Deceased October 19, 2014

View alumni profile (log in required)
50th Reunion Book Entry 

In Memory

Ken Frederick died at home in Nellysford, Va., on Oct. 19 from complications of congestive heart failure. Ken received his Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1965. He was an economic adviser in Brazil for the U.S. Agency for International Development from 1965 to 1967 and an assistant professor of economics at the California Institute of Technology from 1967 to 1971.

From 1971 until his retirement, he was senior fellow at Resources for the Future, where from 1977 to 1988 he served as director of their Renewable Resources Division. He served as consultant to federal agencies, international institutions, the Natural Heritage Institute and private corporations. He was author of more than 60 published articles and the author, co-author or editor of 10 books on the economic and environmental aspects of water and natural resource planning.

Ken is survived by his wife, Susan (Mt. Holyoke ‘62), son Scott, daughter Karen Parello and four grandchildren.

Due to a heart defect, Ken had to drop off the Amherst tennis team. An operation to correct it became available after graduation, allowing him to play tennis again and enjoy the next 50 years in good health. He managed to combine his work experience with tennis-friendly and attractive locations in Brazil, Argentina, California and Virginia.

Ken’s sense of humor and easy-going manner endeared him to all who knew him. Ken’s understanding of economics came through clearly to me in how he could explain complex economic theory in concise and understandable language—a teaching gift that the best ones possess. This would have manifested itself in his teaching at Caltech and in his many published articles and books.

Ken should be commended for his contribution to the development, conservation and productive use of natural resources for the improvement of the quality of the environment.

Paul Fairchild ’61

50th Reunion

61 Kenneth Frederick.jpg

Some of you may remember that I had to drop off the Amherst tennis team because of a in Mendoza. In Argentina, I improved my tennis and wrote congenital heart defect. Open heart surgery a month after graduation made it possible for me to play tennis again and enjoy the next 50 years in good health. I married Susan Mitchell in June 1962, a month after she graduated from Mount Holyoke, and in 1965 I completed my PhD in economics from M.I.T, concentrating on development economics.

In 1967 we moved to Pasadena, CA, where I taught economic development, international economics, and introductory economics at the California Institute of Technology for four years as an assistant professor. Scott, our son and last child, was born in Pasadena in 1969. To escape Pasadena’s smoggy summers, we returned to Brazil for the summer months, where I served as an AID consultant, studying Brazil's agricultural problems. During one summer trip I also assessed our aid program for the National Security Council. My analyses and recommendations led to major changes that the U.S. made to support the economies of Brazil’s poorest regions.

For additional experience abroad before we had to worry about the availability of good schools for  our children, we moved to Argentina in 1971 when  I joined  Resources for the Future's (RFF) Latin  American program. RFF is a nonprofit corporation for research and education in the development, conservation, and use of natural resources and improvement of the quality of the environment. For the next two years we lived in Mendoza, a city in the foothills of the Andes with a good climate for tennis and wine production. I enjoyed ties with Argentina's local branch of their national university and an international

In 1973 we moved to northern Virginia, choosing a house about 100 yards from a tennis club. I continued working for RFF, commuting to its office in Washington, D.C. for another 29 years. Since joining RFF, my research focused on water resource issues, examining the economic, environmental, and institutional issues of water use and management and the potential impacts of climate change on water resources. I am the author, coauthor, or editor of ten books and more than 60 published papers. I also did a lot of international traveling to attend conferences and served as a consultant for federal agencies, the World Bank and other international institutions, and the government of Argentina. My last book, Water Resources and Climate Change, was published by Elgar in 2002.

Since 2000 Susie, who was high school history teacher, and I have been retired. To avoid the increasing traffic in the Washington, D.C. area and remain fairly close to our children’s families, we purchased land and built a house in the Stoney Creek section of Wintergreen Resort, a beautiful four season resort in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, about 25 miles from Charlottesville, VA. We moved into our new house in June 2002. We overlook a golf course, ponds, and mountains with tennis courts and hiking trails nearby. In 2005 I tore my rotator cuff and could not play tennis for two years. I’m playing again, but with the shoulder injury and a return of heart problems, my game no longer intimidates opponents.

We love our rural location, and our children and grandchildren enjoy visiting. We have four grandchildren: Scott and his wife have two girls, Kelsey (8) and Kendall (5) Karen and her husband have twins, Bella and Marco (6).If  you are ever  in the Charlottesville area, please come and visit us, too.