALOGUE (AALD) Board Director and great friend to so many Australian and US members of the Leadership Dialogue family, passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by Barbara and his children on March 10, 2022. John was 79 years old.
AALD Chairman Hon Mark Vaile AO, who developed a close personal relationship with John, stated:
“John Streicker was one of nature’s gentleman, a true patriot and great friend to Australia. His legacy will live on eternally in our hearts “
John was that rare leader who was understated, an over achiever in many fields of worthy endeavor, intellectually gifted, humble and devoted to his number one priority in life, his wife of 50 years Barbara and their family. Julie and I first met John and Barbara Streicker at Carnegie Hall shortly after our move to New York. Throughout our diplomatic service from April 2009 to September 2013, John was closely engaged with us and with Team Australia at the Australian Consulate-General.
John’s numerous professional achievements include Chairman of Sentinel Real Estate, serving on President George W Bush’s President’s Intelligence Advisory Board after 9/11, and member of the Board of Directors of Business Executives for National Security (BENS).
AALD Vice Chair and CEO Julie Singer Scanlan AO wrote to John and Barbara’s son, Michael Streicker:
“IT IS HARD TO FIND AN AREA OF GOOD THAT DOESN’T HAVE HIS FOOTPRINT CLOSE BY.”
John studied at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy (class of 1964), went on to Yale Law School and received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at City University of New York. John also made enduring contributions to Princeton and Yale universities, and to his beloved Temple Emanu-El of New York:
- At Princeton University, in 2015 John founded the Streicker International Fellowship Program and endowed the Streicker Bridge.
- The Streicker Bridge dedication, which Julie and I attended June 19, 2010, is a new pedestrian bridge at Princeton University Campus whose primary aim is to provide safe pedestrian access. John was a natural lateral thinker and insisted on the Streicker Bridge bringing strong symbolic and aesthetic influence. This was a consistent theme running through John’s diverse interests.
- Princeton University’s president S.M. Tilghman stated that the Streicker Bridge “will stand as a tangible symbol of the cross-disciplinary collaborations that are central to scientific research and teaching today.”
- At Yale University, where he completed a JD in Law, John established the Streicker Fund for Student Research for academic projects requiring international travel, for credit and supervised by Yale Law School Faculty.
- John is past President (2012-2018) at Emanu-El on Fifth Avenue and founded the Streicker Center which offers cultural events featuring national figures, political debates, authors, entertainment and much more to sell out audiences.
AALD Vice Chair and CEO Julie Singer Scanlan AO with President Obama at the Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center
John’s commitment to engagement with Australia had many layers.
- In March 2002 John acquired his first environmentally sustainable vineyard in Margaret River, which he followed with further acquisitions combined with healthy organic growth. He had 800 hectares under vine in Margaret River, and owned Streicker and Clairault Wines.
- In 2005, John founded the Wildlife Australia Fund Inc, the New York based S501C3 charity which enables US institutions and citizens to make tax effective contributions to Australian charities which otherwise would not occur. Since 2005 funds so raised have been distributed to the Wildlife Nature Conservancy, the Perth Zoo, University of Tasmania, Birdlife Australia and the South Endeavour Trust. More recently, funds have gone to assist wildlife preservation efforts for species threatened by bushfires.
- John introduced to Australia, initially in Perth, the Sentinel Real Estate Corporation model of assembling portfolios of rental apartment communities. In 2011, Sentinel opened its Melbourne office with significant growth underway. John and his globally focused Sentinel team have demonstrated their understanding of the benefits and responsibilities of long-term relationships. If understanding societal and cultural imperatives in markets served is a hallmark of sustained global success, Sentinel has proven the case under John’s leadership. John has been a too rare example of a global US enterprise leader who actively invested in the social compact with Australia.
Hon Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia and founding delegate of the AALD said:
“John Streicker was well regarded in WA and figured prominently in the last AALD meeting held here in Perth. He was a great friend of this country and our American alliance. John Streicker was also a great contact for an Australian Ambassador seeking advice on US politics and economy.”
John Streicker and the AALD
- When introduced to the Australian American Leadership Dialogue in New York, John quickly became a valued source of engagement, inspiration, lateral thought leadership and tangible resource support.
- John immediately understood the significance and leverage “to create new space in the service of others” emanating from the AALD’s platform of convergence between officialdom, enterprise, education and civil society.
- John embodied the culture and values which define the Leadership Dialogue, and instinctively aligned himself with the mission and bipartisan spirit of the AALD. He endorsed the premise of the AALD originally discussed on Sydney Harbor January 1, 1992 with President George HW Bush—that in asymmetrical relationships such as between Australia and the United States, the smaller player needs to optimize their heavy lifting and drive the agenda for systemic collaboration.
- Accordingly, the AALD is the only significant bilateral platform conceived, led and driven out of Australia, thereby ensuring that the agenda is always consistent with advancing Australian national interests and objectives
- John Streicker’s innate intelligence made him comfortable attaching himself to this core differentiator defining the AALD and made him an outstanding Board member and source of influence in the Leadership Dialogue.
- John was the Leadership Dialogue Honoree at the July 2014 AALD, appropriately held at the New York Academy of Sciences.
- John brought his activist promotion of younger leaders and opportunities for their development to the Leadership Dialogue. He was intensely interested in and passionate about the Young Leadership Dialogue, to which he regularly nominated delegates.
In Perth August 2019, BHP hosted the YLD and the VVIP AALD Academy and their BHP team were noteworthy in their commitment to their purposeful mission. John was so enthused, even excited, by his experience of the extraordinary interactions at BHP that day (August 9 ’19), that he declared:
“ WITNESSING THE ENGAGEMENT AMONG ALL IN ATTENDANCE AT THE FINAL INFORMAL GATHERING, WAS THE AALD AT ITS BEST. LOOK AROUND AT THE CONVERSATIONS TAKING PLACE!”
John Streicker was a giant of a man, a lover and consumer of life—globalist, big picture strategic thinker combined with forensic attention to operational detail, true American patriot, educator in the broader sense, ahead of his time as conservationist, cultural diplomat and an institutional leader focused on sustained high performance. John developed a genuine affection for Australia which was and remains reciprocated.
Chairman Hon Mark Vaile AO, Vice Chair and CEO Julie Singer Scanlan AO and I, together with AALD Board and Advisory Board members, extend our deepest condolences to Barbara and the Streicker family and join John’s numerous friends in the United State, Australia and around the world in celebrating John’s purposeful life which advanced those of so many.
Phil Scanlan AM
March 14 ‘22