With the passing of Robert E. Berls, Jr., the YGLN and its members lost a valued mentor, friend, and role model. Bob Berls passed away on November 10, 2021.
Bob Berls, who was a senior advisor for Russia and Eurasia at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, was one of the bright minds who brought the YGLN into life. He has been a key figure behind the Network since its launch in 2014, and he has been a friend and mentor for many of us. He was always there to help and give his advice when needed. With his kindness, generosity and wisdom, he was a role model for the younger generation.
Teaching young leaders from the East and West and overcoming cultural and political barriers was of great importance for Bob Berls who spoke Russian fluently and opened the NTI’s Moscow office two decades ago. His spirit of believing in a safer Europe and engaging with each other without prejudices will remain alive in our growing community, and his legacy will be preserved and valued. We all miss him very much.
Bob Berls during his last YGLN gathering in 2018 in Berlin.